Travel and tourism is a global industry, providing a range of opportunities to graduates, both in the UK and abroad
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Air cabin crew
- Holiday representative
- Hotel manager
- Tour manager
- Tourism officer
- Tourist information centre manager
- Travel agency manager
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Conference centre manager
- Customer service manager
- Event manager
- Marketing executive
- Passenger transport manager
- Sales executive
- Outdoor activities/education manager
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
It's relatively easy to find paid part-time work opportunities in the travel and tourism industry, since it's so large and there are so many types of visitor establishments and attractions all over the UK. The range of working patterns available should make it easy to combine part-time work with your current study.
Depending on the area in which you wish to work, getting experience in customer care, dealing with large groups, sales and travelling can be useful. Generally having experience in any public-facing role will be helpful.
Many courses have the option of taking a placement year in industry. This provides the opportunity to put your academic work into practice and to build up a network of contacts. 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.
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.
You have a variety of choices when deciding where to work within the travel and tourism industry as it covers services such as:
- retail travel
- currency exchange
- tour operators
- tourist boards
passenger transport including:
visitor attractions such as:
- theme parks
- heritage sites
and accommodations services including:
- holiday parks.
Associated with hotels and core business operations are conferences and events, which provide considerable all-year-round employment opportunities.
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:
- problem solving
- communication skills, with a strong customer focus
- IT skills
- the ability to research
- presentation skills
- the ability to work to deadlines.
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. Depending on your area of work, there may be industry-specific professional qualifications to work towards.
Relevant postgraduate study in this field includes courses with an emphasis on management skills, particularly in areas such as international tourism, 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 for postgraduate courses in tourism, hospitality and event management.
What do travel and tourism graduates do?
Six of the top ten jobs held by graduates employed in the UK include, conference and exhibition manager and organiser, receptionists, air travel assistants aircraft pilots and air traffic controllers, marketing associate professional, human resources and industrial relations officers.
|Working and studying||7.2|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Clerical, secretarial, administrative||24.2|
|Retail, catering and customer service||24|
|Business, HR and finance||13.3|
|Marketing, PR, sales||8.9|
Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.