How Do Hotel and Tourism Management Students and Graduates Present Their Academic Degree?

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Abstract

This exploratory qualitative study aims at highlighting how hotel and tourism management (HTM) students present their academic degree, and the reasons for their choice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 participants. A judgmental theoretical sampling technique utilized to provide a voice for seniors and graduates. Findings indicated that for jobs in hospitality, participants presented themselves as students/graduates of the Department of HTM; for jobs in non-tourist and hospitality organizations, participants present themselves as management/business administration students/graduates; and in casual encounters, as “management students specializing in tourism” or “management and tourism students.” The diverse presentations seem to respond to public perceptions that hotel management does not require academic education and the academic abilities of those studying HTM is questionable. Conceptualization and discussion are based on equity theory, impression management, academic prestige, social-signaling theory, philosophy of language, and the notion of embarrassment. Managerial implications are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Education
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Academic prestige
  • graduates
  • hospitality and tourism degree
  • student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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