AS in Hospitality and Tourism programs help students develop a wide range of business and hospitality skills, such as business writing, office organization, management and customer service. They also learn to interpret and apply laws specific to the tourism and hospitality industry. Many schools include an internship in the hospitality industry as an optional part of the program. Generally, a high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission.
Associate's Degree Programs in Travel and Tourism
The curriculum of these programs typically includes both lecture-based classwork and hands-on experience. Students can expect to take courses in:
- Customer service and sales
- Business law
- Marketing and communications
- Computer technology
- Culinary arts
Popular Career Options
Several industries, such as travel, hotel, marketing, food service and attraction, need employees with tourism and hospitality skills. Many graduates leave such programs with the skills to work as managers at a number of different travel, tourism and hospitality businesses, including airlines, cruise lines, car rental facilities, travel agencies, hotels, and motor coach companies. Potential job titles include:
- Food and beverage director
- Sales manager
- Purchasing manager
- Spa manager
- Meeting planner
- Restaurant manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of lodging managers is expected to grow 8% form 2014-2024, while employment for food service managers is expected to grow 5%. The BLS also reported that lodging managers made a median annual salary of $49,720 as of May 2014, while lodging food service managers earned $48,690.
Students wishing to further their education may go on to a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management program. These programs often provide in-depth instruction on a variety of hospitality subjects. Students in this type of undergraduate program may learn about managerial level accounting and technology specific to the hospitality industry. Graduates are prepared for middle to upper management positions in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.
By earning an associate's degree in travel and tourism, students prepare themselves for employment in the hospitality industry. They can join the workforce immediately after graduation, or they can increase their chances of landing a managerial position by earning a bachelor's degree in a similar field.