The tourism industry in the UK employs 3.1 million people and is the UK's third largest employer accounting for 9.5% of total employment.
Leadership and Management e.g. at a travel company, hotel, agency, heritage site or other attraction; managing operations, budgets and staff.
Education e.g. developing educational outreach activities, talks and workshops and learning resources particularly in relation to the heritage sector.
Marketing e.g. promoting a particular attraction or site, hotel or facility.
Customer Service e.g. providing a positive customer experience by interacting and communicating with customers/tourists/user groups.
Heritage Preservation e.g. Archivist, Conservator, Curator. Acquiring, developing, maintaining, conserving and interpreting artefacts, art works, documents and records.
Other areas include Sales, Income generation, Volunteer Management, Event Management.
You need to be passionate: about the sector, about the heritage site, attraction or objects you are involved with. You will need excellent people skills: interacting with customers and user groups is key to this sector. For the tourism sector language skills will always be useful in some roles coupled with business skills and commercial awareness. Additional specialist skills are required for most roles within the Heritage sector.
Each role and area of work is different. For some roles building relevant experience is really important. This is particularly important for management roles within travel agencies, hotels, or tourist information centres. As an undergraduate you should seek to acquire sales and hospitality industry experience through part time work, consider exchange and study abroad programmes and try to develop at least a basic knowledge of other languages.
A relevant degree may give you a slight advantage but any degree where you develop some management and business skills will be useful.
For roles within the heritage sector a relevant degree is usually required with most entrants having completed further study and often having significant relevant experience as well.
Graduate Schemes and Internships
Typical student jobs in the hospitality sector such as bar work, waiting tables and even shop jobs with their focus on customer service and sales is a good grounding for a future career in tourism.
For volunteering experience within the heritage sector-
Key Employers– Northern Ireland:
|Tourism Northern Ireland||NI Hotels Federation|
|Hastings Hotels||Culture Northern Ireland|
|Visit Belfast||National Museums NI|
Key Employers– UK and Global
|Thomas Cook||The British Library|
|The National Gallery
||The National Archives|
|ABTA||The British Museum|
On Campus resources–
Unadvertised roles & networking
Northern Ireland Specific (websites with paid and volunteering opportunities)
Job search websites specific to Northern Ireland include:
On Campus resources–
For further information and jobs in these sectors see-
We have a number of reference materials available in the Careers and Employability Information Area in the Student Guidance Centre as well as some online resources listed below.
Prospects industry insights and Gradireland sector career guides will help you to search for employment in this employment sector.
Prospects Job Sectors
Gradireland Career Sector Guides
The Job Crowd
We have lots of really useful information resources in a variety of formats available in MyFuture and the Student Guidance Centre Hub which includes WI-FI, FREE TEA and COFFEE.
This information is obtained from a variety of sources, including the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS), Prospects, Gradireland and relevant professional organisations and other appropriate resources, as available.
We endeavour to ensure that our online resources are current and contain relevant information. However, we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of external websites.
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For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
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