Hospitality management graduates are highly employable, applying their skills in careers such as events, hotel and conference management, sales and business development and forestry and fishing management
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Accommodation manager
- Catering manager
- Event organiser
- Fast food restaurant manager
- Hotel manager
- Public house manager
- Restaurant manager
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.
It is essential to gain experience in the industry and many hospitality courses offer an industrial placement, enabling you to put academic learning into practice. This helps to develop your transferable and subject-specific skills and provides evidence of skills and experience to employers. It is also a valuable opportunity to learn from highly experienced colleagues and can help you to discover your particular area of interest within the sector.
If you already have a specialist area in mind, opt for the closest matching environment you can find. For example, if you ultimately hope to work in a luxury hotel, apply to local hotels of a similar standard.
It is possible to achieve responsibility relatively quickly in this sector, so you can gain experience of supervising and training new staff early on if you show a willingness and ability to learn.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Some of the large chain hotels or restaurants offer graduate-management programmes, providing a fast-track to management positions and experience in a range of operations.
Hospitality graduates can find work in catering, conference and events management; within the tourism and leisure sector; the entertainment sector; and in facilities management and food service management. There are also relevant roles throughout the public sector in universities, hospitals, transport and the armed forces.
Self-employment is an option with experience, business sense and a sound plan. Find out more about self-employment.
Skills for your CV
Hospitality-related subjects offer a range of study options, both specialist and generalist. Whichever you choose, a degree in hospitality management gives you an in-depth understanding of the structure and operation of the industry and its related sectors. A common thread is a focus on identifying, understanding and responding to the needs of consumers, so as to provide an excellent customer experience.
You also develop many other general skills sought by a range of employers. These include:
- analytical, critical and problem-solving skills, developed through researching, evaluating and presenting arguments and data;
- IT skills to collect, analyse and present information in spreadsheets and databases;
- written communication skills, gained from report and essay writing;
- negotiation and teamwork skills, developed through working both independently and on group projects;
- leadership and delegation skills, gained through group work.
Hospitality management is a social business so you need to be friendly, outgoing and have good networking skills.
A small number of graduates choose postgraduate study in order to specialise in a particular hospitality-related function, such as hospitality management, events management or human resources (HR). Some postgraduate courses, e.g. international hospitality management, involve a year's work placement as part of the course.
Before progressing to postgraduate study, do your research and consider the benefits of qualifications compared to experience.
There may be opportunities to undertake supported-postgraduate study while working for an employer, to enhance your career development with them and bring new skills to your workplace.
What do hospitality management graduates do?
More than 80% of hospitality graduates enter employment within six months of graduation. Popular areas of work include marketing, PR and sales, business management and secretarial roles.
Just over 4% of hospitality graduates go on to further study, or combine study and work. They do this to either specialise in a particular hospitality-related function, or to broaden their opportunities and move into other career areas.
|Working and studying||2.6|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||16.3|
|Marketing, PR and sales||14.7|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||11.3|
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.