Most employers in the hospitality management industry favor hiring candidates with at least a bachelor's degree. Individuals seeking formal education within the field of hospitality management will typically enroll in a bachelor's degree program where they learn the fundamentals of the hospitality business. Master's degree programs provide advanced study that can prepare students for careers up to the international level.
In order to enroll in the four-year undergraduate program, applicants will need a high school diploma or GED. Students with special interests may select hospitality concentrations such as travel and tourism, food and beverage management, or hotel management, as well as intensive work-study programs to gain experience. Two-year master's degrees will require applicants to be bachelor's degree-holders, and there are internships available for both the thesis and non-thesis tracks.
Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management
Bachelor's programs in hospitality management teach the fundamentals of the field, usually providing many opportunities to gain hands-on experience to help students find employment in the future. This degree program provides students with a well-balanced education that includes topics such as:
Master's Degree in Hospitality Management
Master's programs are structured to provide students with advanced critical analysis skills, research abilities and an understanding of advanced hospitality and tourism issues as they relate to regional, national, and global implications of the field. Some common course topics might include:
- Operations management
- Organizational behavior
- Financial management
- Corporate strategy determination
- Accounting and control
Popular Career Options
Individuals who get hospitality training can work in many different sectors. Some common career titles for students include:
- Hotel administrator
- Hospitality trainer
- Restaurant manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Food service managers as of May 2015 make an average wage of $53,640 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also states that, from 2014 to 2024, the employment for these managers is expected to grow 5%, which is considered as fast as average in the industry. Lodging managers are expected to see 8% job growth over the same decade, and they earned an average of $49,720 as of 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Professional organizations, such as the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association - International (HSMAI) or the Hospitality, Financial, and Technology Professionals (HFTP), offer workshops, seminars and annual expos or conventions that provide training and open forums for discussion of contemporary issues in the hospitality industry. Seminars are offered at various locations throughout the country during the year. Professionals unable to travel can still take advantage of both educational and networking opportunities through sponsored webinars.
Professionals looking to advance in their career can also earn certification to enhance their marketability. For example, the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute offers over 40 certifications for all levels of personnel in the hospitality industry.
Bachelor's and master's degrees in hospitality can prepare students for a number of jobs in the service industry, especially in management positions. To improve their skills and increase their employability, many graduates choose to pursue professional certification and continuing education to stay up to date on new knowledge.