The hospitality industry offers professionals a wide range of career options. Some career paths might instantly spring to mind, such as hotel or restaurant management, but there’s a whole world of niche hospitality careers that job seekers might explore.
OPPORTUNITY IN A REBUILDING AND EVOLVING FIELD
Prior to 2021, the hospitality industry was already expanding and creating new opportunities for hospitality-field-bound college students and other job seekers. Factors such as technology, and sustainability were opening new possibilities before the COVID-19 pandemic struck with full force.
And then everything came to a sudden halt.
During lockdowns and restrictions, travel, tourism, lodgings, and food and beverage businesses took a substantial hit. In early 2021, U.S. News & World Report shared that the American Hotel and Lodging Association estimated that the “COVID-19 pandemic eliminated more than ten years of job growth in the accommodations sector.”
Fortunately, hospitality has resumed its pre-pandemic trajectory, translating to a rich diversity of career paths and considerations for job seekers.
According to 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections, the hospitality industry will add 1.9 million jobs between 2021 and 2031. That’s 23.1% of all new projected jobs within that timeframe.
The combination of economic recovery and highly specialized hospitality niches offers you more career choices than you might have previously considered possible, so get ready for ideas to spark your imagination and start exploring.
Information technology has undeniably changed the course of the hospitality industry over the past few decades. Technology has placed a great deal of power in the hands of the consumer, who once relied heavily on travel agents and human third parties.
The personal computer, internet, and mobile devices and technology have changed the industry for everyone.
While some might think that puts a damper on professionals in the industry, that’s not the case. These technology tools have empowered businesses as much as they have empowered hospitality customers through greater efficiency, speed, and collection of invaluable customer data.
Outlook for 2023 and Beyond
Compared to 2020, everything has changed in subtle and overt ways. People want to travel and dine out again without worry, and it’s important to take into account factors such as work-from-anywhere (WFA) and members of the growing travel-related creator economy.
On the one hand, hospitality service providers must ensure proper healthcare and safety standards, but they also need to provide a one-of-a-kind customer-service-focused experience.
Industry leaders are working to fill every possible niche position to serve every hospitality customer.
NICHE JOBS WITHIN HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
The vast hospitality industry needs management to fill various niche jobs to help businesses, such as restaurants and hotels, achieve their goals and visions. Let’s examine some specialized management roles in the hospitality industry.
As a travel consultant, sometimes called a travel agent, you will help consumers find transportation, accommodations, dining, and entertainment activities for individuals, groups, and businesses planning important trips. Customers will rely on your expertise and ingenuity to ensure a safe, affordable, and enjoyable journey.
The median salary for a travel consultant is $43,810.
Casino Property Manager
Although online gambling is increasingly popular, don’t count out brick-and-mortar casino property management as a career option. People still enjoy a night of in-person gambling paired with dinner, drinks, and a show. Casinos need bright, savvy professionals to manage their properties and please customers to guarantee they return.
The median pay for this career choice comes to $89,190.
If you know your regions, vintages, and everything else about wine, you’re in for a pleasant, engaging, and rewarding niche career path.
As a sommelier, you’ll manage your establishment’s wine inventory and service staff and share your passion and expertise with patrons who want the most appropriate wine to accompany their dinner.
The national median salary for a sommelier is $62,754.
NICHE TECHNOLOGY-FOCUSED JOBS WITHIN HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
Technology has become a driving force in most facets of life; hospitality management is no exception. Here are some excellent career tracks for technology-minded students and professionals.
Technical Support Analyst
If you love computers and are a natural problem-solver, you’re an ideal candidate to work as a technical support analyst in hospitality. In this career, you’ll work with your organization’s IT department to support various departments and staff members. You’ll identify and solve issues with their computer hardware, software, networking, and applications systems to ensure customer care and organizational efficiency.
The average annual base salary for a technical support analyst is $54,234.
Integrations and Implementation Specialist
As an integrations and implementation specialist in hospitality, you might work with staff and management to ensure they correctly record and activate customer accounts in your organization’s system. A large part of your work involves serving as a technical liaison, ensuring that staff provides customer satisfaction and comfort and that your organization retains loyal customers via your information system.
The average annual salary for an integrations and implementation specialist is $74,796.
Hospitality Systems Analyst
As a hospitality systems analyst, you’ll maintain and develop system solutions, such as scheduling, payments to vendors and employees, inventory, guest information, point of sale, and all modules, enhancements, and upgrades to the various systems.
The average annual salary for a systems analyst is $81,712.
GLOBAL TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL CAREERS
The focus on sustainability crosses all boundaries of our modern society and includes global tourism and travel. Nearly 80% of U.S. consumers consider sustainability during purchases, making it a strong and winning focus for the industry.
As hospitality industry experts strive to serve sustainability-minded consumers, they are creating exciting new niche careers that might suit you.
Here are a few up-and-coming careers in global tourism and sustainable travel:
- Chief Sustainability Officer
- Hotel or Resort Manager
- Sustainability Specialist
- Sustainable Tour Guide
- Park Ranger
- Environmental Restoration Planner
- Ecotourism Development Specialist
To learn more about these careers, please check out our article entitled 7 Exciting Global Tourism Careers for a World of Sustainable Travel.
HOSPITALITY DEGREE OPTIONS AT JWU
At JWU, we have the hospitality niches covered to help develop the industry knowledge and skills needed when you start your hospitality job search. Our hospitality degrees are designed to ensure you thrive in this booming industry.
The Hospitality Management bachelor’s degree program at JWU offers an in-depth look at the exciting hospitality management field. You’ll learn the ins and outs of this growing industry to help you determine the best career, whether it is a niche area or something on the beaten path. Additionally, you can choose to customize your degree program with specializations in Food and Beverage, Hotels and Resorts, and Sustainable Tourism.
You’ll walk away with major concepts, values, and skills upon which the hospitality industry is built and maintains its standards today. Prospective employers will be impressed with the knowledge and abilities you’ll bring with you to their business.
WE INVITE YOU TO EXPLORE NICHE HOSPITALITY PROGRAMS AT JWU
For more information about completing your hospitality degree online, no matter which track or niche piques your interest, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].