As with many careers today, competition is fierce, and education and training can help you get ahead. Continuous or life-long learning is key in most occupations and industries. Training for careers in tourism is available in formal programs at secondary schools, public colleges, private training schools and universities. These offer both knowledge and practical training for those seeking tourism careers. Some of these programs include co-operative work experience, which offers the chance to gain and test practical skills on the job. Work experience can also help you to develop a network of contacts and extend the qualifications on your résumé.
Public and private colleges and universities offer a wide selection of tourism education and training programs. Some of these programs are available through distance education in rural communities. Some are part-time classes for those who are already working. Frequently, distance-delivery courses are available in print or electronic format, so that course materials can be used or accessed in the convenience of your own home, at a time that suits you.
Any position in any sector requires some on-the-job training. Once you are hired, you will likely receive an orientation session and some on-going training from your employer. Training may be formalized (i.e. the employer arranges for or teaches an established program in a classroom setting) or may be more informal, meaning you learn as you go by asking questions of a peer support person, or job shadow (i.e. follow and observe another employee while she works).
In any case, you can seek out training programs that will help you gain greater understanding in and enjoyment from your work. Your employer may offer courses, workshops, time and/or financial support so that you can develop professionally.
Professional associations may offer workshops, seminars or apprenticeship programs. Your regional tourism education council/association may offer seminars or may have information on upcoming training events. They also offer emerit Tourism Training products and programs, which include emerit national occupational standards, emerit professional certification and recognition programs and on-line training for more than 50 occupations in the tourism sector. Please visit the emerit web site or call 1-800-486-9158 to find out more about training options for you.