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Bachelor of Arts (BA): Hospitality Management Degree Overview

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Hospitality Management programs help students learn to operate a hospitality-oriented business, such as a hotel, restaurant, or casino. Students may be able to choose specializations that align with their career goals.

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Essential Information

Hospitality management bachelor's programs require four years of study, although accelerated 2-year programs are available for students who have an associate degree. Most programs provide a broad curriculum with specialties such as food and beverage operations, lodging and facilities management, conference and trade show planning, casino management, and even entrepreneurship.

B.A. programs typically include more liberal arts classes than Bachelor of Science programs. Online program options are available, as are many opportunities to study abroad. A management trainee program or internship is required of students in order to graduate. Generally, these programs require a high school diploma or GED for admission.


Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management

In bachelor's degree programs in hospitality management, students take general business coursework, such as marketing, business law, organizational behavior, computers, and accounting. General management topics, such as the legal aspects of the hospitality business and human resources management, may also be included. Core hospitality topics may cover:

  • Special events marketing
  • Food and beverage controls
  • Catering management
  • Security and loss prevention
  • Hospitality facilities management
  • Dining room service

Popular Career Choices

Graduates of hospitality management bachelor's degree programs have opportunities in many areas or the food and beverage, travel, tourism, and lodging industries. Internships gained as part of the degree program may be helpful in securing employment in a particular venue or company. Some examples of entry-level management positions include:

  • Catering manager
  • Food service manager
  • Lodging manager
  • Sales manager
  • Meeting and convention planner

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for lodging managers is predicted to increase by 8% during the 2014-2024 decade. Meeting, convention and event planners should expect faster-than-average employment growth of 10% during the same time period. In May of 2015, the BLS estimated the mean annual salary of event planners was $50,910. Lodging managers averaged $57,810.

Continuing Education

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in hospitality management may pursue an advanced degree, such as a master's degree in hospitality management or international hospitality management. Large hospitality chains often promote from within, so work experience can also assist in career advancement.

Voluntary professional certification is available through many organizations, including the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. This organization has certification options in housekeeping, sales, food and beverage, human resources, front office, security, revenue management, and maintenance. A series of education and experience requirements must be met to earn a designation.

Students who earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Hospitality Management can learn how to operate a hospitality-oriented business. Graduates may be qualified for entry-level management positions, and they can pursue voluntary certifications to enhance their job applications. They may also go on to enroll in hospitality management master's programs.

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