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What can I do with my degree?: Travel and tourism

A travel and tourism course offers vocational training and helps you develop strong business management and communication skills, broadening your job prospects

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log into My Prospects.

Work experience

It is relatively easy to find paid part-time work opportunities in the travel and tourism industry, since it is so large and there are so many types of visitor establishments and attractions all over the UK. The range of different working patterns available should make it easy to combine part-time work with your current study.

Voluntary work may also be a good option, especially if it means gaining experience in an area where job opportunities more scarce.

You could also consider summer work experience or spending time working abroad. This could include working at holiday or theme parks, in a resort or at summer camps abroad. You could also purchase a student railcard and travel through Europe, widening your cultural knowledge and language abilities.

You may be able to take part in an exchange programme, spending some time studying abroad towards your degree. Consider looking at relevant short courses, such as TESOL or TEFL, which may present opportunities to work abroad teaching English language skills.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

The travel and tourism sector comprises many different industries and sub-industries, including services such as retail travel, currency exchange, tour operators and tourist boards. It also covers passenger transport including coach, aviation, rail and waterways and visitor attractions such as museums, theme parks, zoos and heritage sites.

A variety of accommodation services also fall within this category, including hotels, hostels and holiday parks. Associated with hotels and core business operations are conferences and events, which provide considerable all-year-round employment opportunities.

Find information on employers in leisure, sport and tourism, charity and voluntary work, business, consulting and management and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Travel and tourism graduates gain knowledge about products, structures and operations within the tourism industry, learning about tour operators, airlines, hotels and tourist boards.

Through a combination of vocational and academic study you learn about the relationships between consumers and the providers of tourism services and about the issues relating to sustainability and social responsibility within tourism.

The course also equips you with a range of transferable skills, including:

  • leadership;
  • team working;
  • problem-solving;
  • communication skills, with a strong customer focus;
  • IT skills;
  • ability to research;
  • presentation skills;
  • ability to work to deadlines.

Further study

Specific in-house training is likely to be available within the industry and is often encouraged to enhance promotion prospects and knowledge of particular issues.

Relevant postgraduate study in this field includes courses with an emphasis on management skills, particularly in areas such as hospitality, heritage and sustainability. Postgraduate courses in specialist areas such as ecotourism or rural development may also be helpful.

General business topics such as marketing or human resources could be relevant and can be applied across various disciplines.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do travel and tourism graduates do?

Around three-quarters of travel and tourism graduates are in employment six months after finishing their course. A large number are working within the industry as holiday representatives, travel agency workers, tour guides and general travel administrators.

Approximately a fifth of those employed work within the retail, catering and bar work industry.

Graduate destinations for travel and tourism
Destinations Percentage
Employed 75.8%
Further study 5.2%
Working and studying 2.7%
Unemployed 8.6%
Other 7.7%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 19.3%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 16.5%
Managers 10.3%
Marketing, PR and sales 9.4%
Other 44.5%

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
August 2015

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