Hospitality career: start at entry level or go to college?
If you’ve decided that a career in hospitality suits your ambitions and personality, then you’re in good company. The opportunities are boundless, including working overseas. After all, this is a business with global revenue of $3.5 trillion every year. From major worldwide chains to small family run bed and breakfasts, the options are plentiful.
Despite all the talk of Brexit affecting the availability of staff for lower-skilled positions, the UK hospitality sector is looking buoyant too, not least as increasing numbers of people are combining work and fun trips. According to one survey, 60% of travellers reported adding leisure opportunities on to a business trip and 30% extended their stay by at least two days to enjoy “bleisure”.
So where do you start? At entry level and work your way up? Or, after taking a hospitality degree at a London college?
The bigger brands in hospitality – names such as Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt – are in fierce competition with each other. They are also well established, streamlined business models. They work hard to attract and retain the best management teams. This includes having strong ideas on which attributes they need to recruit or nurture. They also have attractive packages waiting for the right candidates and those who already show exceptional talent.
Armed with a hospitality degree, you are pre-equipped with some of the insights and skills they seek. This gives you the opportunity to “hit the ground running”, and quickly climb the ladder to regional and executive management posts.
Experience versus a degree
A hospitality degree is not a guarantee of an accelerated career path, but could well be a lot quicker than working your way up from entry level.
The old argument – that on the job experience is more valuable than “academia” – overlooks a few vital points. One is that if you study at a London college, you will get plenty of opportunities from real-life experience in the capital’s thriving hotels and restaurants.
Also, working your way up from a lower-skilled post will not necessarily equip you with the insights you need for this dynamic and fast-moving sector. Tomorrow’s hotel managers need to understand technology, data analytics and a wide range of compliance issues – the sort of topics that a hospitality degree will cover in an intense and predictive way, mapping out future trends rather than focusing entirely on daily challenges.
To see for yourself how a hospitality degree can put you in control of your career, contact Mont Rose College in Ilford.