Individuals who are interested in careers in travel and tourism can pursue several types of degrees. A Bachelor of Science degree program in tourism offers instruction in the basic principles of the hospitality and tourism industries, while a Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management program gives students training in the management skills specific to this field. Both degree programs also emphasize internships as a way for students to gain experience.
Applicants to these 4-year programs will need a high school diploma or GED, and SAT or ACT scores may be required. International students interested in applying may need to take the TOEFL.
Bachelor of Science Degree in Tourism
Bachelor of Science degree programs in tourism introduce students to the world of travel and provide a solid foundation in all facets of the tourism and hospitality industries. They learn marketing, management and planning skills and how to apply them to various fields within the industry. Students in a Bachelor of Science degree program in tourism will develop a strong working knowledge of the tourism industry. Courses that provide the necessary skills include:
- Event planning
- Hospitality management
- Restaurant management
- Financing and development
- Group tour operations
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Resort Management
- Resort, Hotel, Motel, and Spa Management
- Restaurant Mgmt
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Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management
Bachelor's degree programs in travel industry management introduce students to the world of tourism and business management. They learn targeted management and planning skills and practice applying them in real world situations. Courses that provide the necessary skills include:
- Financial management
- Tourism economics
- Resort management
- Sustainable tourism
- Hotel and convention management
- Tourism transportation
Popular Career Options
Many jobs in the tourism industry require only a certificate or associate degree, so graduates of a Bachelor of Science degree program in tourism are well prepared for a variety of entry-level positions and some advanced positions, including:
- Travel agent
- Group tour operator
- Bed and breakfast operator
- Hotel manager
- Event planner
Management positions in the tourism industry usually require a 4-year degree. Graduates of a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management program are prepared for entry-level management jobs in fields such as:
- Hotel and restaurant management
- Resort development
- Resort/tour operations
- Hotel and casino marketing
- Cruise sales and marketing
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for lodging managers, including hotel managers, were expected to increase by 8% from 2014-2024; this is an average rate (www.bls.gov). Lodging managers earned a median salary of $49,720 as of May 2015, per the BLS.
Students wishing to pursue a career as a travel agent can obtain certification as a Certified Travel Associate, Counselor, or Industry Executive. In some states, a license is required.
Students interested in working in the field of travel and tourism can pursue a bachelor's degree in tourism to focus on the hospitality side of the industry or a bachelor's degree in travel industry management to study the managerial side. Graduates are prepared for numerous entry-level jobs in the field and can expect positive job growth.