This is one in a series of reports on ACC’s career training options. To learn more visit austincc.edu/info.
Want a job that’s in demand in Central Texas? ACC is your source for affordable training that connects you to today’s careers. The college offers more than 235 degrees and certificates, many in high-demand fields.
ACC is profiling programs that prepare students for industries that call Central Texas home. At ACC, you can Start Here. Get There.
With Formula 1 auto racing coming to Austin next month and the local tourism industry booming, hospitality workers are in greater demand than ever before. At ACC, instructors use the latest technology and real-world experiences to teach hospitality management, travel and tourism, and meeting and event planning. As part of their coursework, students work closely with the local industry as well as plan and run events in the community.
Find out more about the profession and ACC’s program by checking out the following Q&A. You can also view a recent KVUE segment highlighting the program – or visit austincc.edu/info for information on this and other affordable career training paths.
Q&A with Professor Michelle Costanzo, Department Chair – Hospitality Management, Travel & Tourism, Meeting and Event Planning
What does a person in this field do?
Hospitality management is the business of serving others. That includes a variety of areas, such as sales, marketing, hotel management, restaurant management, corporate meetings, special events, festivals, cruising, and travel and tourism.
What types of jobs in the hospitality field are in demand in Central Texas?
There’s a lot of buzz around Formula 1, which will bring in about 3,000 temporary jobs to the area. But Formula 1 is just one piece of the puzzle. The Circuit of the Americas venue will bring other events and conventions that Austin has never had the space to host before.
The increase in tourism also includes the addition of three new downtown hotels that will have a total of more than 2,000 rooms and dozens of meeting spaces. With these new hotels, the demand for trained hospitality workers is higher than ever before.
What skills, interests, or abilities are associated with these jobs?
The industry requires individuals that have the energy and passion to serve while providing memorable experiences. Other skills and abilities include coordination, flexibility, basic computer skills, speaking and writing skills, multi-tasking, decision making, and sales and marketing skills.
What subjects do students study for jobs in this field?
Our students develop skills to fill a multitude of positions in the hospitality industry, including administrative and managerial roles. In addition to classes in a student’s major, study topics include front office procedures, travel industry management, event planning, catering, sales, financial management, sanitation and safety, and legal issues in hospitality.
What training opportunities for this field are available at ACC?
We offer associate degrees and certificates in each hospitality field. Our associate degree programs take two years to complete while certificates can be earned in about a year and a half.
We teach our students using the latest software, provide internship opportunities that can lead to permanent positions, and work closely with the Austin industry so our students are getting the hands-on experience they need to get a job. In fact, people in the community hire our students to plan and run their events while they’re in our program. (Learn more about our event planning services.)
What kind of degree is needed for jobs in this field? Is a four-year degree required, or preferred?
You can absolutely work in the field with a two-year degree and the experience we provide. We are also an affordable pathway to a four-year institution, where you can transfer credits earned at ACC.
Our program draws a variety of students – including people who already have a four-year degree and are looking for a specific type of training.
How successful are ACC graduates at finding jobs in this field?
I never have graduates come back and say they can’t find a job. We have a great relationship with the local industry, and we provide students the tools and connections they need to succeed in the job market.
Does ACC offer job placement for students in this program?
We host an annual career fair in partnership with the local industry, regularly share job openings with our students, and have opportunities for students to be active members in local industry associations.
What about paying for classes? Are there financial aid options?
Financial aid is available and can help cover the cost of tuition, as well as lab and uniform costs. ACC also has an excellent payment plan option at no additional cost that we encourage students to use. For more information, visit ACC Financial Aid.
How do people get started?
Our website has key resources for our program. They can also meet with us and take a tour of our facilities. You can start as early as this spring.
posted in: Banner Stories, Current Students Feature