It has been a difficult year and a half for the leisure and hospitality industry since most restaurants, bars, hotels and casinos were forced to shut down due to the Coronavirus. The industry—which consists of accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment and recreation, still faces a bleak job market as economies are just starting to open again. It may seem far-fetched to have a successful career with a hospitality degree at the moment, but experts say it is not too long until everything picks back up again.
Even before 2023, the estimated year for when demand for hospitality and tourism services will return to pre-pandemic levels, students and recent graduates are already making informed career and business decisions through first-hand experiences of the pandemic crisis. We have gathered 5 reasons why a degree in hospitality is still relevant in a post-pandemic world. Find out why it’s worthwhile to stick with your career goals in hospitality despite various ongoing challenges:
Hospitality students thrive with real-life training.
The effects of the pandemic on the hospitality sector have become a game-changer in the ways educational programs develop applicable skills. Students are now being trained with real-life and profound learning scenarios from alumni and professionals who experienced challenges in their respective businesses. Different ways of strategizing, working around setbacks, and adapting to the sanitation and technology innovations outside are brought and embraced inside the classroom. Stories around resilience and taking the long view are in the forefront of the syllabus. In the midst of changing times, what better way to learn but with real-life crisis training? More than ever, students now have opportunities for true education necessary for long term success in the industry.
These applicable skills are flexible and transferable to other industries.
With most companies closed and the ongoing limited job availability, most hospitality graduates and professionals have to circumvent their way to other industries for survival. It is not surprising how skills in hospitality management such as customer experience management, attention to detail, and business simulation are easily adaptable to different workspaces. Soft skills, particularly emotional intelligence, are also more sought after now by employers. Individuals in the hospitality sector are expectedly best in dealing with crises and relating to other people. Not only do these unexpected job explorations a great way to grow one’s portfolio, they also help develop flexibility and innovativeness that attract employers and customers’ patronage.
Innovative ways to network and collaborate are emphasized.
Students and professionals in the hospitality sector understand the role and significance of technology in reviving enterprises and in enhancing customers’ willingness to patronize services. Even before the pandemic, trends suggested that the adoption of technology was crucial to increase business profit. Technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, are now relied upon in making meetings and events more engaging, and it is safe to say that no one knows their technology better than millennials and Generation Z! With proper use of technology and building strong customer relationships, anyone in the hospitality industry is equipped to cope with the demands of a changing world.
Hospitality and leisure industries are bouncing back.
After more than a year of being stuck at home and facing various adversities, people are now starting to explore their options to organize and connect with others. From hosting gatherings online to experiencing limited face-to-face services, hospitality professionals are adapting to new ways of reaching and catering to their audience. ‘Staycations’ and local, domestic tourism will continue to define the market. More international borders are also reopening. Generally, anyone can feel a renewed optimism about the hospitality job market. Complete recovery may take time, but with new and flexible initiatives for health safety, the public will be willing to support and pay for hospitality and leisure services more than ever.
It is (still) a diverse and a growing industry.
There are a number of learning points that the hospitality sector learned from the pandemic crisis. Now is the time to implement the changes aimed towards the revival and the sustainability of the industry at large. Hospitality businesses that have struggled through the pandemic will be looking for fresh ideas and skilled new talent to guide them into recovery. The promise of a successful career in the hospitality industry was never lost, it has just taken a different meaning in the new normal. Students and professionals will still be able to gain education by seeing the world and after the pandemic, there are certainly more lessons to acquire and opportunities to explore. Mobility was trampled by the lockdown, but certainly not networking. With the power of social media, anyone can still connect and choose to use this time to upskill and diversify.
Learn more about the impact of hospitality in the time of Covid-19 here.