Choosing any career isn’t easy; there’s a lot to consider. What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? How do you turn that into something lucrative that’s future-proof? Lately, it may feel like the end of the world when you hear bad news every day, making it hard to think about your future. How do you plan, when things seem so unpredictable?
Firstly, you have to play the long game.
It’s important to remember that when you’re planning a career (even under normal circumstances), you’re not just looking at today, but at the future 5, 10, or 20 years down the road. The world’s gone through many turbulent times before – think SARS, the Global Financial Crisis, Bird Flu… you name it – and we’ve inevitably bounced back.
While many industries are struggling due to extraordinary circumstances (like what we’re seeing now), historically, they take surprisingly little time to bounce back, and become even stronger. These include industries like F&B and tourism, because we can probably all agree that:
- People love food (F&B)
- People really like travelling & tourism
It may seem counterintuitive at the moment, but that’s exactly why now may be a perfect time to plan a career in hospitality.
First let’s define, what is hospitality? There are four main branches of the hospitality industry: Food and Beverage, Travel and Tourism, Lodging, and Recreation. And each of those offers its own specific opportunities and roles.
Tourism makes up a whopping 10.4% of our global economy, ranked just behind banking, generating US$8.8 trillion dollars. Compared to other Global Top 10 Industries, tourism is also far more future-proof – while banks and insurance are phasing out staff through automation, tourism continues to be a people business: meeting people, helping people, giving them experiences.
Add to that the projected growth in the global F&B industry, which is growing at 4% per year and set to be worth an additional $4.2 trillion by 2024, and it’s obvious that the future for tourism and hospitality is looking good.
In fact, travel and tourism are expected to continue to outpace the growth of the overall economy, and account for 20% of all new jobs created. The World Tourism and Travel Council found that the average recovery time for visitor numbers to a destination hit by major viral epidemics was 19 months. To put it in perspective, if you started studying a tourism degree today, the industry would be back to normal well before you even graduated!
Some of the best reasons to join the industry include:
Travelling while you learn: Many international schools offer hospitality degrees, and it can be a great way to experience the world. For students studying hospitality, a semester abroad is just another day in the classroom. You’ll get to live overseas, experience new cultures, and build yourself a network of friends from around the globe.
Transferable Skills: Hospitality is not just about service, it’s about management – managing multicultural teams, managing customer expectations, managing supply and services. All of these are highly desirable skills transferable to any other industry. Plus, your specific job skills, like wine pairing, will make you a hit at parties!
Range of Choices: With your highly-transferable skill sets, you can work almost anywhere in the world, in a huge range of industries. Imagine a career in Paris (which saw 50 million tourists last year) or even New York City (with 65 million tourists in 2019) – there’s ample opportunity for a trained hospitality professional like you.
Career Advancement: Whether you eventually go onto related industries like airlines, HR, PR, or marketing, or stay put in the hospitality industry, there’s huge career mobility for any professional with the kinds of soft and hard skills you’ll acquire in hospitality.
The list of perks goes on, and on… and leads us to:
Where to study hospitality?
The biggest dilemma facing students is often where to study. Do you stay in Singapore where tourism is booming and costs are lower? Or do you head to Switzerland, arguably the world’s most famous place to study hospitality?
How about taking the best of both worlds, by studying in Singapore and Switzerland? It’ll give you dual exposure that includes classroom teaching and hands-on experience in multiple key markets.
That’s exactly what Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) offers. Dating back 127 years, they’re one of the world’s oldest hospitality schools. It was ranked at the top position in the 2020 QS World University ranking for Hospitality & Leisure Management Universities. Unsurprisingly, they also hold the highest graduate employment rates in the industry.
EHL’s 4-year Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management covers everything from operations, to key management tools, and business strategy and planning – basically teaching you how to run a hospitality business from the ground up. There are two pathways to obtaining this degree: academic and professional.
The popular academic pathway is split between its campuses in Switzerland and its new campus in Singapore, enriching students with a well-rounded academic curriculum and hands-on experience.
For students based in the Singapore Campus, students take their first semester in Lausanne before finishing their remaining 3 years in Singapore, bouncing worldwide on internships for two semesters in between. For students based in the Lausanne Campus, they take all 4 years in Lausanne and have the chance to do an exchange in Passugg or Singapore.
This pathway combines the best of a dynamic university environment with group assignments and internships – with EHL allowing students to choose an internship anywhere. Meaning you could finish your course, not just with dual-country exposure, but depending on the internship you choose, extensive tri-country work experience.
Those seeking a deeper physical immersion and are passionate about culinary arts, communication, and hotel management can opt for the professional pathway at their Passugg campus. Students will learn at the hotel-resort setting at Passugg before finishing their last semester at the Lausanne campus.
How to apply
If you’re interested in seeing where a career in hospitality can literally take you, you can get more information about EHL’s Bachelor Degree here. That jetset dream of yours could become a reality.
In any case, there is no time like the present to plan for your future. After all, we’ve all heard the quote: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.