From working at dizzying heights as a cabin crew member, to entertaining guests in a tropical destination as a holiday rep, or even helping someone reach their fitness goal; the leisure industry has something out there for everyone, no matter where your interest lies.
The leisure industry is huge, and you have the option to work in a range of environments, whether that’s coaching on a tennis court, manning the front desk of a sports centre to even out on the open ocean teaching your students how to wind sail. This is a sector that deals with people, so if you have fantastic people skills you’ll be playing to your strengths with a career in Leisure.
Far from being easy work, a career in the leisure industry requires commitment, hard work and a real passion for your role. However, this is a highly rewarding sector – helping people become fit or visit their dream destination creates a great amount of job satisfaction.
Work experience is important in the leisure industry and can be gained in many ways. No matter the route you’re considering taking, work experience is useful as it shows that you’re really interested in the industry. Whether you go about this by getting a part-time job in a travel agent while at school, or you take a summer internship or job for large sports company, this will show you have the drive and skills to be successful in the leisure industry. A major way some people go about gaining work experience in the leisure industry is by undertaking seasonal work in summer or winter (or perhaps both), such as by teaching others how to ski.
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Leisure apprenticeships are widely available at different levels. An apprenticeship in the leisure industry will offer you vocational training in the workplace to develop the skills you need to broaden your career prospects. You will also be spending some of your time studying towards a qualification in the field and then be able to apply this first-hand, all while being paid a salary. Many apprenticeships also provide the funding for other qualifications, from licenses to become a lifeguard or even teach a sport.
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Many careers in the leisure, sport and tourism industry don’t require a degree-level qualification, but that’s not to say that a degree isn’t important to many roles within the sector. An increasing number of people in the leisure industry now have degrees and companies now recruit graduates of any degree background. If you wish to attend university, you’ll get up to date with the theoretical knowledge behind the industry, which you’ll be able to apply to your role when you graduate.
You will also get to pick your modules, so you’ll be able to tailor your learning to areas of particular interest to you. A majority of the degrees offered in the leisure industry have a focus on sports, with much of the assessments in these being based on physical evidence. If the idea of being physically active as a career appeals to you then pursuing one of these courses at university might be right up your street.
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Many larger companies in the leisure industry offer graduates roles or schemes to potential recruits (of any degree background). These schemes aim to deliver a structured training programme and enable new graduate employees to develop the skills and experience that are crucial to a career in the leisure industry. A graduate role is useful in developing your confidence and giving you the opportunity to work alongside experienced colleagues who may be able to direct you in your search for your perfect job.
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Though most careers in the leisure industry require a qualification of some sort, it may be possible to enter into a role in the sector providing you have enough work experience. Many people choose to enter the sector at a low level and rise through an organisation with hard work to a management position. You may then have the chance to undergo the relevant qualification necessary for your job at the request of your employer. Additionally, it is possible to set up your own business related to a leisure pursuit and pursue a career as an entrepreneur.
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