The truth is that you can earn a decent income in the hospitality sector, even if you are lacking a college degree. Around the world the hospitality sector pays much more salary and provides much better working conditions to individuals, even in cases where they are less qualified in terms of degrees and diplomas as compared to their counterparts in many other sectors of the economy.
The fees for taking diplomas in hospitality are very less. In fact, some large hotel chains in India are offering many free programmes for getting diploma and even a degree in hospitality. If you are 12th pass, and you have interest in hospitality sector, then you can enrol in such courses and get your diploma for free or for a little cost. Are you wondering what kind of job you can get with a hospitality diploma! Well you could be an hotelier, a department manager, an events planner, housekeeper, in-charge of front desk, chef, etc. There exist ample opportunities.
Free diplomas in hospitality
A free of cost diploma can become your gateway for a lucrative career in the booming hospitality sector. Things can’t get any better than this. The Oberoi Group, a well-known hospitality chain, has started the Systematic Training and Education Programme (STEP). Another popular hospitality diploma course, WelcomLegionnaire Programme’s diploma in Hospitality Management, has been started by the ITC Hospitality Management Institute.
The best thing is that while you are pursuing the diploma level course from Oberoi Group or the ITC, you can also pursue a Bachelor of Tourism course from IGNOU. A Bachelor of Tourism degree will only add to your credentials and help you land up with better job offers. You can choose from the core hospitality specialisations, that is, Food Production (FP), Bakery & Confectionary; Food & Beverage (F&B) Service; Housekeeping and Front Office (FO).
Provided that you are willing to work hard and master all the ropes, both the diploma level courses result in placements in the respective hotel chains. You can also explore diplomas offered by Food Craft institutes and hotel management institutes located across the country in FP, Bakery & Confectionary; F&B; Housekeeping and FO. Some Food Craft institutes offer additional specialisations like Canning & Food Preservation, which deals with food science and the manufacture, preservation, and marketing of food products.
As of now, the programme is for boys only. It is divided into two parts and is spread over four and half years. The two parts are:
* Formative Phase: The three years long formative phase focuses on building up hotelier like qualities, academics and basic hospitality skills. Student trainees also pursue the Bachelor in Tourism Studies programme from IGNOU during this phase.
* Management Training: This phase is spread over the last one and half years and focuses on hospitality management.
Boys who have attained minimum marks of 70 per cent in their Class X and Class XII examinations are eligible to apply for the course, provided that their age is less than 20 years as on the 1st of August of the year of commencement of the programme. However, the candidates are selected on the basis of interviews and tests.
Systematic Training and Education Programme (STEP)
STEP is a three-year course in hospitality promoted by The Oberoi group. It offers practical training at a hotel run by The Oberoi Group. This training involves the four core operational departments in a hotel: Front Office, Housekeeping, Food and Beverage Service and Kitchen. There are ample opportunities for hands-on experience, as students are in the operational department five-days in a week.
Two kinds of training programmes are being provided under STEP – The Hotel Operations Programme and The Kitchen Operations Programme. The Hotel Operations Programme consists of various sections within the three major operations departments: Food and Beverage, Front Office and Housekeeping. The Kitchen Operations Programme involves training in Western and Indian kitchens and specialist operations such as bakery, pastry and cold kitchen.
After the student has successfully completed the programme, he is awarded a Bachelor of Tourism Studies (BTS) degree from IGNOU. He also receives a Certificate of Proficiency from The Oberoi Group.
Today we have a large numbers of institutions that are offering diploma or degree level courses in hospitality. But before you join any institution, it is better for you to check if your institute is recognised by the local tourism board, Government or National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology (Noida) by checking official websites such as: http://tourism.nic.in and www.fcikerala.org. These courses are recognised by Public Service Commission, the Armed Forces and other government departments and overseas recruiters. Once you enrol in such courses, job opportunities will open in the catering departments of diverse departments.
The right hospitality course can also open for you the doors for a good career in the Armed Forces. For instance, Food Craft Institute male pass-outs in Food Production can take the Armed Forces Junior Commissioned Officer (Catering) exam and be absorbed into the Armed Forces. In the private sector, there is no dearth of interesting opportunities. You can be hired by cruise liners, five-star hotels, airline catering, hospitals and even by contract catering organisations. Those bitten by the entrepreneurship bug can choose to start their own catering businesses.
You have to keep in mind that hospitality is 24×7 business. The importance of keeping the interface happy can hardly be exaggerated.