Hospitality industry receives tech makeover

Anastasia Duller

Current computer skills and technical abilities might be a requirement in the modern hospitality industry according to a study that Swathi Ravichandran is completing.

Ravichandran, assistant professor in the hospitality management department, hopes to find out what technical skills graduates need to pursue a career by surveying general managers of hotels and motels with more than 50 rooms.

“This (study) has to do with helping graduates adequately to be successful in this industry,” Ravichandran said. “It’s part of my research focus. I do most of my research in human resources.”

Questionnaires are being sent to all general managers who belong to the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association. Depending on the number of responses, surveys may also be passed out at the association’s national conference.

Ravichandran hopes for at least 100 responses, but she commented that similar studies have been done with as few as 30 to 40 responses.

The questionnaire asks general managers to rate the importance of different computer programs and skills. In addition, it will also ask who is hired for certain positions. If business majors are being hired instead of hospitality management majors for certain positions, researchers can see what skills they are taught that hospitality graduates are not.

According to information provided by Ravichandran, 71.5 percent of hospitality programs surveyed do not offer many of the 28 identified competencies in technology.

Ravichandran hopes that her survey will assist Kent State in establishing a course.

Contact family and consumer affairs reporter Anastasia Duller at [email protected].