Many people don't know it, but there are training programs offered at many vocational, career training and community colleges that help students prepare to become Travel Agents. These Certificate programs are generally full-time, and typically provide students with courses in geography, world history and cultural development. Some courses even provide some linguistic training, but, of course, each school will design its own curriculum. Working as a Travel Agent requires that students are organized and have great communication skills. Many Agents find that some personal experience, such as traveling to some of the destinations they work with, is beneficial as well. In fact, many agencies actually send agents to send in some of their popular destinations, allowing them to experience the local hotels, restaurants, shops, bars, clubs, etc. that they deal with on a regular basis. Talk about benefits!
When trying to decide on the right school for studying to become a Travel Agent, start by finding schools that have programs designed to help you reach your career goals. Eliminate some of these by looking into each school's reputation and accreditation, and find out the same for that school's program. Finally, make your decision according to the little things that set each school apart - commute times, internship opportunities, financial aid available, work/study programs, job placement services, etc.
Most schools do only offer Professional Certificates in the field, which many students actually combine with Bachelors' Degrees in Business or Communications fields to move into the more lucrative positions that travel agencies have to offer. Some schools, though, do offer a Bachelors' Degree in Travel & Tourism. Of course, programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Marketing and even Psychology may even prove beneficial in the Travel Management field.
It may seem somewhat ironic to study from home to become a Travel Agent, but there are programs available online that many people take advantage of - especially working adults. If you're interested in continuing your education but can't quite commit to the necessary time requirements that come with a traditional classroom education, you do have options. Studying over the web may be the answer you've been searching for.
If you're like so many other high school students interested in the 100,000+ Travel Agency positions that are out there, here are some pointers to help you get ahead of your peers:
The demand for skilled Travel Agents is pretty high, but most of the individuals already working in the industry do have professional training or formal education within the field. The most lucrative positions, as with any other industry, will be the most competitive. Remember to that there are more competitors now than ever, such as online travel-booking sites, so to succeed in the field, Agents must be creative and very service-oriented to keep their clients coming back time and time again. Building a strong client-base and earning word of mouth referrals are the best way for Travel Agents to get ahead in the business.
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