Career opportunities are excellent in one of the most vibrant sectors of the UK economy, says Ian Sykes of Inverness College

Training in Hospitality and Tourism gives you the opportunity to work in hotels, pub groups, leisure and night club venues, fast food outlets, conference centres, country inns, contract catering, casinos, racecourses, motoring circuits, airports, cruise liners, private estates, holiday companies and more.

Look again at the list above: Higher National Certificate/Diploma (HNC/D) or Degree qualifications will open doors to any of the areas mentioned. The breadth of knowledge within Hospitality and Tourism training allows you to develop transferable skills for a variety of career paths.

Higher National provision

HNC/D programmes are designed to encourage academic growth at each level: the first year focuses on consolidating the technical skills so important in a practical, hands-on industry, while the second year sees the emphasis change towards the increasing responsibility you will face as a manager, for your staff and your business.

General units within this framework include:

  • Marketing: with emphasis on target group profiling
  • Financial accounting: manual and computerised systems for the managing of your business
  • Management accounting: business planning, budgeting, cost factors, analysis of accounts
  • Food hygiene: intermediate food hygiene and control of the environment
  • Control systems: viable business controls, events, menus, food and liquor stock control

Specialist units ensure that you develop the knowledge and skills to work within your chosen career, be it hospitality management, front office, professional cookery or tourism. These units make it real:

  • Front office: sales and services, advanced reservations. Use of IT systems
  • Accommodation Servicing: staff, equipment and procedures to maintain the environment
  • Food production: understanding of food production and planning, preparing and organising
  • Hot kitchen, cold kitchen, sweets and desserts, pastry: advanced skills for chefs
  • Training skills: conduct a training session for the team you will build in the future
  • Food and beverage: wines, spirits and food; successful operation of a food outlet
  • Customer care: strategic planning for your customers
  • Human resources: managing people, loyalty and benefits of creating an effective team
  • Retail travel: organising holidays at home and abroad
  • Tourism planning and development: inbound tourism and its effects

Look at the content and the breadth of experience these courses provide. Students have found that they can transfer careers, move into other fields and interests or undertake further study.

Entry to a degree programme is possible at second or third level. Degree programmes tend to be more specific and their output direct into middle management within a national or international group.

Do you have what it takes?

Students from all backgrounds and abilities thrive in these courses and careers. It is necessary to possess good communication skills, both written and oral, to achieve the academic requirements of the programmes. Most subjects are assessed by a combination of methods, these include practical demonstrations, projects, presentations and reports.

If you are ambitious and fun-loving, enjoy meeting and helping people, like working in a team and can cope with a changing environment, you may feel inspired to find out more about opportunities in hospitality and tourism.

For further information

For details of training and careers in hospitality and tourism, visit the website at:

For information on Inverness College, visit: