The world we’re living in today would have been hard to picture just two or three decades ago.
By Dilip Puri
The world we’re living in today would have been hard to picture just two or three decades ago. We’re living in an era of entrepreneurs who have changed our landscape and daily lives. They’ve changed the way we travel to a night out with our friends, or order food after a long day at work, or even buy groceries for our house. Our lives are more flexible; we’re more used to change and we look forward to new challenges.
In turn, if the world we’re living in is making us more adaptable, why can’t education be the same, too? Let’s take a look at a few notable people who are currently influencing the modern business landscape. What do the CEO of Montreux Jazz Festival, Mathieu Jaton, and the CEO of Rothschild Banking, Laurent Gagnebin, have in common? While they’re both in vastly different industries—one is in entertainment while the other is in banking—they both share a common education. Hospitality education.
So, how did two individuals who studied the same thing end up in such vastly different career streams? When it comes to hospitality graduates, ending up in something other than hotels isn’t an exception—it’s the norm.
The world’s top ranked hospitality institute, École hôtelière de Lausanne, conducted research on where their graduates end up excelling—and the results speak for themselves.
While 50% of graduates do end up working in hotels in some capacity, the remaining half are dispersed amongst some of the most booming industries in today’s world. How does one education give graduates so many options? The answer is a curriculum that focuses on business, entrepreneurship and life skills over a rigid, fixed set of skills.
At the heart of hospitality education, you’ve got a programme that is designed to give students a foundation in business knowledge—with modules in human resources, accounting, marketing, economics and revenue management. On top of that, you’ve got soft skills, communication, leadership and customer service. Add on to that an introduction to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking and planning, and you’ve got an education that can be tweaked and adapted to almost any of today’s most popular industries. Because of this three-pronged approach, hospitality graduates are some of the most flexible professionals entering the market. They’ve received an education that can immediately place them in a managerial position in any job that has a strategic, service focused element. They’ve got the toolkit to know how to deliver and measure consumer happiness, set new targets and pick apart the business to know where to improve and adapt. Forget being limited to just hotels—these graduates have the freedom to join more streams than graduates of most traditional programmes.
It’s time to forget the concept of hospitality meaning just hotels. Hospitality education is broad, multifaceted and flexible. It’s an education that’s tailor-made for the dynamic world we’re living in today. It’s an education that gives you the freedom to choose your future in numerous industries and the skills you need to forge your own path if you so wish. It’s time to embrace the world we’re living in and open our minds to the world of opportunities offered by non-traditional education streams—especially those as multidimensional as hospitality.
The author is founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality, Gurgaon