Monday, January 9, 2012

Tourism Administration Prepares You For a Variety of Careers

“It’s a mixture of the hospitality side, where you get to learn about how the hotel operates from scratch, … and after that you get to learn how the tourism industry operates,” says Lexina, a graduate of the hospitality administration (officially known as Hospitality and Tourism Administration) at Centennial College. “Some of the program is labs and some of it is classes. After you finally finish your program, you go into co-op as well — depending on whether you choose it or not. I learned how to put together an event because for a final project for one of my classes, we had put together an event for graduation. I learned how to work with other people and time management was a factor as well.”

While Lexina does a great job of offering her perspective on the three-year Hospitality and Tourism Administration program, let’s take a closer look. First and foremost, to apply students must have completed an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. They must also possess compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent.

Designed for those planning to build their futures in the tourism industry, this Hospitality Administration program truly reflects Canada’s second largest employment sector, which provides a diverse range of career opportunities. Courses cover a full range of business practices in marketing, human resources, finance and industry operations — as applied to the entire hospitality and tourism field. Students also gain valuable work experience through an individualized industry internship that is meant to provide a practical foundation for their career.

Specific courses within the Tourism Administration undertaking include: Kitchen and Dining Room Practices (learners experience a combination of food preparation and service theory reinforced by the actual practice of the concepts learned); Human Resources For Hospitality and Tourism Administrators (designed to introduce students to a variety of tasks and functions of a human resources department employee, administrator and manager in the current hospitality and tourism business environments); Hospitality and Tourism Marketing (students define marketing, distinguish between product and services marketing and demonstrate an understanding of consumer behaviour, market segmentation, the marketing mix and their application to the marketing plan); and more.

In addition to their courses, students have access to many on-campus resources that enhance learning, including a full-service hospitality management centre, on-site conference centre and state-of-the-art computer labs.

Once they successfully complete their Ontario College Advanced Diploma from Centennial College, students have two options. First, qualified graduates may be eligible to participate in an articulated program with selected universities, institutes and professional associations. These partnerships allow graduates to apply academic credit towards further study. The hospitality administration’s partners are: Athabasca University, International Hotel Management Institute (Switzerland), Ryerson University, Southern New Hampshire University (U.S.A.), University of Calgary, University of New Brunswick and more. The second option is for graduates to enter the field and find jobs in hotel and restaurant general management, human resources management, sales and marketing management, convention services coordination and tour coordination. The tourism industry boasts revenue in excess of $61.4-billion from 60,000 different companies that employ over 1.66-million Canadians coast-to-coast.

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