Fast-paced modern society has produced a huge need for professional concierges to assist travelers and hotel guests with everything from hosting business events to booking flights at the last minute. A number of career schools and institutes offer courses that prepare students for the bustling concierge industry. Such classes focus on event planning, human resources, hotel management, and travel and tourism.
A cornerstone of hospitality concierge service is event planning: the herculean task of personally coordinating social and professional events at hotels and conference centers. The International School of Hospitality in Las Vegas offers career diplomas in hospitality operations with emphases on conferences and events. Classes for both curricular tracks include Conference Management and Event Planning, and Hospitality Leadership and Supervision. The curriculum is designed to produce event professionals who are skilled not only at large-scale event design and catering, but also peer leadership and supervision.
Any career in travel or hospitality concierge services is going to involve constant human interaction. Thus, adequate training in human resources is crucial to success in the field. To this aim, the International School of Hospitality offers a certificate course called Hospitality Human Resources. The course covers fundamental human-resource principles and applications specific to the hospitality industry. It's designed for students interested in staffing and employee dynamics, but also for any hospitality student who would like to “augment career growth and professionalism.” Another similar certificate course, Hospitality Leadership and Supervision, focuses on distribution of labor and problem-solving.
Hotels are the linchpins of the hospitality and travel industry. They can make or break a guest’s experience. Overall hotel management shapes any personal concierge service. Kirkwood Community College in Iowa throws students right into the fray as part of an associate degree program in hotel management. Students are required to complete an internship at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, a full-service hotel. Besides this hands-on training, academic courses in the program include Sanitation and Safety, Hospitality Accounting, Housekeeping and Laundry Operations, Front Office Management and Hospitality Law.
Travel and Tourism
Travel concierge services focus on coordinating and executing travel plans for customers, whether booking hotels and flights or planning tours in exotic lands. The field entails traditional travel agents but also those more closely resembling personal assistants who can help clients with the ever-changing intricacies of any given trip. Students looking to jump right in can find a number of online programs related to the industry. Penn Foster Career School, a distance-learning institution based in Pennsylvania, offers a Travel and Tourism Specialist career diploma. The online courses cover computerized reservation systems, key international destinations, tour and vacation packages, and the basics of how to start a travel agency.
Scott Neuffer is an award-winning journalist and writer who lives in Nevada. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and spent five years as an education and business reporter for Sierra Nevada Media Group. His first collection of short stories, "Scars of the New Order," was published in 2014.