Earning hospitality work study credits is a great way for hospitality and leisure students to prove that they are capable, innovative and efficient workers well before they enter the job the market. As the demand for leisure and hospitality services grows, the work study opportunities available to hospitality students will grow as well. Here is a guide to how helpful these programs can be.

Why Choose a Work Study Program?

Hospitality departments and schools across the country are beginning to realize how important work experience can be for a student who is new to the industry. Some schools even require it in order for their students to graduate from their degree programs. The student may even have to provide a work portfolio as part of a capstone project prior to graduation. This is to demonstrate that they have applied the knowledge they gained in the classroom to real-life situations in the hospitality industry. It may include proof of the hours that the student worked in a given location, a recommendation from a work manager or supervisor and a personal analysis of their experience on the job.

Even if it is not required by a specific program, students are usually encouraged to find work in order to learn more about their chosen career while they are completing their coursework. Some schools even have partnerships with local hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants. These businesses work around the student’s class schedule in order to give them work hours and professional training that does not interfere with their academic obligations. Some of these programs offer paid work.

Students may also use their previous employment in the industry to accrue credit for a work study program. Some schools allow this if the student has extensive experience, sufficient proof of employment and a letter from a supervisor. It is certainly an avenue worth exploring for those who may qualify. If students are unsure about work study requirements, then they should contact an academic advisor at their school as soon as possible.

The Benefits of Work Study Programs

According to recent research, having work experience is perceived as a great asset when applying for hospitality jobs. Graduates are also more likely to stay in the industry if they gained work experience while completing their degree programs, as work study credit programs tend to improve job satisfaction. Requiring students to finish a work study program may have a positive effect on career outcomes and progression. A graduate may be more likely to be promoted to management positions if they have proven work experience prior to receiving their degree.

Work Study Programs for Hospitality Students: Building Better Business Skills

Work study programs allow students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. The hospitality, leisure and tourism industries are growing at an astonishing rate world-wide, and previous experience is needed if graduates want to stand out and get to the top. If earning work study hospitality credits is allowed by the student’s program, then they should definitely make every effort to find a company or business that will guide them in the early days of their career.

For more information on getting a job in the Hospitality field, please see “Hospitality Jobs“.