Associate of Hospitality & Tourism: Degree Overview

Associate programs in hospitality and tourism provide students with comprehensive knowledge of the hospitality and tourism industry. Explore the program, common courses, and important job information.

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Essential Information

Possible specializations within an associate program in hospitality and tourism include business and management. These programs feature lectures and labs and may offer students practical experience through internships. Most schools require no special prerequisites beyond a high school diploma or the equivalent.


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Associate in Hospitality and Tourism

A 2-year associate program in hospitality and tourism provides students with the basic knowledge of the functions of the industry and how various segments operate. Students learn an array of skills, including managing hotel and foodservice staff, developing menus, or booking procedures for a cruise ship. They also study different aspects of the industry, such as travel trends and what to expect during the off-season. Some examples of courses include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Front office operations
  • Hospitality and tourism law
  • Marketing
  • Food and beverage business management
  • Geography

Popular Career Options

Graduates of an associate's degree program in hospitality and tourism can be prepared to take on leadership roles and help companies improve efficiency and operations. Some possible occupations include hotel supervisor, travel agency specialist, restaurant manager, and cruise ship director.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for lodging managers, including hotel supervisors, is predicted to increase 8% from 2014-2024, and lodging manager jobs paid a median salary of $49,720 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Jobs for travel agents are estimated to decline 12% from 2014-2024, and these jobs paid a median salary of $35,660 in 2015. Restaurant managers, counted along with food service managers in general, can expect the number of jobs to increase 5% from 2014-2024; these jobs paid a median salary of $48,690 in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of an associate program who wish to advance their career might consider continuing their education to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in hospitality and tourism management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers usually prefer individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher for management and top executive positions (www.bls.gov).

An associate program in hospitality and tourism focuses on teaching the hospitality and management skills needed for students to find careers as lodging managers, travel agents or food service managers. Graduates can also pursue higher education to advance their career.

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