The world is your oyster with a hospitality qualification

Rédaction NewsAfrica

The world is truly your oyster if you have an international hospitality accreditation in hand.  What’s more, many hospitality management skills are transferable, so graduates can switch between industries and take on new opportunities as their life’s journey progresses.

Says Etresia Booysen, a senior lecturer at The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management (IIE HSM) in Rosebank, Johannesburg: “I always tell my students that the hospitality industry is so broad that they need to place themselves within it, and what you start off doing is not necessarily what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. A hospitality qualification gives people a grounding and building blocks for a number of job prospects and careers.”

When you hear the word “hospitality”, the first thing that comes to mind is establishments such as hotels, resorts and restaurants and, while those businesses exist within the hospitality world, in reality the industry is extensive, spanning countless careers across a large number of companies.

A good hospitality qualification not only prepares students for the hospitality industry but provides them with a wide range of service-oriented skills and trains them to think, plan and execute with the guest and consumer in mind.

Hospitality management degrees provide graduates with a strong set of transferable skills, including those in high-demand in sectors outside of traditional hospitality roles, including management consulting, sports management, the financial sector and eCommerce. In fact anywhere where service and good people skills are required.

Luca Clark (22) from Melrose North – who completes his three-year Bachelor of Hotel Management (BOHM) at IIE HSM this year – doesn’t see himself always working in a traditional hospitality role in a hotel or restaurant.

“After graduation, I am planning to embark on a sabbatical year dedicated to experiential learning and travel. My primary strategy for achieving this goal is to seek employment aboard cruise ships. My professional ambition is rooted in active participation in the events sector, with a long-term vision of launching a prominent events company dedicated to the orchestration of large-scale music festivals,” Clark explains.

Booysen believes that formal and recognised hospitality qualifications have become essential, particularly in response to growing market demand, paired with an increasing global shift to a service-focused and experience economy.

“At IIE HSM, we seek to specifically address the rapidly expanding need for service, hospitality and customer-centric education, spanning entry-level through to management-level qualifications including certificate, diploma courses and the BOHM which is essentially a business degree with a hospitality foundation.”

Another soon-to-be IIE HSM graduate is 21-year-old Zanelda Kok from Germiston who plans to work internationally and who dreams of owning her own hotel or small establishment.

For her the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience, where she worked in a management capacity in a hotel, has been crucial in developing her skillset.

“The industry is continuously growing and I believe that with hard work my future is bright,” she says.

In fact, travel and tourism are two of the fastest growing industries in the world today. The State of Hospitality 2022 believes hospitality operations will  soon surpass pre-COVID levels to the value US$502.7 billion. By 2025, growth is forecast to reach US$846 billion in total spending within the travel and tourism industry. Tourism and hospitality constitute 4.7% of the total global GDP growth each year – equal to the construction industry. As of 2021, there were 17.4 million global hotel rooms available to travellers and this is projected to grow to 18.6 million by the end of 2024.

The greatest proportional increase will be upscale luxury hotels, increasing from 4.1 million in 2021 to 4.7 million in 2024 – a crucial  opportunity for upcoming hospitality graduates.

Perhaps most striking is the massive talent gap in the hospitality and travel industry. Up to 14 million new hospitality graduates will be needed to fill this skills gap by 2025.

Says Renee Hill, IIE HSM’s MD: “By studying hospitality management, students acquire tangible in-demand skills that employers look for in candidates. This applies to not only upper-level management skills and operation processes, but also marketable skills such as teamwork, leadership, design thinking, finance and budgeting and marketing.”

IIE HSM offers the following qualifications: IIE Bachelor of Hospitality Management NQF 7; IIE Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management NQF 5; IIE Advanced Certificate in Hospitality Management NQF 6; IIE Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Leadership NQF 7.

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