Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Mick La Lopa

Committee Member 1

Howard Adler

Committee Member 2

Miao Li


This study aims to identify the gap between recruiters and students regarding what knowledge, skills and abilities are most needed for graduates to secure entry-level managers in the hospitality industry. Previous literature used different approaches to attain a similar idea that students and recruiters do have different opinions, especially for those intrinsic or person-related characteristics. The researcher borrowed statements from different researchers and added two statements to make up the missing part of previous research and then combined, split and revised these statements to see whether students' thinking matched the industry's thinking. The results showed that recruiters generally ranked these statements higher than students did, especially when it came to ethical issues. Students tend to rank relocation and relevant working experience more highly than recruiters do. Moreover, the study demonstrated that students from other university hospitality programs have similar perceptions regarding entry-level managers' requirement with Purdue hospitality program students. Furthermore, gender issues among students are subtle. However, freshmen students tend to rank all statements higher than sophomore, junior, or senior students do. To narrow the gap, internships might offer an effective means as long as they are continual, applicable, and rewarding. Case studies, field trips, and guest speakers serve as the bridges to industry. Educators should utilize curriculum closely bound to global trends so that students have a broader perspective.