Associate's degree programs in hospitality management may offer some or all of their coursework online, but students are typically required to complete an internship to earn the degree. Programs may place an emphasis on preparing students for further study at the bachelor's level. Students may be required to have software for spreadsheets, databases or presentation management. A web camera and headset may also be required.
Full-service hotels typically require lodging managers to have a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, but smaller hotels may accept an associate's degree or certificate. In other cases, a high school diploma and experience may be all that is needed. Likewise, a degree is also not always required in order to become a food service manager, but an associate's or bachelor's degree in hospitality management can be helpful.
Online Associate's Degree in Hospitality Management Overview
Online associate's programs in hospitality management cover more than managerial principles. Accounting, customer service and marketing - all needed to run a successful establishment - are typical areas of focus. In addition to completing general education coursework, students learn about the tourism industry. Completing such a program leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree. Hospitality management occurs in a number of settings, so some online programs may allow students to complete a specialization in food services or lodging.
Program Information and Requirements
The hospitality management associate's program is typically completed in about two years, depending on how many hours a student chooses to enroll in each semester. Some schools offering these programs have all required coursework online, but others may use a hybrid format of course delivery. Regardless of the delivery methods used, students typically take part in a supervised internship in a hospitality environment.
Beyond a computer, stable Internet connection and typical word processing software, students may need access to programs designed for spreadsheet, database or presentation management. Some schools conduct real-time, interactive classes online; a headset and Web camera are needed in these cases.
List of Common Hospitality Management Courses
Students must complete general education courses when enrolled in an associate's degree program. Coursework in English and mathematics are emphasized, while science courses are often excluded from the requirements. Developing skills in business writing and computer literacy are important as well.
Students learn about the development and history of the hospitality industry. Managerial principles specific to hospitality settings are covered.
Food Service Management
The focus is on managing food and beverage services offered in hospitality environments. Topics covered can include staffing, cost control, menu planning and guest relations. Food safety issues may also be included.
Front Office Operations
Students gain an understanding of the multiple business activities occurring in a hotel's front office, such as guest registration. The different ways of completing these tasks - including both manual and computerized methods - are covered.
Working as a lodging manager or food service manager are among the career opportunities available to graduates of an online associate's degree in hospitality management. Hotels, inns, restaurants and other establishments that serve food are possible places of employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that lodging managers earned a mean annual wage of $57,810, according to 2015 data (www.bls.gov). BLS data from the same year also revealed that food service managers earned $53,640 a year on average.
According to the BLS, employment growth for both of these careers is expected to be fast as average in comparison to other careers during the 2014-2024 decade. Lodging managers were projected to experience an 8% rise, while food service managers could see a 5% increase in employment. Having a college degree in hospitality management, however, can improve opportunities for those on the job hunt.
Continuing Education Information
Large employers may require a bachelor's degree in hospitality management or a related field, such as business administration. Several accredited schools throughout the country offer these 4-year degree programs online. Some schools offering the associate's program in hospitality management may have a transfer agreement with a 4-year institution, which allows students to obtain credit for their associate's degree coursework.
Hospitality management associate's programs are available fully online or in blended formats, and courses typically cover topics such as staffing, operations, and management principles. Graduates may work as managers in the hospitality industry, although further education may be required for some positions.