An Exploratory Study of the Progress of Hospitality Graduates’ Career Pathways in New Zealand
While the hospitality industry is continuously growing, it faces critical problems. One main problem is retaining qualified hospitality graduates. This research explores the demographics and career pathways of hospitality graduates from a university in Auckland, New Zealand. The research comprises graduates’ employment during and after their studies; promotions; job mobility; tenure of employment; year of graduation; and leaving the hospitality industry. Previous research reveals that many hospitality graduates leave the industry after graduating which is a concerning issue. The research was conducted using quantitative methods. The LinkedIn career website was used to collect data from hospitality graduates’ profiles. The findings indicate that 80% of students were employed during their studies, of which 66% were employed in the hospitality sector, and 74% of graduates were employed in the hospitality sector after graduating. The findings also show that more female graduates studied hospitality management and left the hospitality industry for other employment. Male graduates worked longer in the hospitality industry. Graduates’ work experience may have a strong influence towards a career in hospitality. The mobility of graduates, promotions, and length of stay in the hospitality industry are key points of this study. This research concluded that 68% of graduates continued to work in the hospitality sector and 32% of graduates left the hospitality sector for other employment. These results can provide vital information for hospitality industry practitioners and hospitality education providers to help graduates’ career development in the hospitality industry.