Is our industry lagging behind due to a lack of proper education?
— 17 experts shared their view
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?
Hospitality schools have always been extremely good at Hospitality focused courses. There are only a handful of schools globally that have made significant progress on anything close to hospitality IT, analytics, revenue science or digital marketing. The reason for this is simple - running a hotel operationally well is very different than distributing or marketing a hotel. This divergence between operations and commercial/IT (distribution, revenue, IT, etc. falling underneath this) is apparent in the industry - with centralized commercial/IT functions becoming ever more commonplace. In education, there is yet to be this split between operational and commercial/IT focus.
The solution here is surely that as an industry we need to stop thinking that hospitality focused educational institutions will be the main and only source of the commercial/IT experts of the future. Surely we need to be looking at commercial/IT focused educational institutions also for the best and brightest talent for these functions. Do BMW or General Motors get their commercial/IT experts from an engineering educational institution?
Some hospitality schools are bucking the trend and have made the right investments in this area, but they should not be our only source of talent for the future. Let's bring in the right people from the right institutions for the right roles - this will be the best way for the industry to innovate and stay ahead when it comes to technology.