The hospitality industry is a thriving sector, offering a variety of career opportunities.

According to EHL.edu, these include:

  • "Hotel operations: front office, rooms division, food & beverage, events
  • Hospitality management: HR, finance, marketing, real estate, public relations
  • Entertainment: venue management, event planning, sales, retail, VIP services
  • Luxury: lifestyle services, private charters, VIP events & services
  • Food & Beverage: fine dining, catering, culinary arts, sommeliers
  • Health & wellness: spas, fitness, private clinics, retirement living, hospitals
  • Online & technology: OTA’s, start-ups, sharing economy
  • Other roles: hotel openings, hospitality consultancy, project management, R&D"
Some students may know already that they want to work in the Hospitality industry.
You don't necessarily need a Hospitality GCSE to succeed in the industry, but it will certainly help. Photo credit: www.audio-luci-store.it on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

So, can you imagine yourself sitting at a desk doing a 9-5 or do you see yourself as someone who enjoys the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant, airport or hotel? If the latter is more your thing, then let's go ahead and find out some more about this exciting course.

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What Does The Course Include?

GCSE Hospitality is a vocational qualification, introduced in September 2002 along with seven other vocational GCSEs, to provide options for students who prefer a more hands-on approach to learning.

A Hospitality GCSE isn't available at every college, which makes it quite unique in some ways. What's more, since it is so specific to a sector, then it can really help you to get onto your chosen career path from an early age.

The hospitality industry is somewhat a sector for the young, due to unfriendly hours and some quite tiring tasks, so it is certainly an advantage to start off in your teens or early twenties. This also means that you can throw yourself into your career while you are still young and don't have any ties or commitments.

What Are The Benefits Of A Hospitality GCSE?

GCSE Hospitality gives you an overview of the industry and helps you consider this sector as a career option. The GCSE covers customer care, standards of service, planning functions and events, environmental considerations and lots more. It is a practical and varied course which many students find useful, exciting and rewarding.

It will open up many (metaphorical) doors

It will open up many doors to you. The hospitality industry has a huge variety of career opportunities such as lodging; events planning; silver service; menu design; transportation; tourism; catering and many more. Many students who complete this qualification go on to gain higher qualifications in hospitality or related courses. GCSE Hospitality will give you a taste of the industry to give you a better idea about whether or not it might hold the right career for you.

Once you start working in hospitality, you will find it hard to turn back.
Some people are born to work in a busy environment like a restaurant. Photo credit: Elvert Barnes on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

You will learn to be practical

You gain a practical approach. This GCSE teaches you how to handle specialist equipment, allows you to work on group projects and gives you a taste of the ‘real world’ outside education. Practical assessments are worth 60% of your final grade, giving you the chance to show off all the practical knowledge you will pick up throughout the course. GCSE Hospitality is perfect for you if you thrive on active learning.

You will work as a team

Prepare to be a team player. Not only will this GCSE require you to work efficiently and respectfully in a group but teamwork is also at the heart of any job within the hospitality industry. But don’t worry because, if you are eager to participate and learn, this GCSE will allow you to develop your communication, problem solving and listening skills, enabling you to become a credit to any team.

You will be constantly progressing

Useful self-evaluation activities. After every practical assessment you complete you will be required to evaluate both what you did well and what you could have done better. This may include deciding which skills you may be able to develop further or what decisions you would handle differently if you could do the task again. This is a productive activity designed to allow you to be a reflective learner and to continue to improve and develop your skills.

You will acquire skills for life

You will learn transferrable life skills. Throughout this GCSE you will learn all about health and safety and how to apply it. This will include first aid, hygiene regulations, food poisoning, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and fire prevention and procedures. Having a sound knowledge of these important subjects will serve you well throughout your life, whether or not you choose to pursue a career within hospitality.

A lot of the things you learn on this course can trabsferred to other career paths if you decide to part ways with the industry.
In the Hospitality industry, you'll learn key skills for life like First Aid. Photo on Visualhunt.com

Want To Know More About Hospitality Qualifications?

If this course sounds right for you don’t hesitate to talk to a teacher to find out precisely what topics you will cover. GCSE Hospitality is an interesting, useful and varied course which is a fantastic opportunity for those interested in this exciting and challenging industry.

The CCEA board website states that:

"The CCEA GCSE Hospitality specification is the only GCSE Hospitality course offered in the UK. Topics include diet and health, first aid, customer care and marketing.

Students develop both their knowledge of the hospitality industry and the skills required for working in it. They learn about:

  • how hospitality organisations operate;
  • how the industry meets people’s needs;
  • the products and services it offers;
  • employment possibilities in hospitality;
  • the importance of quality and customer service;
  • basic food hygiene practices; and
  • the skills required to provide food and drink for customers.

Practical tasks reinforce the learning and allow students to discover what it’s like to work in the hospitality industry. They also learn about hospitality career opportunities, including front-of-house and food and beverage roles. This enables them to make informed choices about further education, training and/or employment.

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Science and Technology and Learning for Life and Work Areas of Learning."

EHL adds on its site that this is a field that promises a great deal of job satisfaction and numerous job opportunities, so clearly you'll struggle to find a better career path. So if you are really serious about pursuing a career in hospitality then you might like to follow up your GCSE with:

  • a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management
  • a global master’s degree
  • an MBA in hospitality
  • an executive MBA and online certificate for specialized skills

The benefits of these higher-level qualifications are that they will bump up your salary and get your career moving before you've even started.

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Sophia

A vagabond traveler whose first love is the written word, I advocate for continuous learning, cycling, and the joy only a beloved pet can bring. There is plenty else I am passionate about, but those three should do it, for now.