Community colleges put higher education close to where you live, work, and play. There are many reasons community colleges are attractive. They have an open admissions policy and offer many courses, including courses that will help prepare you for a bright future in the hospitality industry. Their low tuition helps keep higher education within the reach of many Americans. These factors make community college a good place to go to gain job skills.
Although the skills and experience required by workers in the hospitality industry depend on the specific occupation, many entry-level positions require little or no formal education or previous training. Almost all workers in the hotel and lodging industry undergo on-the-job training, usually under the supervision of an experienced employee or manager. Some large chain operations have formal training sessions for new employees, and others have video training programs.
Formal training and prior hotel or food-service experience for managers is more common. Training may take the form of industry-sponsored seminars; short-term, subject-specific certificate programs; or associate or bachelor's degree programs in culinary arts, hospitality, hotel, or restaurant management. Vocational courses and apprenticeship programs in food preparation, catering, and hotel and restaurant management, offered through restaurant associations and trade unions, provide training opportunities. About 200 community and junior colleges offer 2-year degree programs in hotel and restaurant management.
Many workers choose a community college when they want to upgrade their skills or to enter a new field. It is now common for a person with a college degree to attend a community college to update work skills. Community colleges are also flexible. Nearly 50 percent of their students work full time, so they offer courses at convenient times.
What Do You Want to Do Next?
Find community colleges that offer training/programs in hospitality:
The U.S. Department of Education has a web site, Prepare for My Future, which gives you some questions you'll want to ask. There are many schools to choose from. You can use this web site to help you choose the right school to meet your career goals.
Finally, there are different certifications available via the Certification Finder.
Whatever you decide, you are in the driver's seat!