Career Opportunities in the Hospitality Industry

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By: Sherrie Tennessee, UMES
Hospitality and Tourism Management Program Director

Did you know that 1 in 10 people in the world work in the hospitality sector, which is about 15 million Americans? The hospitality industry touches all aspects of our lives from restaurants, hotels, to rental car companies and cruises ships. The industry also includes wedding and meetings planning, spas and wellness centers, plus museums, art galleries, amusement parks, and even sporting events, the industry continues to grow and evolve.

With $215 million generated annually, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics noted the hospitality sector continues to be one of the fastest-growing markets. The hospitality industry extends beyond chef, servers, front desk and housekeeping to include revenue managers, accountants, IT analysts, marketing managers, to carpenters, electricians, gardeners and veterinarians and even non-traditional opportunities such as storytellers, dancers, and actors. With so many facets, there is literally something for everyone in the world of hospitality. Those working in the industry have the opportunity to meet people from around the corner as well as around the world, with countless perks of discounts and comp experiences.

Yet, with all the great opportunities, there is a shortage of individuals for the industry. So how do you become a part of the hospitality world? The options are limitless, with positions available for those in high school, with Associate degrees, and Bachelor’s degrees, which is required for most management positions. For the executive or C-level Master’s degree are needed, which also garners a larger compensation – starting at six figures. The hospitality industry isn’t just for those interested in working in the field, entrepreneurs have numerous opportunities for ownership from tour companies, restaurants, to management services and hotel ownership.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) has a Hospitality and Tourism Management program which focuses on developing business leaders in the hospitality industry. We are also hosting a UMES Hospitality and Tourism Day on Thursday, March 5th. It is a great opportunity to learn more about careers in the hospitality industry.

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