Is a Hospitality Management Degree Right for You?

Hospitality management degrees explore the areas of business that pertain to tourism and leisure activities, such as the management of hotels, restaurants, convention centers, visitors bureaus and other tourist attractions. Individuals enrolled in a hospitality management degree program learn about the operations of food service, running a hotel, hospitality marketing, and facility management.

They also study accounting, information technology and the legal issues that pertain to hospitality and tourism. Hospitality management professionals can work in almost any city in the world, both large and small, as long as there are hotels and restaurants. However, some professionals have the opportunity to work in resort and tourist destinations. If you have an interest in business operations but also enjoy hosting, a hospitality management degree could be for you.

Advice for Earning Your Hospitality Management Degree Online

Lots of online colleges and university offer bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management, so you should have plenty of online options. The types of courses in a hospitality management program are easily adapted to online format. However, online degrees can vary in quality so you should only consider programs from accredited online institutions.

If there are specific companies for which you wish to work, it would be best to contact them and inquire about their education requirements. In addition to earning a degree, it is recommended that you pursue an internship at a hotel or restaurant to gain hands-on experience, which will enhance your resume and make beneficial connections in the business.

Required Courses

Hospitality management is a multidisciplinary degree that includes courses in business, accounting, management, leadership, marketing, technology, and more. Required hospitality management courses might include:

  • Food Production Management
  • Management in the Hospitality Industry
  • Hospitality Information Technology
  • Hospitality Marketing Strategy
  • Leadership in the Hospitality Industry

Common Career Paths

Some potential careers for those with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management include:

Meeting and Convention Planners

  • Expected Growth: 44%
  • Average Annual Salary: $51,965

Meeting and convention planners are responsible for every detail of a convention, including setting the schedule, lining up special guests and keynote speakers, and making sure the convention center or meeting facility is outfitted with the right technology and equipment for visual presentations and booths. They research what convention centers and meeting spaces are available and determine which will best meet the needs of the audience while staying within a firm budget. They work for hotels and meeting venues, corporations, or independently. The above salary and employment growth figures were gathered from the BLS, and represent median incomes. Actual salaries can vary considerably based on experience, location, and size and type of employer.

Lodging Managers

  • Expected Growth: 8%
  • Average Annual Salary: $58,690

Lodging managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of hotels, motels, inns, boardinghouses, RV parks, recreational camps and youth hostels. They make sure their guests are comfortable, well fed and have all of their needs met. Aside from this, they also handle the financial side of the business by making sure it is drawing in enough guests to make a decent profit. Lodging managers direct the housekeeping, dining, room, entertainment and recreation services that are offered at hotels. Figures above were provided by the BLS.

Food Service Managers

  • Expected Growth: -3%
  • Average Annual Salary: $55,445

Food service managers handle the day-to-day operations of restaurants, cafeterias, and other establishments where food and beverages are prepared and served to guests or customers. Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes, so a food service manager’s responsibilities will vary depending on the place of employment. While a bachelor’s degree is not required to work in this competitive field, managers at upscale restaurants may benefit from having a bachelor’s degree. Figures above were provided by the BLS.

Catering Sales Managers

  • Expected Growth: 12%
  • Average Annual Salary: $108,180

Catering sales managers oversee the sales and events departments at hotels and event venues. They are responsible for bringing in new business in the form of booked events, such as weddings, meetings, and conventions. They also coordinate accommodations and other event services, like catering and audio/visual equipment, and prepare quotes and contracts for bookings. Catering sales managers usually work in large, full-service hotels with several events spaces. Figures above were provided by the BLS.

Hotel Marketing Managers

  • Expected Growth: 14%
  • Average Annual Salary: $103,940

Hotel marketing managers oversee the marketing and advertising strategy for the hotel, restaurant or business. This could include promotions, social media campaigns, advertisements, and more. Marketing managers in the hospitality business usually work for large or chain hotels with significant marketing and advertising budgets. A hospitality management degree is useful in this capacity, as it include coursework that address marketing strategy specifically for the hospitality business. Figures above were provided by the BLS.


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