Briefing: Routes to a successful hospitality career

Author: Guy Lean

The Guardian has ranked the University of Surrey no1 for hospitality courses in the UK, with a satisfaction score of 93.1%. Traditionally hoteliers start at the bottom of the ladder and work their way up, learning on the job. Today, Surrey is just one of many universities that are offering aspiring hospitality professionals a chance to learn before starting their career path with the company that’s right for them. Many hospitality brands also have programmes to train young people and graduates into the industry.

In these videos our experts discuss learning and development, and finding career success:

Many young people in the UK will be heading to university come September, some to hospitality courses, and they will have plenty of choice as to where they can study.

Surry gained top rank within the hospitality, event management & tourism subject area, from the Guardian newspaper. 93.1% of final year students who completed the National Student Survey were satisfied with the course and 68% had a job in the area or were in higher education after 6 months. Other top universities for hospitality include Coventry, Robert Gordon, Oxford Brooks, and Derby, which had top place in last year’s ranking.

Some students may venture further afield to the top ranking universities on an international level. École Hotelière de Lausanne won best hospitality management school 2014 at the Worldwide Hospitality awards. This Swiss university has been around since 1893.

After university, or in some cases instead of, young people may enter the industry through a programme with a hotel brand.

Hilton is an active graduate recruiter globally, they run formal entry programmes for graduates in Europe and visit key hospitality schools and campus events.

Marriot also has a Leadership Development Program for graduates called Voyage which is available in more than 30 countries.

A great career takes planning and thought, and it can be beneficial to start gaining the experience you need as early as possible. For those who have been in the industry some years there will still be scope for development and much to learn, they should think carefully about their next steps. There is of course no substitute for experience, a passion for the business, and finding the right fit for you.

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Video clips produced by yBC for the Hospitality Channel, including interview from industry conferences such as the IHIF conference as well as specific Hospitality Channel shoots.