Getting started in your Hospitality and Catering career

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2 min read

So, a career in Hospitality sounds like it could be the path for you? Whether you’re an amateur baker or dream of having a hotel to rival the Ritz, taking that first step on the ladder can seem a little daunting. Next up we’re going to break down the routes into Hospitality, and where they can take you.

The routes aren’t quite so clear cut when it comes to starting out in Hospitality careers. Many folk begin via an apprenticeship, or via starting a course at college or university then gaining work experience. Equally, many successful Hospitality workers simply began in a junior role and worked their way up, especially if they’d love to own their own outlet or business one day. Let’s break it down.

Courses and qualifications 

If you’re not sure exactly where you’d like to be in Hospitality, an initial course could be a great start to dip your toes in. College level diplomas in Travel and Tourism, Catering and Hospitality will give you a great grasp of the industry, and set you in good stead when working out if this area of work is right for you. They also may well help set you up with work experience and internship opportunities, to help you on that step towards your dream job.

While a degree level qualification is rarely required for entry-level positions, some Hospitality workers choose to go down the degree route. This is particularly common in events, communications and marketing, with folk taking on an Events Management degree and taking on work placements alongside.

Many Hospitality workers, however, gain these qualifications as they work and enter into higher-level positions. This is especially true for courses in Business Management. If your dream is to set up your own hospitality business, courses like these may be a great place to learn academic skills. Nothing can quite beat hands-on experience in this industry, though. 

Apprenticeships

If you’re interested in working while gaining qualifications and upskilling, an apprenticeship could be the absolute way to go for you. Apprenticeships in the industry could cover anything from butchery to bakery, working towards becoming a Head Chef and an Events Assistant! These will give you a great combination of hands-on experience, vital for this industry, as well as a qualification. Look at what the offer is local to you here.

Working your way up

For many workers in Hospitality, their career trajectory began by working their way through the ranks. Perhaps they began as an Events Apprentice and worked their way up to being an Events Manager.

Perhaps you might start working weekend shifts at a local restaurant cleaning dishes and helping with some catering, and eventually move up towards becoming a chef! If you’re curious about working your way up, our best advice is to start looking at local entry-level positions. Talk to the hiring manager - what opportunities for advancement are there? If it seems like you can learn, it could be a great start!

Final thoughts

Hospitality is one of those careers with a real myriad of trajectories. Whether you want to go down the degree route, or start from scratch and work your way up, there really is no right way to do it. Just get stuck in! 

Next steps

Want to read more about career options in this industry? Browse our role profiles here >>

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