The hospitality and tourism industry are fast paced, energetic, and exciting fields in which the options of where to work and in what capacity are almost endless. While entering these industries with a hotel management, restaurant management or related degree isn’t necessary, having such a degree can certainly give a candidate a leg up on the competition and make advancement within the fields quicker and less complicated. Such degrees can also give those students without a definite interest in what type of work they might be best suited to fill within the industry a better of idea of where they could fit in and what type roles might work best for them.

A degree program in hotel or restaurant management can prepare students for the world of opportunity that lays before them in the hospitality industry. For those without such a degree, stepping into the hotel or restaurant business can be an eye-opening experience and a clear career path can seem clouded by the variety of options and available positions within the fields. Having an educational background in hotels or restaurants can prepare students for just about every aspect of their work no matter what focus area they decide upon. From guest services to human resources, floor manager to operations management, and finance to sales and catering, the number of doors and possibilities that are opened with a degree in hospitality management are astounding.

Job opportunities within the hospitality field often abound not only nationally but internationally as well. Especially within larger hotel and restaurant chains, those with hospitality degrees will find the growth and advancement potential are almost limitless. Internal transfers within a particular property itself or between properties of a chain or brand are typically plentiful both in number and in frequency. Many larger chains and brands offer job postings internally through website job boards that are easy to complete and are more visible to hiring managers. By entering into a career within the hospitality field with an understanding of the various roles and departments within the industry, candidates decrease the chances of taking a wrong turn along their career path. Rather than bouncing aimlessly within a hotel or between hotel jobs, entrants can instead go in with a set plan of attack for which direction they would like to advance and with a better understanding of how to get there in a smooth and efficient manner.

This clarity regarding job skills and requirements students gain from the coursework related to their hospitality degree will also help guide them in the interview process when making their initial entry into the field. No matter what route they decide upon, whether hotel, restaurant, tourism, or a related field, having an understanding of what skills particular jobs require and how certain personal strengths best fit with those roles can be quite advantageous. Being able to speak intelligently and eloquently in interviews regarding the position that is being interviewed for, as well as the industry in general, will illustrate knowledge of the field, comprehension of the job description, and show company representatives seriousness regarding becoming a part of the industry and hopefully their company. As opposed to someone without a hospitality related degree who may or may not work out for a particular position, hiring managers will see the time and energy already expended getting a hospitality degree as a clear sign of commitment to the field, thus increasing the chances such a candidate will be taken seriously for a certain position. With this base of knowledge with which to start, students are also better prepared for negotiating a higher salary and starting benefits compared to those without such preparatory information, making the transition from school to work easier and less stressful.