Hospitality Education of the Future
September 18, 2018 1:05pm
Have you noticed that currently many CEOs of the most important hotel chains are not hoteliers? Will this mean that in the future hospitality education will not be worthwhile?
On one hand, we have the current CEOs coming from the world of business, law, finance and marketing. On the other hand, majority of today’s graduates of top hotels schools in the world do not go into hotel operations. Instead, they aspire for more attractive positions in sectors such as banking, luxury, healthcare, consulting, retail and lately, start-ups.
Therefore the question, why will hospitality education still be needed in the future? Why young graduates, the millennial’s, do not wish do work in hotel operations anymore? Is it because the hotel industry is not attractive anymore and does not reflect the expectations their hospitality education created? However, we can also question why other industries hire students who have hospitality educational background. Could we then glimpse into the future for hospitality education?
We all have heard the phrase that the world is changing, but in fact it has already changed!
Technology will be the key change agent of the hospitality education of the future. It will shape the way we learn, the way we interact and the way do work. I have the image of students learning in front of their digital devices with headphones but not interacting with professors or classmates. This is a frightening yet plausible image of the education environment of tomorrow. However, this could be a reason why studies explain that the second largest disease in 10 years will be depression!
Let’s paint a more positive picture of the future. With the extravagant usage of technology in the future, companies will have to differentiate themselves from the competition through the human factor. The human interaction is extremely important in the hospitality industry and this could be the motivation of other industries to hire graduates from a hospitality institution. Excellence in the future will be defined by the level and quality of the human interactions even more than today, as technology will be a given.
In the next 10 years, hospitality education will not disappear but will certainly take a different form.
The biggest challenge will be the implementation of technology that doesn’t overpower the student’s natural learning experience. The professors of tomorrow will also have to be ready for this educational shift. Will they look like robots? Certainly not, but definitely will have to transform their interactions with the students.
The hospitality education of the future will not be able to afford to be a disciple of the industry by just answering short and medium terms needs. It will have to be a driver for the hospitality industry which is not just confined to hotels, but to extend to any company wishing to place customers at the center of the interactions.
ecole hôtelière de lausanne,
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