This study explores the moderating variables that influence a student''s decisions to enter into a hospitality management programme and subsequently pursue a career in the hospitality industry. It also examines how these factors are implicated in or modify a student''s career commitment over time. The sample includes students enrolling in various three year (6 semester) diploma and undergraduate programme offered by Malaysian hospitality institutions of higher learning over the academic years of 2002- 2003. This includes four public or government funded institutions with several branch campuses, and six private institutions. Predominantly the data for this study based are on self completion questionnaires with some additional insight particularly about respondents'' direction of industry employment provided by means of qualitative responses. The initial comparisons are made between students in the public and private institutions and these are followed by an extensive series of analyses examining the differences and similarities of respondents'' rating in the two rounds of data collection with reference to a range of independent variables.