Generation Y's Career Expectations and Aspirations: Engagement in the Hospitality Industry


Maxwell GA, Ogden SM & Broadbridge A (2010) Generation Y's Career Expectations and Aspirations: Engagement in the Hospitality Industry. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 17 (1), pp. 53-61.

The aim of this article is to explore the linkage between Generation Y’s career expectations and aspirations on the one hand and employee engagement on the other. The article includes primary work on the views of Generation Y undergraduate students with work experience in the hospitality industry. The questionnaire was developed by the authors to focus expressly on identified aspects of Generation Y’s views on their careers. Across two universities in Scotland, the views of 122 respondents with work experience mainly in the hospitality industry are analysed. The Generation Y respondents in this study signal that their early experiences in the hospitality industry act to discourage them from pursuing careers in this sector. This is a generation that is apparently self-centred and demanding. It seems to have high initial career expectations and higher aspirations still for long-term careers that the hospitality industry can do more to meet. Expectations and aspirations centre mainly on their personal career development, or employability factors. They involve both employee and employer inputs, notably determination to succeed and good pay respectively. While based on a relatively modest sample size, the article suggests pointers to hospitality industry employers on how to engage Generation Y in order to support business performance. Above all, graduate recruitment and career development that is clear, structured, fair and equal is sought by Generation Y, especially for females. By responding to Generation Y and with further research, hospitality organisations may be better placed to attract and retain Generation Y graduates. More, they may encourage employee engagement.

Generation Y; hospitality; careers; employee engagement; Generation Y; Hospitality industry Employees

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management: Volume 17, Issue 1

Publication date01/12/2010
Publication date online01/02/2012
PublisherAustralian Academic Press