Career Options in Hospitality Industry

Career Options in Hospitality Industry

In a recent survey conducted by a consulting firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, about 5.6 million foreign tourists visited India between January and November in the year 2011, and about 540 million national tourists traveled around various parts of the country. The foreign tourists’ figure is about 9.4% more than the year 2010 figure. It is no wonder that new hotels, restaurants, event management firms and travel companies are opening every year. Such is the size of the hospitality market that there is always a requirement for well educated and groomed professionals. India being a cultural melting pot where there is so much to travel to and experience, a career in hospitality is attractive and lucrative. If you have a charming personality and a passion to serve and help guests, there are wide career options in the hospitality industry.

Courses in Hospitality

The hospitality industry comprises tourism, hotel, aviation, retail and the event management companies. Students have a range of courses to choose from. To have a career in the hospitality industry, one can begin just after the 10th standard. Some hotel management colleges in India offer a number of certificate and craftsmanship courses in cookery, bakery, food and beverage services and bartending for class 10 pass outs. Duration for these may be anything between 3 weeks to 2 years. Several courses are also offered in the undergraduate and the post graduate (degree and diploma) levels. The Bachelors in Hotel Management (B.H.M.) degree is the most popular undergraduate course offered by most hotel management colleges in the country. Students can also pursue courses in travel & tourism. One can also pursue a doctorate in tourism (offered by Christ College). Following is a list of well known courses in the hospitality sector:

Food Production Patisserie Food and Beverage Service
Cookery Bartending
Hotel Operation Accommodation Operations Hotel Administration
Airlines and Air Ticketing Air Hostess Training Event Management
Travel & Tourism Management Retail Management Aviation Management
Flight attendant services Hospital Food Services Housekeeping Services
Catering Technology Dietetics Applied Nutrition

Eligibility criteria for Hospitality Courses

Courses in the field of hospitality are varied and can be pursued at the after 10th standard to the post graduate level. The eligibility criteria for each course are:

After 10th standard:

  • Must have passed S.S.C or 10th standard board examination with minimum 40% marks

Undergraduate level:

  • Must have passed the high school board examination
  • Must be between 17 and 20 years of age
  • Must have a 50% average in the 10th standard board examination along with 55% marks in the English Language subject

Post graduate level:

  • Must be below 25 – 28 years of age (depending on college)
  • Must have passed graduation in any subject (some colleges and certain courses require a Bachelors degree in a specific subject)
  • Must have English as a subject

Top Hospitality Colleges in India

India has some of the better hospitality colleges in the world. With big names in the hotel industry such as Oberoi, Taj, WelcomGroup and Merit Swiss, which have their own training wings, students have a good platform to learn on the job and hone their skills under the best professionals in the hospitality sector. These training hotels are usually regulated by the National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology (NCHMCT) and the undergraduate degree is awarded by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Following are the top 10 hospitality colleges in the country:

Rank Name of College Location Courses offered Entrance exam
1 Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development (OCLD) New Delhi Undergraduate: Guest Services Management (GSM), Housekeeping Management (HM), Kitchen Management (KM) Selection test conducted by the institute
2 Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (IHMCTAN or IHM) Mumbai Undergraduate: B.H.M., B.Sc. in Hospitality and Hotel Administration, Certificate and Craftsmanship courses Undergraduate: NCHMCT-JEE
3 Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration Manipal Undergraduate: B.H.M., Diploma in Hotel Management Catering Technology (DHMCT), BA in Culinary ArtsPost Graduate: M.Sc. Hospitality & Tourism Management, M.Sc. Dietetics & Applied Nutrition Undergraduate and Post Graduate: All India Manipal University Online Entrance Test (MU-OET)
4 Institute of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition (IHM) Pusa, New Delhi Undergraduate: B. Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel Administration, Diploma in Food & Beverage Service, Diploma in Bakery & Confectionery, Craftsmanship and Skill Certification coursesPost Graduate: M. Sc. in Hospitality Administration, M. Sc. in Dietetics & Food Service Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Accommodation Operations & Management, Certified Hospitality Trainer Programme Undergraduate: NCHMCT-JEE (for B.Sc.)Post Graduate: Merit based
5 Institute of Hotel Management (IHM – Taj Group) Aurangabad Undergraduate: BA (Hons) – Culinary Arts, BA/ BA (Hons) – Hotel Management Undergraduate: Written test conducted by the institute
6 Institute of Hotel Management Bangalore Undergraduate: B.Sc. in Hotel Management, Certificate coursesPost Graduate: M.Sc. in Hospitality Administration, Post Graduate Diploma in Accommodation Operation and Management Undergraduate: NCHMCT-JEEPost Graduate: Merit based
7 Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management Ooty Undergraduate: B.Sc.(C&HA) – Bachelor of Science in Catering Science and Hotel Administration, Diploma from EI-AH&LA. (Educational Institute – American hotel & Lodging Association), Merit Swiss Asian Diploma in Hotel AdministrationPost Graduate: Master of Business Administration (Hotel Management & Catering Science), Post Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Administration Undergraduate and Post Graduate: Merit based
8 Christ College Bangalore Undergraduate: BHM, Bachelor of Commerce (Travel & Tourism Mgmt), Diploma in Wine Studies, Certificate coursesPost Graduate: Master of Tourism AdministrationDoctoral: M.Phil in Tourism, Ph.D. in Tourism Undergraduate: Entrance test conducted by the Christ UniversityPost Graduate: Merit basedDoctoral: Entrance Test conducted by Christ University
9 Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (IHMCTAN or IHM) Hyderabad Undergraduate: B.Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel Administration, Craftsmanship coursesPost Graduate: M.Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel Administration, Post Graduate Diploma in Accommodation Operations and Management Undergraduate: NCHMCT-JEEPost Graduate: Merit based
10 Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (IHMCTAN or IHM) Chennai Undergraduate: B.Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel Administration, Certificate, Diploma, Craftsmanship coursesPost Graduate: Post Graduate Diploma in Accommodation Operations and Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics & Hospital Food Services Undergraduate: NCHMCT-JEEPost Graduate: Merit based

Hospitality entrance exams in India

Academic performance is usually the basis for short listing candidates for diploma and certificate level courses. But for the undergraduate hotel management and other hospitality degrees, most colleges require an entrance exam score to select candidates. Top hospitality entrance tests in India that students can consider taking are:

Exam level Name of exam Conducting body Month of issue of application Month of entrance exam
Undergraduate Selection test for the STEP (Systematic Training and Education Programme) Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development (OCLD) February – March April – May
NCHMCT JEE (National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology – Joint Entrance Examination) National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) December – April April
All India Manipal University Online Entrance Test (MU-OET) Manipal University January – June April and August

How to Prepare for the Hotel Management Entrance Exams

Hospitality entrance exams test students in their general knowledge, scientific aptitude, reasoning and logical deduction, numerical ability, service aptitude and the English language. The questions are objective type and not very difficult if you prepare your basic subjects of the 10th and 12th standard well. Solving previous years’ questions well and learning from your mistakes helps immensely. Popular hotel management entrance test preparation books are:

  • How to Prepare for the Hotel Management Entrance Examination by Showick Thorpe
  • Hotel Management Entrance Exam Guide by Gladvin Rego
  • Hotel Management & Hospitality Administration Entrances by Arihant Publications
  • Popular Master Guide: Hotel Management – B.Sc. In Hospitality & Hotel Administration Entrance Examination by R. Gupta’s
  • Hotel Management Catering Technology: Entrance Exam, Guide by V. V. K. Subburaj

Vidyasagar Classes and Career Launcher offer coaching for entrance test preparation for hospitality administration courses. Another aspect that aspirants need to work on is their poise. After all, being part of the hospitality industry will require one to be well groomed and well spoken in the English Language (at least). This also helps in the personal interview round of selection.

Career prospects in the Hospitality Industry

The Hospitality Industry consulting firm predicts that by year 2014 the number of hotel beds will increase to 150,000 from 62,000. Additionally, it also says that the hospitality sector requires 30 to 40% more professionals to bridge the present shortfall. Therefore, students can be assured of employment opportunities in Indian as well as international hotels. International hotel chains like Hilton, Best Western, Carlson and Le Meridian are building new and modern 5 to 7 star hotels in major cities of India. In the competitive market, all big hotel chains are also paying good money for retaining well groomed professionals. In fact since the last 3 years, the salaries have also increased by 43%. Hospitality students can, thus, look at a bright future with more employment opportunities and better salary. Starting a career in the sector, a Bachelors degree holder will be at first working as a management trainee. Apart from hotels, career opportunities are also available in airline flight kitchens, on-board flight services, merchant navy and cruise hospitality services, fast food restaurants and hospital catering.

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