The hospitality industry is one of the most attractive industries out there because of the low barriers to entry and the sheer availability of jobs. In fact, food services provide almost a quarter of the working population with their very first jobs after primary education, as well as quite a few jobs during schooling. In fact, in 2004, hospitality commanded five times as many entrants as any other industry, and it continues to comprise eight percent of all jobs in the entire country.
What Does the Future Hold for Hospitality?
Currently, the growth rate is very high, and the range of careers in hospitality means that qualified individuals stand to grab the best jobs. Although you might initially think of fast-food jobs as indicative of the industry, there’s actually a huge assortment of placement opportunities in restaurants, hotels, and more. You could end up creating original dishes in sports establishments, catering businesses, and even resorts. To gain first priority in these roles, you stand a much better chance if you display hospitality management abilities, such as those that might be gained in a hospitality management administration program.
Preparing for a Career in Hospitality
Because of the breadth of the industry and low barriers to entry, the hospitality field is especially attractive to high school and post-high school students. There are training seminars held in various locations for this group, but nothing quite so comprehensive as an exclusive, 18-month training course or associate’s degree. Clearly, the difference is one of preparedness, and the latter offers that in spades. If you know that a career in hospitality management is what you want, then an 18-month course is quite adequate to provide you with the full scope of skills and knowledge you need.
Getting an associate’s degree in hospitality can go a long way toward ensuring placement, whereas most entry-level applicants have little choice in where they get hired. The understanding that you will have been trained under the watchful eyes of highly-regarded chefs and managers puts you in a prime position and gives you a clear advantage over employees who’ve only benefited from in-house programs. The latter is valuable work experience, of course, but it tends to be exclusive to that particular line of work and isn’t as comprehensive as a program granting an associate’s degree.
The Skills You Need to Out-Compete
Currently, a sizable percentage of the hospitality field does not display proficiency in the English language. Because it is a decidedly customer-service-oriented field, employees strongly prefer new entrants who can make their customers comfortable during interactions. Even if English isn’t your primary language, proficiency in this soft skill is of paramount importance, because hospitality is the very definition of service as a dialogue. You need the skills and willingness to personalize your interaction with the customer.
An associate’s degree in hospitality takes care of the technical aspects of service as a dialogue, as well as familiarizing you with the so-called soft skills. The latter simply concerns with your natural carriage; or how you interact with people on a personal level. Being around respected industry teachers and capable students will familiarize you with the importance of interacting appropriately with customers, and how it leads to a better mutual experience. Armed with this knowledge, and certification in hospitality management, you’ll be well-positioned for the placement of your choosing.