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Demystifying the world of hospitality education
Saturday, 10 December, 2022, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Deepak Jha

FnbNews Travel opening up, Christmas on the anvil, skyrocketing air ticket prices, and overbooked hotels are sure-shot indicators of people travelling more than ever, and there is this readiness to see new places and learn about new traditions and cultures. When people go out, they look for the comforts and luxury of their homes, away from homes. People also travel for many other reasons like work, study, volunteering and medical treatments. There’s where hospitality comes into existence; to provide an array of services to the guests, and this needs fine hospitality professionals, like executives and managers.

The hospitality segment is shining and requires a large workforce to support its growth trajectory, and the industry has been looking brighter and more inviting than ever before when it comes to job opportunities and careers. Today more than ever hospitality management is an excellent career option. Not only in India, where improved pay scales, 100% placement and fast promotions offer an excellent career path, but now it has become possible for students to pursue international courses and get a job abroad very easily. Moreover, these international programmes are more affordable than one perceives. The hospitality job scenario has been changing, and students are getting placed into the hospitality and tourism sector, thereby proving that the hospitality sector is the best job provider. The major concern here is attracting the right talent and retaining them, with the right pay package and a conducive work environment.

Keeping this background in mind, hospitality educators need to focus on skilling with an eye on job requirements. Institutes have to focus on providing the industry with job-ready candidates who do not need to be further trained for their skills.

Many hospitality management schools and colleges have been mushrooming in various places across India, to create industry ready job aspirants, with the promise of upskilling and reskilling in a manner that is in sync with the National Education Policy of the Government of India. Many such institutes also offer prestigious tie-ups with universities abroad, and handhold the students by presenting them with employment opportunities, through hybrid courses and industry-based training and internships. Such institutes have been changing the lives of many job aspirants, and are a boon for many such parents who dream of their children embarking on respectable career paths, with guaranteed placements, both in India and abroad.

Different institutes have different offerings, but the standard is four years of hospitality management study to get a bachelor’s degree. After which a world of options open up, like post graduate diploma with various specialisations and masters programmes. Like any other stream, professionals can also procure a doctorate. Several universities offer such programmes.

Hospitality management institutes in India have been imparting top-notch hospitality education to students pursuing careers in the industry, with many opening their branches in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The major area of focus which separates the best from the mediocre ones is the incorporation of practical training with hotels apart from industrial training, and options of completing a part of their qualification in foreign lands. The students of such institutes receive a three-year work visa after earning their advanced degree, with the possibility of obtaining Permanent Residency in the countries from where they receive their final certification, or from where they graduate.

For the ones who have completed their 12th Grade, getting into management courses, assures wonderful job opportunities. These students can also think about studying abroad for their bachelors’ degrees. Hospitality education opens up a range of fields to explore; right from mainstream careers in hotels, and restaurants, to areas like amusement parks, entertainment, cruises, sports, recreation, health care and travel and tourism offer a range of employment options. Students can also come up with their own startups and entrepreneurial ventures with some imagination and innovation. The world is ready to accept everything mainstream, and offbeat.

Reputed institutes now make their students stand equal in line with their international counterparts, be it through practical knowledge or giving them an overseas taste of working culture along with its environment. While living in India, the students get an experience of a foreign university, which is like having two degrees in one - a  win-win situation for students. Many institutes also have tie-ups with prestigious hotel chains for training and placements.

Besides the above, they focus on online, offline and vocational training programmes, and several one year dynamic dual certification courses in partnership with universities abroad, as courses in alignment with the needs and demands of the industry, are being introduced gradually.

The variety of courses vary from one year diploma to three years of bachelor courses in hotel management, and allied courses. For the academic year 2022–2023, several institutes have opened up admissions in the areas of administration, lodging operations, food production, food and beverage management, front office, marketing, and accounts.

We, at the British Columbia College of Management (BCCM) as thought leaders and advisors for the hospitality sector, have been envisioning education for this sector to include seasoned and experienced professionals from the hospitality and education fields, and therefore the courses are designed to include industry interaction and real-life shop floor inputs from senior managers working in reputed brands. Including case studies from best practices, a flexible curriculum supported by efficient learning systems, allows the students the flexibility to pick-up any assignment at their convenience accompanied with technology that is merged with friendly study material and online mode of examinations for on the job training.

Today, the industry is becoming better paid as talent shortage is fuelling higher compensation levels, experienced employees are able to fast-track their careers by switching jobs and getting promotions in the process. Many employers are shifting to five-day working scenarios to create better work life balance. For these aspects to take effect and percolate down will at least take a few more years.

Hospitality education is getting brighter, aspirational and more promising with every passing year, with many prestigious international universities opening their branches in India. Very soon it wouldn’t matter from which hospitality school one graduates, as the sector is growing by leaps and bounds. There definitely is room for more! Bookings have begun, and we are all ready to hang the ‘houseful’ and ‘sold out’ signages and boards.

(The author is managing director and CEO,
British Columbia Institute of Management)
 
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