At one point or another, every one of us interacts with the hospitality industry. Hotels, restaurants, bars, resorts, entertainment venues… they are all part of our lives. And those who study and train to deliver service to people will always be in high demand.
If you are looking to complete your degree and start a new career, and you are a people person who can deliver exceptional service, consider the flexibility and other benefits of a career in hospitality.
The flexibility you need
As an adult learner, you appreciate flexibility. With all your responsibilities – from school to work to family – you need flexibility, and always will. That’s what makes hospitality such a great choice.
Flexible hours – Many jobs in hospitality give you the freedom to select your hours – whether you want full-time, part-time, or even just seasonal work. Hotels, restaurants, airlines, etc. also offer the opportunity to work second or third shifts, freeing up your days for school, family, etc.
Flexible location – With a hospitality degree, you can find a job in virtually any city on the globe. This makes it a good choice for people who have to move to accommodate family, work, etc. It’s also good for people who like to travel the world, working as they go.
Great pay and perks
Always an important consideration when choosing a career path. Most companies in the hospitality industry are willing to pay a premium for people who excel at providing top-shelf service to customers. Companies, and especially hotels, offer competitive starting salaries, regular incentives, bonuses, and an excellent opportunity to advance your career.
Then, there are the perks. When you work in “The Industry” you’ll often find yourself getting amazing perks that other people never get – hard-to-get restaurant reservations, discounted/free flights, discounted/free food, and drinks, complimentary event tickets… and many more. In fact, many people go into this career for the perks alone!
An exciting and unique career
Hospitality jobs are not your typical 9-5 jobs. They are great for creative people who like to think outside the box –planning one-of-a-kind weddings; completing a hotel reservation for 100 people from around the globe; helping tourists see the best sites; and more. The job is different every day. You can go from problem-solver to confidant to corporate event hero in a matter of hours.
Lots of possibilities
A hospitality degree will benefit you in almost any career that involves customer service. And if you aren’t interested in directly serving customers, there are many jobs behind-the-scenes as well-performing functions like accounting, administration, human resources, and upper management roles.
Here are some of the more common hospitality careers and the average salary associated with each (according to Payscale.com)
You’ll have job security
Everyone on the planet requires food, beverage, and shelter. It’s also nice to have entertainment and recreation. Which makes it a huge industry.
In 2022, the U.S. travel and tourism sector alone brought in over $1.2 trillion and employed 8 million US workers. (according to www.ustravel.org)
It is expected that by 2023 – 1 out of 10 people on the planet will be employed in the hospitality industry.
This means with a degree in hospitality, you’ll always have plenty of job opportunities across the world and right here in Mississippi.
Just like it is around the world, hospitality is a big business here in MS. Tourism is the 4th largest private industry sector in the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12% of the Mississippi labor force is employed in the Leisure & Hospitality industry. This means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to start your successful hospitality career right here at home.
Start with your degree
Not all positions in hospitality require a degree, but most of the higher-level positions do. This makes the Complete 2 Compete (C2C) University Studies Degree a great option. This degree was created exclusively for students in the C2C program who have earned a lot of credits previously in college but never received a degree. By considering all past classes and credits, the University Studies Degree could mean that you are much closer to a college degree (and a lucrative career in hospitality) than you think.
A list of the public colleges and universities in MS that offer hospitality programs and participate in the C2C Program:
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
East Mississippi Community College
Meridian Community College
Northwest Mississippi Community College
Hinds Community College
Holmes Community College
East Central Community College
Northeast Mississippi Community College
Mississippi Delta Community College
Coahoma Community College
Copiah-Lincoln Community College
University of Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi
Alcorn State University
Delta State University
Let C2C serve you
Complete 2 Compete is a Mississippi program established to help people like you go back to earn the degree you’ve always wanted and start the career you’ve always dreamed of. In addition to offering the exclusive University Studies Degree, the C2C program can help you with a wide range of other tools and solutions, including
C2C Grant – This $1,000 grant is renewable each qualifying semester and helps eligible C2C program participants cover the cost of tuition at any community college or university throughout Mississippi. This grant Is only available for qualifying C2C program participants.
C2C Coach – an experienced college counselor who will help you identify the fastest pathway to completing your degree, navigate the process, and be on your way to achieving your goals. (Make sure you mention your interest in a career in hospitality!)
Contact C2C today and see if you qualify for this valuable program.