Planning a new career? The tourism and hospitality sector is booming and offers a wide variety of options.

Trying to push past hordes of tourists in the narrow streets of Vienna’s city center can be a physical challenge, but consider this: catering to these millions of visitors could be your new career path.

Tourism and leisure account for about 16% of Austria’s gross domestic product, and for about one in five jobs, according to official statistics. Vienna alone logged more than 15 million bed nights in 2017.

With its carefully built reputation as the top city for quality of life, Vienna is among the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Supporting this requires qualified personnel in a wide variety of fields, from entry level to top management. Many skills can be adapted to jobs in tourism.

For those starting out, Austria has several educational institutions with courses focused on tourism, ranging from academic degrees, to vocational and certificate programs. Some incorporate practical experience. The two main career promotion institutes, WIFI and BFI offer a wide variety of training and certificate courses required for certain jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry, ranging om event management, reception and guest services, to kitchen services and catering, facility management and accounting.

Midlevel managers wanting to shift career focus can find MBA programs that focus on tourism planning, sustainable tourism, preparing for management positions at hotels, resorts or restaurants, event manager, travel agent, hospitality consultant, or sales and marketing manager.

Another option for getting into the field: apprenticeships and training.

Some of the schools offering bachelor and master’s degree programs in tourism and hospitality:

  1. MODUL University Vienna: offers BA and MA degree programs with a major in Tourism and Hotel Development and in International Tourism Management. Internship programs offer students real-life experience. The job placement program offers great opportunities in prestigious Vienna hotels.
  2. FH Wien der WKW – University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication: BA in Tourism and Hospitality Management, and MA degree in Leadership in Tourism & Hospitality.
  3. University of Applied Sciences Krems an der Donau: MA in Tourism and Leisure Management.
  4. Salzburg University of Applied Sciences: BA and MA programs in Tourism Innovation & Management.
  5. Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), the Entrepreneurial School Innsbruck: offers an MA in Entrepreneurship & Tourism.
  6. WIFI Wien and BFI Wien: Both provide vocational education and training, with courses and seminars covering a wide range of job skills.

Many of these courses are offered in English in a multicultural environment with tuition fees starting from €800 per semester. There are many ways to make a career of sharing all that Vienna has to offer; it could be the most exciting journey of your (professional) life!