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Hotel industry: Unlimited career opportunities

Every year about 3.5 million tourists visit India and the government has an ambitious target of increasing this number to five million. In addition, each year another 35 million Indians travel within the country and this number is also on the rise. Hence, in order to cater to the needs of this growing number of travelers, the demand for trained manpower in the hotel industry has multiplied manifold.

What can you do?

Large hotels and large hotel chains divide managerial responsibilities into many separate departments, and each department may have sub-departments and sub-managers. For example, the food and beverage department of a large hotel may have a head director who oversees all the sub-directors, including a catering director who manages the entire food and beverage staff and the flow of materials required to keep the restaurants, room service, and banqueting services running. The sales and marketing department usually has a senior manager who oversees other sales mangers, such as managers of group sales, corporate sales, and business travel sales.

A wide variety of people work in these departments. Some are highly-paid and educated professionals, like engineers or executive chefs, and others are first-time jobholders who wash dishes or clean rooms, and many others are in between.

Front desk and guest services help set the image for a hotel. Although most front desk and guest services positions are entry-level, they are key to giving guests their first impression of the hotel. This department includes front desk agents, reservation agents, concierges, bellhops, valet parking attendants, and all the managers of these people.

Human resources is the department that helps hire, fire, and train employees, mediates employee-employer disputes, and manages employee benefits. In large hotels or chains, human resources employ many people, while in some small hotels the manager does the job of human resources.

Accounting and finance employs all levels of financial professionals, from entry-level financial assistants to certified accountants to chief financial officers.

Marketing and sales is in charge of promoting the hotels' services. In large resorts, separate managers oversee the sales of spa services, convention services, and wedding services.

Housekeeping is in charge of cleaning the rooms and inside public spaces of hotels. In general, housekeeping is physically demanding and low-paying work.

Food and beverage/kitchens and restaurant is a huge department with employees from all types of backgrounds. The entry-level positions include busboy, banquet server, waiter, waitress, dishwasher, and room service attendant, but this department also hires trained workers like bartenders, chefs, and wine stewards. Kitchens and restaurants also need managers and directors to oversee staff and keep track of the food and beverages for restaurant meals, room service, conventions, and events catered by the restaurant but held outside the hotel.

Skill set

Mind it, interest alone will not suffice to make it big in this sector. There are other qualities necessary for success among which are an interest in management, enjoyment in working with people, and the drive to meet the challenges of this dynamic industry. The hospitality sector is not for those seeking a nine to five, Monday to Friday work pattern. However, it may be appropriate for those who want to work in a customer-focused business environment where there are a wide range of specialist opportunities.

Training and Qualification

Degrees in a hospitality-related discipline are preferred but many employers accept candidates from other disciplines so long as they have experience in a hospitality environment. Most hospitality degrees develop experience through industrial placements and many students can gain relevant experience through part-time and vacation work. While not essential, language skills can be a bonus when applying.

Of course, degree classification is important but it is the work experience and understanding of the sector alongside key skills that employers seek most. It is unlikely that high emphasis is given to A-level grades when recruiting.

However, as the hospitality industry takes on an increasingly international focus, it is necessary for students to develop the requisite skills to grab the opportunities available around the world. Here are some top colleges and institutes of the country that can prepare you for a career in the hotel industry.

  • Amity School of Hospitality
  • Welcome Group Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal
  • Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development, New Delhi
  • All the twenty four Institutes of Hotel Management located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi (Pusa), Delhi (Lajpatnagar), Gangtok, Goa, Gwalior, Gurdaspur, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Srinagar, Shimla, Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram affiliated to the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology

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