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Graduate jobs in hospitality

What degrees do employers in hospitality, leisure and travel look for?

Looking for a graduate scheme or job in hospitality, leisure or tourism? A degree in a business, hospitality or retail-related subject is not usually a requirement, but may be an advantage when applying to graduate programmes for management roles in hospitality and travel. Relevant subjects include business administration, tourism management or economics.

If you don’t have a relevant degree it’s all the more important to have relevant work experience. A relevant postgraduate qualification could also show your commitment and help you develop industry contacts.

Graduate training programmes in hospitality, leisure and tourism may give you the chance to specialise in an area such as finance, HR or marketing, or focus on management. Want to know more about different employers within the industry? Our list of key employers gives a broad overview and covers areas such as hotel chains, pubs, restaurants and fast-food chains, event management and leisure. Routes into careers in hospitality, leisure and travel include graduate schemes run by large employers as well as entry-level roles (with employers both large and small) that provide on-the-job training.

Top skills for graduate schemes in hospitality, leisure and tourism

Key skills for this industry include:

  • good customer service
  • communication
  • teamwork
  • flexibility
  • commercial awareness
  • resilience, stamina and enthusiasm
  • language skills can be an advantage, particularly as some graduate roles in hotel management may involve overseas placements.

Our top ten skills for getting a graduate job in hospitality will give you more insights into what employers are looking for.

How to get a job in hospitality, leisure and travel

Having relevant work experience is key to getting a job in this industry, whether through a placement or a part-time job. If you've worked part-time in a pub, restaurant or hotel during your undergraduate studies, you're well placed to pursue a career in this area. Our guide to getting hired in this industry covers the basics you need to know for a successful job hunt.

Opportunities in hospitality, leisure and travel for graduates with 2.2s

Many hospitality, leisure and travel employers are open to applications from candidates who don’t have a 2.1. Having the right personality, attitude and experience is often more important than top academic results. Our advice on hospitality and travel employers who recruit students with 2.2s will help your research, and we also have tips for you on how to choose the right employer for a career in hotel management.

A popular career choice for keen travellers

If you love travel and want an international career, this could be the ideal path for you. Hospitality, leisure and travel is a buzzy, 24-hour industry that ranges from budget flights and pub and restaurant management to international luxury hotel groups. Different areas of work in hospitality and leisure include the following:

How much will you be paid in your first graduate job in hospitality, leisure or tourism?