Exploring How Hospitality Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes Towards a Career in the Hospitality Industry Are Affected by Their Work Experience: A New Zealand Quantitative Study
Chan, Muk Chung
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This research explores the demographics and career aspirations of hospitality undergraduate students who are studying for a hospitality degree in New Zealand. Furthermore, it explores hospitality undergraduate students’ attitudes towards a career in the hospitality industry. The attitudes mainly relate to students’ understanding of their career in the hospitality industry. Previous research has revealed the concerning issue that 44% of students will not work in the hospitality industry after graduation (Richardson, 2008). In order to have a better understanding of the problem, this study has focused on exploring how work experiences have influenced hospitality undergraduate students’ attitudes towards a career in the hospitality industry. The research used a quantitative method, and a questionnaire was used to collect the quantitative data from a major hospitality education provider. The findings indicate that first year students have the highest intention to work in the hospitality industry after graduation (83%) whereas third year students have the least intention to work in the hospitality industry after graduation (66%). The findings show that students’ work experiences have a great influence on their attitudes towards working in the hospitality industry. As students progress their studies and gain more work experience, they appear to form negative attitudes about their future in the sector. This dissertation concludes by providing recommendations to hospitality industry practitioners and hospitality education providers that may reverse this trend.