Periods of crisis and turmoil contribute majorly to the pace of change and innovation. These periods usually, in a way, pave the way for new beginnings. Covid 19 and its ongoing aftermath have affected hospitality education and career in the same way. The crisis came with unique challenges and issues. It was up to the industry experts to find solutions and embrace the situation as an opportunity for managing and delivering hospitality education programs and jobs.
Now that the pandemic changed the dynamics of the hospitality sector, in these last few years, many people doubted the recovery of hotels. Thus, many students and professionals are discouraged from pursuing hospitality education and career. Are you aware that CEOs in the top recognized hotel chains are not hoteliers? On the one hand, the CEOs at hotels come from the business, finance, or marketing fields. On the other hand, graduates of top-ranked hotel institutes look forward to working in an industry other than hospitality.
Does it mean that hospitality education will not be worthwhile in the future? Why are millennials refraining from working in the hospitality sector? Is it because of a lack of growth opportunities in the hotel industry?
Here in this article we will discusses the future of hospitality education and career. You will learn the trends and innovations that the hospitality education and career sector can witness in the coming future.
The Future of Hospitality Education And Career.
Technology is the most disruptive change that all industries must adapt to as the pandemic swept around the globe, and the hospitality sector is no exception. It is basically the critical change agent of the future hospitality education and career. Evolving technology will shape how students learn, how they do the work, and how they interact.
Trends Influencing the Hospitality Education Sector
The education system is shifting towards e-learning, self-learning, and tools have the potential to adapt to the capabilities of individual students. Here listed are some significant trends that you can witness in the hospital education sector in the future:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Even though Artificial Intelligence (AI) is in its early stages of development, it’s already transforming the educational environment. There are already collaborative robots that are assisting the work of professors in hotel schools and universities around the world. Although it’s a true revolution whose applications are to be refined, it will undoubtedly directly affect the teachers’ role.
Therefore, innovation, personalization, adaption, and interaction with AI applications will majorly contribute to creating successful training models that will attend to the current generation’s different profiles, needs, and expectations.
Digitalization is another significant trend. In the past few years, digitization has integrated several educational and career-related aspects all around the world, with hospitality education and career no exception.
Now students can use advanced information and communications technologies to access learning resources anywhere in the world. Even students residing in remote areas can access online classes and assessments, along with digital textbooks. Moreover, they can adjust their learning pace according to their convenience and unique needs.
Digital education helps learners to broaden their knowledge in easier and more innovative ways. Moreover, the introduction of animation enables them to absorb hospitality-related information in a much faster and more understandable manner.
Furthermore, continuously evolving trends in tourism and hospitality education will require institutes to focus on two other areas of work, i.e., personalization and life-long learning.
- Social Networking
Another charismatic change that is transforming the hospitality education and career sector is social networking. In terms of digital education, social networks contribute significantly to hospitality education by allowing students to exchange information and interact with teachers and fellow students regardless of their location.
- Virtual Reality
The role of Virtual Reality (VR) has become more prominent in education due to Covid-19. The current VR solutions have already made it possible for experts to replicate realistic environments to gain ‘hours of professional training experience’ without any risks and adapt it to the student’s needs and levels.
With evolving hospitality industry, employers are looking for candidates with technical and soft skills that give them greater scope and ability to face and manage conflicts. Incorporating Virtual Reality in hospitality learning will help students gain practical experience while tackling real-world, industry-related scenarios.
- Customization and Flexibility
Customization and flexibility are two vital aspects that hotel management schools need to work on. These concepts can bring exciting and innovative collaborative training models to the classrooms. Increasingly holistic and interconnected working tools can blur the dividing line between the in-person training space with the professional and social environments when used in the classrooms.
Nowadays, it’s easier for students to work with tools directly interacting with professional environments. Moreover, in the future, these interactions will be much more intense and real until graduates establish successful professional careers in the hospitality industry.
It can be achieved by teaching in small groups and with customized and flexible study plans supported by the world’s top experts in the respective field.
The Future of Hospitality Education And Career.
Due to the pandemic, many students are considering pursuing education and jobs in industries other than hospitality. However, any narrative suggesting a career in the hospitality industry is in peril is flawed. Shutdowns during and post-pandemic have indeed forced hospitality businesses to lay off positions and postpone recruiting decisions. However, experts claim that as the hotel businesses re-open, the revival and demand to fill vacant positions will bounce back rigorously in the coming years.
In fact, experts fear that there might be a talent shortage once the hospitality industry recovers. Now that demand for qualified, well-trained graduates is here to stay; students should consider pursuing a hospitality education and career.
Trends Influencing the Hospitality Jobs
Although many establishments are changing business models by adapting to the latest technological innovations, the human touch and personalization are still crucial in the hospitality industry. In this regard, top hotel chains plan to reinvent and adapt multiple roles, like receptionists, concierges, and other front-office staff, to technological advancements.
Other roles might include increased responsibilities with hospitality jobs becoming more diverse. According to top hospitality institutes, hospitality jobs will encounter these trends in the future:
The future hospitality education and career sector will consist of candidates with more application management and troubleshooting skills than graduates that can handle traditional duties alone. Hotels and resorts are already trying to incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality to improve their business operations and guest experience.
For instance, Marriot Hotels implemented the ‘Teleporter,’ and Hilton tested the world’s first robot concierge. These trends were accelerated during the pandemic when the introduction of contactless check-in and QR code menus became crucial. Some other technological innovations similar to these will likely continue.
- Unique Experiences
Individualization and the creation of unique, memorable experiences will continue to prevail in the future. Post-pandemic travelers have become more conscious when it comes to their spending. They now prefer visiting hotels and resorts that can provide tailor-made experiences rather than on-size-fits-all holidays.
Therefore, candidates considering pursuing a hospitality education and career must be creative and understanding enough to determine guests’ needs and prepare their vacation plans accordingly.
With more and more hotels focusing on protecting and improving environmental health, jobs like ‘Sustainability Analysts’ and ‘Asset Managers’ is gaining immense traction. Moreover, travelers in the future will seek to connect with nature. It will further cause cultural sites, national treasures, and natural destinations to witness increased tourists. Hence, another important trend in hospitality education and career will witness is learning programs with a ‘sustainability’ specialization.
New Skills Required in the Hospitality Industry
With the big questions surrounding the hospitality industry’s future, experts have figured out that the industry will require candidates with world-class soft skills.
With the increased incorporation of technology in hotels and resorts in the coming years, they will have to differentiate themselves from their competitors via the human factor. Human interaction is crucial to success in the hospitality industry and can motivate other industries to recruit graduates from hospitality institutions. For instance, candidates pursuing a hospitality education and career mastering emotional intelligence can offer improved services to customers.
After going through the pandemic crisis, travelers will want to be treated with emotional care. Even though the traveler’s experience in the future might differ, the care and consideration they expect from the hotels and resorts will not.
Students will also need to be agile and creative and have the ability to pivot as required to change circumstances. Soft skills training is an emerging trend in hospitality education and career that will help students land lucrative jobs in the industry.
Education has always played a vital role in building a strong world economy. With the Covid-19 outbreak majorly hitting the hospitality industry worldwide, the role of hospitality education and career has become more prominent in providing young professionals with the necessary skills and opportunities to rebuild the global economy.
The hospitality industry contributing 10.4% to the global GDP, will see one of the most remarkable recoveries, with hospitality education and career graduates grabbing the opportunity to reinvent the hospitality sector in the future.