World Panel
Viewpoint18 July 2019

Is our industry lagging behind due to a lack of proper education?

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Hospitality HR experts estimate there are 100,000 open IT and digital marketing positions in hospitality in North America alone. This labor shortage and lack of adequate investments jeopardize the introduction of the latest technology applications and best practices, curbs new implementations and stifles technology innovations in the industry.  Is the lack of proper education - hospitality technology degrees and courses at hospitality schools, and professional development opportunities on hotel IT and digital marketing - the reason for this labor shortage and for the industry falling behind from a technology perspective? What's your take?

This viewpoint was created by
Max Starkov, Adjunct Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Founder & Director at NextGuest Digital
Peter O’Connor
Chaired Professor of Digital Disruption at ESSEC Business School

Speaking from an obviously biased perspective, the challenge lies not with the schools but with hotel companies (with a few major exceptions). Having invested in their education, many hospitality graduates find themselves positioned behind peers who worked their way up from the ranks because they lack 'practical experience'. Similarly, few hotel companies invest sufficiently in staff development and retention. Coupled with anti-social hours, inadequate investment in technology and bad pay, it's no wonder that good technical staff run kicking and screaming into the arms of complementary industries such as retail, where their skill sets and work ethics are highly appreciated. If hotels want good staff, bit the bullet by treating them and paying them well!  

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