Posted December 19, 2014 by

Considering a Career in Hospitality

Portrait of waiter holding menus in restaurant

Portrait of waiter holding menus in restaurant. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When you graduate from college, you’re qualified for a much greater number of jobs than someone without a degree, and the hospitality industry is one of the most lucrative markets to enter. Jobs are typically easier to obtain in hotels and restaurants than in business, academia, science or healthcare sectors, and there are many types of jobs to choose from. For example, the hospitality industry includes hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, night clubs and any other entertainment venue that serves food or beverages.

However, with a degree in liberal arts, business, journalism, science or math, your prospects in hospitality are limited to entry-level positions or lower-level management. With a degree in hotel and restaurant management, your prospects are wide open, but it’s not necessary to get a double major or a second degree. You can take additional training courses online or in person to give yourself a head start on a career in hotel, restaurant or bar management and immediately begin making substantially more money than someone without training.

Getting Ahead of the Competition

Depending on your current education, additional hospitality classes can make you qualified to work in consulting, marketing, auditing or entrepreneurship. Courses typically take about as long as a college semester, although some programs offer more comprehensive education and can last as long as two or three semesters. On average, you can expect to be ready in as little as 14 weeks or as many as 31 weeks. By choosing a self-paced program, you can finish sooner or take extra time while working at your current job.

You’ll be able to find work in catering, bar management, restaurant management and hotel management. With certification, you’ll be able to quickly work your way up to upper-level management from your starting point, which is typically higher than where untrained managers start. It’s a great way to invest in your future because it costs a lot less than the salary you’ll be able to earn when you’re through.

The reason hospitality certification sets you ahead of others is that you get an in-depth look at the inner-workings of hotels, restaurants and other hospitality organizations. It’s as much a business course as an education in customer service and food service. You get an all-around understanding of the way hotels and restaurants function, including the various positions required to keep a hotel running smoothly. Not only do you learn about restaurant management and the food and beverage industry, you learn about housekeeping and concierge services, activities management, staff management and control services.

Finding the Perfect Hospitality Job

When you receive your certification, you can attach it to your resume and immediately become more desirable to employers. If you have previous experience working in restaurants or hotels, your prospects are even better. Employers in the hospitality industry value management education highly because they know it produces knowledgeable managers with a keen perspective of how the industry functions.

It’s not necessary to take the first job you’re offered after receiving your degree. You can take your time and find the job that offers you the best benefits, salary, convenience and personal satisfaction because you will have above-average qualifications. After all, you probably don’t want to leave your job after a short time just to look for something better. After taking hospitality courses, you can afford to find the perfect job and keep it.

Sarah is a small business owner, and is currently learning about marketing, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.

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