How to Start a Career in the Hospitality Industry

Housekeeper. Desk clerk. Hostess. Waiter. While these aren’t particularly flashy or lucrative jobs, they are all entry-level positions in the hospitality sector that can serve as a stepping-stone to a high-paying, long-term career. In fact, many students hold these jobs not even aware of the opportunities they may lead to!

A career in hospitality can offer a number of opportunities, lessons, and social contacts that can support one throughout his or her life – even if one eventually chooses to move onto another path. Though the industry as a whole has its challenges, those with the flexibility and will to overcome obstacles tend to excel. The work is stimulating and there are plenty of opportunities for advancement as long as one is willing to put in the hard work, commitment, and persistence.

The Basics

Although it is not necessary to have a degree, gaining plenty of experience and relevant qualifications will always help when shooting for a successful hospitality career. Educational qualifications range from national diplomas and foundation degrees to undergraduate and masters degrees. It is also possible to enjoy success with on-the-job training and experience. Individuals with strong communication skills, flexibility, commercial awareness, and enthusiasm usually do the best in this sector.

The hospitality industry is far-reaching and features many different working environments. With such an enormous scope, it is helpful to know what some of the possibilities are – it really depends on what appeals to the individual. Career paths in the hospitality sector might include working at a ski resort, managing a restaurant, becoming an hotelier, running a casino, working as a travel agent, or even managing an adventure tourism firm. The possibilities are as exciting as they are endless.

Getting Started

If the goal is to attain a role in the upper echelons of the industry, it is particularly useful to obtain a four-year degree.  When working toward a hospitality degree, what you learn will depend on the desired career. For example, those wanting to be a manager may work toward hospitality management while others may choose to focus on business management in general.  Specialty degrees, such as those in the culinary arts may also be a good choice.

Aside from the right educational base, it is important to gather the necessary experience in order to enjoy the most success in hospitality.  Most individuals – even those with a degree – will start at the entry-level and work their way up the hospitality ladder. One of the benefits of just starting out is that the schedule is usually flexible, so it is possible to amass real-world experience while simultaneously working toward that degree.

Amazing Opportunities

When it comes to starting a career in hospitality, the opportunities are simply amazing – and can earn individuals up to six figures or more each year! As with any career, it is always helpful to have a degree, but don’t forget that it is possible to advance to the top roles with plenty of motivation and experience. Whether one is just graduating from high school or considering a mid-career shift, the hospitality industry is a great option.

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