What Can I Do With a Recreation & Tourism Management Degree

Commercial Recreation / Tourism

Areas

  • Travel/Transportation
  • Hospitality
  • Facilities Management
  • Resort Management
  • Event Planning
  • Local Commercial Recreation
  • Promotions and Specials Events
  • Facilities Management

Employers

  • Convention services
  • Travel agencies
  • Travel/tourism bureaus
  • Outdoor outfitters
  • Guide services
  • Ecotourism agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Airlines
  • Bus lines
  • Rail travel
  • Hotels, motels
  • Restaurants
  • Resorts
  • Taverns
  • Motor home parks
  • Campgrounds
  • Recreation communities
  • Theme parks
  • Private industry
  • Second home communities
  • Special events companies
  • Multipurpose sports clubs
  • Racquet clubs
  • Dance studios
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Golf courses
  • Movie theaters
  • Skating rinks
  • Party services
  • Various entertainment providers
  • Festivals and fairs
  • Sport events
  • Vendors
  • Concessionaires

Strategies

Develop strong programming, leadership and communication skills. Obtain business skills with business minor or work experience. Acquire foreign language skills and complete a study abroad experience. Travel to different parts of the country or world to gain exposure to various cultures. Join university organizations related to travel or recreation. Obtain experience working at resorts, hotels, recreation departments, or special events companies. Work or volunteer for departments on campus that plan conferences. Spend summers working at tourist attractions. Learn membership sales techniques. Develop in-depth knowledge and ability for skill area. Gain experience through related part-time or summer jobs. Work at on-campus recreational facilities. Participate in event-planning for campus or community activities. Join related campus organizations such as the campus entertainment board, cultural attractions committee, or student union.

Therapeutic Recreation

Areas

  • Program Coordination
  • Administration

Employers

  • Rehabilitation hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Acute care hospitals
  • Psychiatric facilities
  • Community mental health centers
  • Senior centers
  • Adult daycare centers
  • Residential facilities for people with special needs
  • Substance abuse centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Recovery centers
  • Educational facilities
  • Camps and outdoor recreational programs

Strategies

Demonstrate ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Obtain therapeutic recreation emphasis or graduate degree in area. Earn relevant licensure or certification. Learn to be patient, tactful, and persuasive. Possess ingenuity and imagination. Have good physical coordination. Develop an interest in working with all types of people. Gain experience through volunteering in related organizations.

Government

Areas

  • Outdoor Recreation Planning
  • Parks
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Recreation Management
  • Program Management
  • Administration

Employers

  • City, county, or regional government agencies including parks and public recreation programs
  • State and federal government agencies including parks, forests, wildlife areas and water resources
  • Department of Defense: Military bases in U.S. and foreign countries
  • Correctional facilities
  • Conservation organizations
  • Rehabilitation centers

Strategies

Learn federal, state, and local job application procedures. Obtain experience with government agencies. Become active in local recreation programs and activities.
Volunteer to lead teams or organize committees in local recreation leagues. Take additional coursework in wildlife, turf management, exercise science or other related field.

Social Service

Areas

  • Camp Management
  • Program Management
  • Community Center Management
  • Programming
  • Coaching

Employers

  • Camps
  • Children's homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Senior centers
  • Youth programs
  • Special Olympics
  • Community programs for people with special needs
  • Nonprofit and social service organizations
  • Community centers
  • Religiously affiliated organizations

Strategies

Obtain experience with camps, youth groups, etc. through summer jobs and volunteer positions. Get involved in campus activities and seek leadership roles.
Learn to work well with a wide variety of people.

Fitness

Areas

  • Health Club Management
  • Fitness Instructing
  • Dance Instructing
  • Coaching
  • Athletic Training

Employers

  • Fitness centers
  • Corporate fitness centers
  • Weight reduction facilities
  • Sports and entertainment centers
  • Athletic clubs
  • Adult care facilities
  • Sports clinics
  • Self employment

Strategies

Obtain experience and expertise in various athletic and fitness areas. Work at on-campus recreational facilities. Obtain relevant certifications such as personal trainer or fitness instructor. Develop excellent physical coordination and condition. Get involved in related professional organizations.

Recreation Retailing

Areas

  • Management
  • Buying
  • Small Business Ownership

Employers

  • Department stores
  • Specialty shops
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Outdoor outfitters

Strategies

Minor in business. Learn basic business principles. Gain experience in direct sales and customer service. Develop skills in management and motivation of others. Get experience in promotion and special events. Acquire skills in inventory management including purchasing, stock control, and merchandise display. Develop expertise in a recreational interest such as hiking, fishing, paddling, skiing, or hunting.

Education

Areas

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Coaching
  • Administration

Employers

  • Universities/colleges
  • Elementary/secondary schools

Strategies

Earn a graduate degree for teaching and administration at the college and university level. Learn the process for teacher certification in the K-12 system.
Get involved in recreation sports or intramurals as an undergraduate student.

General Information

  • Obtain summer, part-time, internship, or volunteer experience in camps, playgrounds, recreation/fitness centers, social service organizations, hotels, tourist attractions, etc.
  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for entry-level recreation positions. A graduate degree may be required for administrative positions and teaching/research positions at universities and colleges.
  • Obtain a broad liberal arts and cultural background including knowledge/skills in athletics, music, arts and crafts, nature, dance, drama, and club structure.
  • Obtain certification in first aid and safety, CPR, or lifeguarding depending upon your interests.
  • Enjoy the outdoors and/or be willing to work outdoors.
  • Develop physical agility and stamina for your career.
  • Develop good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Join related professional associations. Attend state/national professional association conferences.
    Cultivate the ability to motivate others.
  • Possess the ability to enjoy life and positively interact with others.
  • Obtain competence and skills in special area(s) of interest.
  • Learn to work effectively with people of various ages and backgrounds.
  • Possess a cooperative attitude toward others as well as common sense in understanding and dealing with people and situations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team.
  • Obtain knowledge of U.S. and world geography, history and social customs. Consider taking foreign language depending on your career interests.
  • Develop leadership and supervisory skills in coordinating and directing others in various activities.
  • Consider participating in the Walt Disney College Program.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer