College Grads Find Job Market Bleak, Becoming a Professional Tour Guide Could be the Answer

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According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, fewer than 20% of recent grads that have applied for work have found a job. The outlook for job seekers is expected to remain challenging for the next few years. Many college grads are finding even entry-level jobs difficult to get.

Our experience has shown that recent college graduates and college students seeking freelance or summer work can become highly successful tour guides and tour directors. Working as a tour guide often leads to full time employment within the travel and corporate events planning industries.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, fewer than 20% of recent grads that have applied for work have found a job. The outlook for job seekers is expected to remain challenging for the next few years. Many college grads are finding even entry-level jobs difficult to get.

“While traditional jobs are harder to find, recent college graduates are among the best candidates for jobs in the tour and travel industry,” says Ted Bravos, CEO of International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) http://www.itmisf.com. “Our experience has shown that recent college graduates and college students seeking freelance or summer work can become highly successful tour guides and tour directors. Working as a tour guide often leads to full time employment within the travel and corporate events planning industries.”

Despite the economic downturn, the travel industry is the number one industry in the world. It creates over 17 million jobs in the US alone. Travel and tour companies are constantly seeking qualified professionals to direct tours or to serve as hosts on cruise ships. Professional tour directors earn between of $250 to $350 per day plus all expense paid trips. Speaking a second language enhances employment opportunities and increases earnings. “The demand for Mandarin-speaking tour directors, for example, is much greater than the supply,” adds Ted Bravos.

College graduates can benefit from more than a paycheck. Professional tour directors are paid to travel to virtually all corners of the world. This provides an invaluable opportunity to learn about other countries and other cultures. It can be a tremendous asset to potential future employers, who seek individuals with the expertise to navigate easily through the complexities of a global marketplace.

Meeting interesting people from around the world is an additional fringe benefit. Some tour directors have even met their future spouses. Gina Pillsbury met her husband, while leading a tour in France. She now enjoys an exciting and fulfilling life in the heart of Paris.

Dale Herdman, who became a professional tour director several years after college graduation, has this to say: "I landed the job of my dreams with the nation’s top tour operator after becoming a certified tour director and I have been doing what I love ever since.” Some tour directors like Nicole Kreigenhofer, who speaks fluent French, secured her first assignment immediately after completing tour director certification. She now combines teaching classes for ITMI with leading several tours each year in France.

Individual strategy sessions, held after course completion, help students identify their immediate and long term objectives, and allow ITMI staff to determine which tour operators will best meet their goals. ITMIs instructors also help students with resume preparation and assist them in arranging interviews with prospective employers. Many graduates secure jobs within the first few weeks.

To sustain it’s A+ ratings with the California Better Business Bureau and the Department of Consumer Affairs, ITMI carefully screens candidates and limits class size to ensure maximum possible placement of graduates.

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