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Does the idea of sitting in an office from nine to five turn you off? Are you looking for a career with plenty of variety? Like food? Enjoy travelling? Then a career in the hotel or hospitality management will be rewarding. The hotel or hospitality industry is exciting and glamorous. The basic skills required to make a career in this sector includes a service oriented mindset, strong communication skills, a professional composure at all times, and presence of mind that enables you to take decisions on - the spur of the moment. For managerial positions, one needs additional skills that include financial & business management skills, marketing and public relations skills.

At an all-time high, the hospitality industry is diverse and offers people the opportunity to work in different areas and still be employed within the same industry; event management, conference managers, tour managers, restaurant managers, fast food joints management, club management, recreation and health centre management, cruise ships, hotel management, hospital administration and catering, institutional and industrial catering, airline catering and cabin services, manufacturers and suppliers of hotel and restaurant equipment and services, hotel and catering institutes, hotel and tourism associations, etc. There are numerous options and avenues available for anyone who is keen to enter the industry. In order to build the requisite vocational skills, one can begin at an entry level or can also start in the position of a management trainee after completion of the course. Setting your goal and gaining appropriate experience is what makes you climb the ladder," explains Shamitav Jana – Assistant Vice President (Operations), Lords Hotels & Resorts.

At an entry level employee can expect a starting salary of Rs. 12,000 to Rs 15,000 per month, meals on duty and some hotels do provide accommodation. The salary component depends upon three important factors i.e. 1. Student’s abilities & skills, knowledge and grasping power 2. Star category of the hotel and 3. Location; salaries vary from city to city and country to country explains Devendra Shah, Principal, Lords Institute of Management, Surat, Gujarat. The salaries go up steeply with considerable experience as the employee moves up the ladder. Each day is different, bringing in new challenges and increasing job opportunities.

Moreover, there are one year certificate courses available in Food Production, Food & Beverage Service Operations & Management, Housekeeping Operations & Management and Front Office Operations & Management affiliated to the prestigious American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, USA, which students can opt for after class 10th or 12th or graduation. These certificate courses add value to one's portfolio. The hospitality industry offers various career paths for fresher’s, who gradually work their way up to the management level.

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Stories by Nirbhay Naik