A Network Analysis of Cross-Occupational Skill Transferability for the Hospitality Industry


Career agility; Career mobility; Career transition; Employability; Network analysis; Transferable skills


Purpose: This paper aims to examine transferable skills and viable career transition pathways for hospitality and tourism workers. Future career prospects are discussed, along with the importance of reskilling for low-wage hospitality workers.

Design/methodology/approach: A network analysis is conducted to model skill relationships between the hospitality industry and other industries such as health-care and information technology. Multiple data are used in the analysis, including data from the US Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET), wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and job computerization data (Frey and Osborne, 2017).

Findings: Although hospitality workers have lower than average skills scores when compared to workers from other career clusters included in the analysis, they possess essential soft skills that are valuable in other industries. Therefore, improving hospitality workers' existing soft skills may help them enhance their cross-sector mobility, which may allow them to obtain jobs with a lower likelihood of computerization.

Practical implications: The findings shed light on workforce development theories and practice in the hospitality industry by quantitatively analyzing cross-sector skill correlations. Sharpening transferable soft skills will be essential to enhancing hospitality workers' career development opportunities.

Originality/value: To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that specifically examines the skill taxonomy for the hospitality industry and identifies its connection with other in-demand career clusters.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Huang, A. Y., Fisher, T., Ding, H., & Guo, Z. (2021). A network analysis of cross-occupational skill transferability for the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 33(12), 4215–4236. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-01-2021-0073

Document Type




Source Title

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management






Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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