Hospitality is one of the world’s fastest growing employment sectors and it is predicted to continue growing strongly in coming years. With a qualification or degree in hospitality management, career opportunities for graduates are limitless.
According to the State of Hospitality report, the travel and tourism industry is projected to see a total spending growth of US$846 billion by 2025. This sector contributes 4.7% to the annual growth of the global GDP, highlighting the need for 14 million new graduates in hospitality to bridge the skills gap by 2025.
Hospitality is an ideal career choice, particularly for those who are passionate about customer service, travel and creating memorable experiences for others. However, it also offers many diverse employment opportunities which include:
- Hotels and resorts
Traditional hospitality careers often start in hotels or resorts and graduates can work their way up the ladder starting in guest relations, reception or the restaurant or rooms division advancing to eventually become a director or General Manager.
- Food and beverage
The food and beverage sector is another key hospitality area and includes restaurants, night clubs, catering, food trucks as well as work in the wine and spirits industry.
- Travel and tourism jobs
Career opportunities in tourism are booming as the number of tourists continues to grow and hospitality graduates can find themselves working on airlines and cruise liners or becoming travel operators and holiday representatives.
- Other service industries
Hospitality graduates can develop a career in marketing or finance and work for a variety of different companies who are customer and service-centric and where quality customer service is highly valued. They can work for events companies or sports management as well as starting their own entrepreneurial endeavours.
More and more companies are now placing hospitality management graduates in senior positions that extend beyond their conventional roles. This is attributed to the diverse set of transferable skills acquired through their studies and practical training, with a particular emphasis on their proficiency in effectively engaging with the public and adeptly managing diverse crises.
As public expectations for exemplary customer service rise, companies seek leaders with a proven record of meeting customer needs and demands. A background in hospitality management is gaining recognition as a qualification that encompasses the diverse array of skills necessary to achieve this.
In recent years, the definition of hospitality evolved beyond the traditional one of “the cordial and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers” into a whole new perception of what it means to live and work in the hospitality industry.
This is opening up an abundance of career opportunities for graduates.
The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management – which has campuses in Rosebank, Johannesburg and in Newlands, Cape Town – seeks to address the rapidly expanding need for service, hospitality and customer-centric education, spanning entry-level through to management-level qualifications.
Courses offered include the IIE Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management, the IIE Bachelor of Hospitality Management, the IIE Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Leadership Distance and the IIE Advanced Certificate in Hospitality Management.
The IIE Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management is a full-time one-year course which also creates a pathway to enrol for the IIE degree. The IIE Bachelor of Hospitality Management is a three-year degree course. Both qualifications meet international standards and are available via distance learning.