Hospitality is all about creating a connection with people. An education in hospitality essentially translates into providing a human-centric approach to a traditional business programme. A degree in hospitality management is a fundamental take on business education but with the ethos of hospitality. This is what makes an education in hospitality different from others.
Traditionally, hospitality education has been associated with hotels, travel and food – more often than not, the perception is that hospitality teaches you about hotel management and f&b operations. However, education in this field has massively evolved in the past few years. An education in hospitality management opens doors for aspirants in a diverse range of fields and industries including luxury retail, banking and finance, real estate, travel, consulting and wellness.
Hospitality, which was one of the worst pandemic-hit industries, was able to pick up the pace and regained momentum soon by adopting technological and digital advancements. According to the Hospitality Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030," the hospitality market will have considerable change from the previous year. The report said that the market is expected to reach $5297.78 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 6 per cent."
With the accelerated adoption of digital technologies, economies gaining momentum and countries reopening their international border, hospitality education has emerged as a big enabler of growth – both at the individual and industry level. It is important then to eliminate some common misconceptions which are keeping more aspirants from exploring various career opportunities. Some of these common myths include:
Hospitality students get employed only in hotels?
A student can opt for a position in the field of their interest, based on their capabilities. A degree in hospitality management empowers professionals with multiple skills such as managerial skills, service management, communication skills, financial prowess, and managing human relations.
"Traditionally, the majority of fresh graduates begin their professional careers with an internship at a hotel or a similar establishment, hence the misconception. In reality, hospitality education offers career opportunities in different fields such as banks and financial institutions, luxury retail, aviation, and tourism," said Mr Dilip Puri, Founder & CEO of the Indian School of Hospitality.
He further added, "All of these are attained with the right mix and exposure to the theoretical and practical concepts, packed with real-life case studies and internship programmes."
Chefs only work in restaurants and hotels
Chefs and fresh culinary arts graduates work in restaurants, hotel kitchens and other food-related businesses. While that’s mostly the case, education in hospitality and culinary arts prepares students for roles that are way beyond the kitchen.
Culinary professionals venturing into many exciting fields such as food science, health, fitness and nutrition. These are new-age culinary careers and have gained much popularity in recent years.
In addition, with a rise in demand for different types of specialized diets, and cuisines, culinary careers are expected to grow further, creating more job opportunities such as cuisine designers, cloud-commerce managers, food consultants and more.
Do the industry demands long and irregular working hours?
Well, we are aware of the demanding needs of the hospitality industry, including extended working hours, late-night shifts, etc. But thanks to technology and digitalisation, this is changing – organisations are making effort to shift the focus on productivity, service quality and speed while reducing the workload by cutting down manual monotonous chores.
Hospitality now offers job opportunities that allow professionals in all areas to maintain a healthy work-life balance, with many employers encouraging their workforce to maintain an equilibrium between their careers and personal life.
As a result, they are offering more flexible working hours and providing them frequent training making them deft with new-age technologies. As a part of many employers’ initiatives, managers or supervisors also ensure that their team members are well-rested and their tasks are humanly manageable.
It’s a service degree, not a business degree
Talking about the degree Mr Dilip Puri said, " A degree in hospitality-focused on managing hotel operations, there is a big paradigm shift in hospitality education. Students nowadays are trained to manage vital business operations, evaluate market trends, forecast changes and get an understanding of all business areas, including marketing, financing and human resources. Understanding the intricate details of running a business towards profitability gives an extra edge to hospitality students."
Hospitality management education is evolving rapidly while offering students different opportunities in customer-centric industries on a global scale, and giving them the liberty to choose their career fields based on their strengths, personal interests and capabilities.