From hotel, events and catering management to business development and marketing, a degree in hospitality management provides you with the skills for a successful career in hospitality and beyond
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Accommodation manager
- Catering manager
- Conference centre manager
- Event manager
- Fast food restaurant manager
- Hotel manager
- Public house manager
- Restaurant manager
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Air cabin crew
- Business development manager
- Customer service manager
- Fire risk assessor
- Health service manager
- Human resources officer
- Marketing executive
- Retail manager
- Tour manager
- Tourism officer
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 essential you get relevant industry experience if you want to work in the hospitality sector. Many hospitality degree courses offer an industrial placement for a year, enabling you to put your academic learning into practice. This experience provides employers with evidence of your skills and motivation, and helps you develop contacts within the sector. You also get a feel for which area of the sector you're particularly interested in.
If you already have a specialist area in mind, try to find experience in 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.
The hospitality sector offers good prospects for early responsibility, so if you show a willingness and ability to learn, you can gain experience of supervising and training new staff early on in your career.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships .
Typical employers include:
- bars and pubs
- conference and exhibition centres
- events venues
- hotel chains
- restaurants and fast-food outlets.
There are also relevant roles throughout the public sector in:
- local authorities
- the armed forces.
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.
You could also choose to work in one of the above corporations but in a different area to hospitality management, such as human resources, marketing or finance management. Some graduates also choose to set up their own hospitality-related business.
Skills for your CV
A hospitality management degree provides you with an in-depth understanding of the structure and operation of the hospitality sector and related industries.
You develop skills and knowledge in people management, service delivery, leadership, finance and marketing, as well as identifying, understanding and responding to the needs of clients. You can also choose modules that further your career interests in certain areas, for example, conferences and events.
As well as these industry-specific skills, you will develop a range of other skills that are valued by many employers. These include:
- analytical, critical and problem-solving skills - developed through researching, evaluating and presenting arguments and data
- verbal communication skills - gained from group work and presentations
- 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
- IT skills - through the collection, analysis and presentation of information in the form of spreadsheets and databases
- the ability to network - developed through discussion and debate with student peers.
Some graduates choose to do postgraduate study in order to specialise in a particular area of hospitality, such as hotel, tourism, international hospitality or events management, or to move into a related area such as HR or marketing. Some postgraduate courses include study or a work placement abroad.
Before deciding whether to do a postgraduate course, do your research and consider the benefits of qualifications compared to experience and what targeted employers prefer.
It's also possible to do part-time study whilst working. Some employers will support you to take industry-related training or a relevant postgraduate course to enhance your career development with them and bring new skills to your workplace.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in hospitality management .
What do hospitality management graduates do?
6% of hospitality management graduates are working as managers and proprietors in hospitality and leisure services. Other popular roles include secretarial and related occupations (6%), sales, marketing and related associate professionals (5%), food preparation and hospitality trades (5%) and customer service occupations (3%).
|Working and studying||12|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and customer service||22|
|Clerical, secretarial and administrative||17.5|
|Business, HR and finance||10.5|
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.