4 reasons to pursue a job in travel, entertainment, and hospitality

Often overlooked by grads, these growing industries offer surprising career opportunities with enviable perks. We give you 4 reasons why you should look deeper.
Elise Tornos
Team GradAustralia
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The chances are that, as a high-achieving grad, you haven’t had many people suggest that you focus your energy on developing a career in travel, entertainment, or hospitality. Conventional wisdom holds that these industries aren’t challenging enough, or that, even if they are, they’re less likely to reward your hard work than a more professional career—why become a struggling actor if you can become a financially independent lawyer instead?

Fortunately, if the conventional wisdom was ever correct, then it was only correct in response to an obsolete understanding of the travel, entertainment, and hospitality industries. After all, today these fields offer a range of jobs that are stimulating, lucrative, stable, and rewarding. Better yet, most industry analysts agree that they’re destined to grow by leaps and bounds during the coming two decades. And if that’s not enough—well, here are four more reasons you should consider pursuing a career in travel, entertainment, or hospitality.

1. We’re living through a ‘golden age of entertainment’

Last year, in its ‘2017 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook’ forecast, PwC predicted that the entertainment and media industry’s revenue would rise from $1.8 trillion in 2016 to $2.2 trillion in 2021—an annual compound growth of 4.2 percent. As if on cue, Netflix then announced that during the fourth quarter of 2017 it gained an additional 8.7 million subscribers.

There are various reasons for the growth of the entertainment industry—for example, new distribution channels, such as online video streaming services and smartphone apps, are drawing in millions of users, while innovative technologies are empowering content producers to offer increasingly personalised viewing experiences.

As a result, we’ve entered into what many industry experts are calling a “golden age of entertainment”1. More TV shows are being made than ever before, and more money is being poured into them2. The same holds true for cinema, music, and video games.  

This might seem like a strange reason to celebrate—sure there might be a zillion hours of Netflix specials to watch every weekend, you may ask, but what does that mean for a grad like me? Well, as the entertainment industry has grown, so have the number of jobs within it.3 This has created exciting employment opportunities for producers, creative professionals, lawyers, writers, finance staff, business grads, and more. In other words, not only are you more likely to find a relevant job in the entertainment industry; but, if you succeed at applying for it, you’ll be able to contribute to the medium’s golden age.

2. Tourism is a fast-growing industry expected to generate countless new jobs

It might surprise you to learn that the rise of the tourism industry is a relatively recent phenomenon. Until the late 1800s, the idea of leaving one’s hometown to sail halfway across the world was fantasy, unless, of course, you were a sailor, a convict, or a wealthy member of the upper classes. However, the development of steam-powered ships and, later, passenger aircraft, democratised the idea of travel, making it newly accessible to a middle-class that boomed in the early and mid-twentieth century. Today, tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, generating $7.6 trillion a year,4 or about ten percent of gross world product—and Australia is one of the travel destinations that international travellers love most.5

Tourism to Australia has, for the most part, grown steadily since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games reasserted Australia’s place on the world’s cultural map. The number of visitors to Australia has grown by approximately seven percent per year over the past decade, and, in 2017, more than 7.9 million international travellers came to Australia, staying for a combined total of 266 million nights.6

This growth has increased the number of Australians who work in the tourism industry, which now employs 600,000 people, or roughly one in 20 working adults. They fill positions related to business, law, history, commerce, administration, management, finance, and more. If government projections are accurate, the number of positions in this industry will only grow over the coming decades.

3. The perks are enviable

Many workers in tourism, entertainment, and hospitality are drawn to the industries by the promise of perks that, often, simply can’t be found elsewhere. For example, airlines in the tourism industry are famous for offering eligible employees highly discounted travel tickets. Ordinarily, they pay only the taxes and fees associated with the airfare, allowing them to travel the world for a fraction of the ordinary price. Similarly, workers in other parts of the tourism industry are sometimes offered subsidized opportunities to travel or participate in cultural events as a way of helping them build product knowledge. Other perks of working in tourism, entertainment, and hospitality include flexibility, the opportunity to develop a career outside of stuffy corporate environments, and the fact that when customers are happy, they’re often really happy—after all, you’ll often be dealing who are on vacation, or out for a special occasion, and, as such, are relaxed and excited.

4. It’s a great career choice if you thrive on personal interactions

If you’re motivated by the prospect of developing rewarding relationships with customers and colleagues, then you may find a career in travel, hospitality, or entertainment to be particularly rewarding. After all, these are industries that revolve around people, and there are few ways to participate effectively unless you too are willing to embrace the interpersonal requirements of your role. Some of the careers in these industries that emphasise human interaction include tour guide, travel coordinator, entertainment lawyer, producer, casting agent, director, events planner, and customer relations manager.

Want to explore graduate opportunities in travel, entertainment or hospitality? You can learn more about graduate employment opportunities in this area by visiting the GradAustralia website.