Tertiary providers of hospitality management degree programs must fulfil the needs of student, industry and academic stakeholder groups. The students attracted to this type of program tend to be motivated primarily by the anticipated vocational outcomes. As a result, hospitality management curriculum needs to meet both industry and student expectations by delivering the skill sets needed in the workplace and the institutional demands for academic rigour. This article reports on research that aimed to compare hospitality managers' expectations of graduate skills with student perceptions of the skills that hospitality managers valued. In contrast to previous research on this topic, this study adopted a generic skills framework and managers rated skills associated with interpersonal, problem-solving, and self-management skill domains as most important. Although students tended to rate conceptual and analytical skills more highly than did managers, overall their perceptions of the skills that hospitality managers valued when recruiting graduates were realistic. The results of this, and similar studies, can contribute to curriculum design and the internal and external communications strategies adopted by faculty offering hospitality management programs.