Evolve: Grow your Hospitality career with an online degree.
Hospitality shares more in common with Healthcare than the letter “H”. Both are booming industries making a large dent in the Gross National Product, with hospitality raking in $3.5 trillion globally.
The cruise industry alone – at a 104% occupancy rate – adds $35.7 billion (source: Cruise Lines International Association). Americans’ appetite for restaurants bolsters a positive restaurant performance index (source: Hospitality Industry Research). And according to Reuters, next year's travel industry forecast is strong despite a crisis in U.S. credit markets.
The job outlook is positive, but do you have what it takes to be a contender in this growing field?
Employers are pickier now. Gone are the days when working your way up from an entry-level hospitality position was the norm. This is especially true for management and culinary jobs. Your employers are looking for more advanced skill sets, and online education can help you deliver higher expectations.
Whether your study focus is managing casino slot machine operations, resolving airline reservation system glitches or serving Mojitos, you will quickly find yourself attracted to one - or more - of four major Hospitality categories:
- Accommodation: Hotels, motels, resorts, sanatoriums
- Bars & Clubs: Nightclubs, public houses, restaurants
- Travel & Tourism: Travel agents, airline cabin staff, travel technology
- Service and Support: Accountancy and Occupational Health and Spa
Despite the surge in hospitality jobs, the field struggles to evolve. Image, according the Department of Labor, is a cardinal barrier to a flourishing industry. There is widespread stereotyping of minimum-wage, entry-level workers who face limited career growth. This perpetuates itself within the industry: many workers themselves are not aware of how to advance their entry-level posts.
Online hospitality degree programs are an increasingly popular avenue to boost your resume, performing – and eventually earning power.
The DOL began a $2 million investment in 2005 to address industry-critical issues: Recruiting new talent to replace a shrinking (and aging) worker pipeline, mitigating retention, tearing down language barriers. Likewise, the industry needs "training and portability" in training models and skill certifications.
Enrolled in an online associate's degree program, you will get such training and certification in multiple sectors. That includes:
- Cuisine and wine training
- Managing corporate travel departments, travel agencies, wholesalers, airlines, tour and sightseeing companies, car rental agencies, and cruise lines
- Preparation for the Certified Travel Agent (CTA) exam
- Spa and resort management
With an online bachelor's degree program, you'll also gain the same comprehensive overview, but with greater emphasis on advanced positions and upward mobility. For some Bachelor's degree programs, you will need an associate degree for admission.
Your surest measure of success is how well you mix academic theory with industry-specific application.
Once you learn the fundamentals of sales, marketing, customer service, human resources management and information technology, you face the real test of hospitality: Pacifying a real-life irate restaurant customer or travel-weary jet-setter.
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