Career Perceptions of Undergraduate Hospitality and Tourism Students: a Case Study at Vatel Bangkok

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Running Head: Hospitality Career Perception

Career Perceptions of Undergraduate Hospitality and Tourism Students: A Case Study at Silapakorn International college, Thailand Aticha Kweangsopha 52501315
Kamonluk Phophan 52501301 Panadda Wongdermdee 52501317 MBA Student in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Silapakorn University

Career Perceptions of Undergraduate Hospitality and Tourism Students: A Case Study at International College, Silapakorn University

Aticha K., Kamonluk P. and Panadda W.
MBA Student in Hotel and Tourism Management
International College, Silapakorn University

Abstract

The aim of this research is to establish students' perceptions of the hospitality industry and, specifically, to establish the likelihood of the student seeking employment in the industry after graduating, the department which is most attractive to the student and the level in which the student expects work in five and ten years after graduating. The research is based on questionnaires distributed by hand to 60 undergraduate hospitality students of International College, Silapakorn University from first to third year. The main finding suggested that students are quite positive about having bachelor degree in hospitality and tourism management, as it will be beneficial for their career development. The results showed that, as the degree progresses, the students' perception of the industry deteriorates in term of willingness to work in tourism after graduation. The findings also indicated that students have a distinct preference for food and beverage departments; top management level is their preference in five and ten years after graduating; and work experience is important factors in their hospitality careers. The researcher also found out that the majority of students agreed that skill was most important quality they should possess. Furthermore, the researcher identifies some limitations of this study and areas for further research.

Key words:Students’ Perceptions, Hospitality Careers Perception, Career perception

Introduction

Tourism has become a main source of revenue, with increasing numbers of visitors going to Thailand. Tourism Statistic of Thailand from 1998 – 2007 shows an increasing trend of international and domestic visitors, contributing to the growth of revenue as well (Tourism Authority of Thailand, 2008).

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) 2007 Tourism Satellite Accounting study, travel and tourism demand in Thailand will generate 1,706 billion baht in economic activity in 2007, and this amount will more than double to 3,943 billion baht over the next 10 years. This reflects an anticipated growth in economic activity of 5.3% per year through to2017. Thailand's overall travel and tourism economy employed an estimated 4,110,000 people in 2007 or one in every 8.9 jobs (11.3%), and this is forecast to reach 4,767,000 (11.8%) by 2017 (www.bangkokpost.com, 2007).

Large flow of tourists in Thailand has made the tourism of infrastructure of the country very strong. Increasing tourism potential has given rise to excellent opportunity of hospitality and tourism education. Nowadays, there are many institutes that offer wide variety of hospitality and tourism‘s degree, diploma and certificate courses to fulfill the demand of the business as well as young aspirant. International College of Silapakorn University is included among prestigious hospitality and tourism institutions in Thailand. Number of students enrolled in the institute is increasing; not only Thai residents but also foreign students. If today’s students are to become the effective practitioners of tomorrow, it is fundamental to understand their perceptions of the industry and their future career in this field.

Research Objectives
The aim of this paper is to establish students' general...
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