There are many master's degree programs in hotel management offered through distance learning. Most can be completed entirely online, although some require a few visits to campus and may call for internships. These programs are designed to train individuals for administrative positions in the hospitality industry, which includes lodging, casinos, restaurants and tourism.
Completing the 36-48 semester credit hours of required graduate coursework may take students from 2-4 years. Some programs have students document as many as 1,300 hours of practical hospitality-related experience. Students may be able to choose specialty areas of study, such as gaming. Courses depend upon the specialty chosen, but generally include customer service, marketing and financial management. A research project might be required as well.
Industry experience is required prior to starting the program. In addition, applicants need a bachelor's degree and undergraduate credit-hours in hospitality.
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Master's Degree in Hotel Management
Advanced distance-learning programs--such as a master's degree in travel, hotel or hospitality management or an MBA with a concentration in the hospitality industry--can prepare aspiring managers. Online programs are designed for applicants with a bachelor's degree, some prerequisite credit hours in hospitality or tourism, and experience in the hospitality industry. Those without the necessary prerequisites may be required to take them prior to starting a master's degree program.
Some coursework is offered on DVD or videotape with online support, but the bulk of materials is provided completely online, either in interactive sessions with a real-time instructor or as pre-recorded lectures.
Textbooks, course materials, virtual library resources and examinations are generally available over the Internet. Students need access to a computer with up-to-date Internet and multimedia capabilities. Interactive courses may require a microphone and Web-cam. Prospective students are advised to check with their distance-learning departments for specific hardware and software requirements.
Graduate Hotel Management Courses
Some programs require all remote students working in the same 'cohort' to keep the same pace and follow the same curriculum. Within the field of hotel or hospitality management, students may be able to choose from concentrations such as gaming and casino management or global tourism.
This course uses the history of the travel and tourism industry to discuss fundamental hospitality theories and topics that are relevant today. Students analyze how hospitality products and services have changed over time and may change in the future.
Hospitality is a service industry, and managers must be able to predict consumer needs and providing appropriate responses. Methods of gathering customer feedback and techniques for creative problem solving are discussed.
Hospitality Information Systems
Many information systems are available to analyze business performance and efficiency as well as evaluate business plans. Several such systems are presented and compared.
A host of global trends are examined, including cultural tourism, ecotourism and pro-poor tourism. External factors such as environmental or economic changes and their effects on the tourist trade are addressed.
Several types of casino security systems are compared through various risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis tactics. Security hardware, data systems and personnel issues are presented.
Career Information for Hotel Management Graduates
Graduates with a distance-learning master's degree in hotel management are prepared for administrative positions in hotels and resorts, travel services, real estate development and convention services. The number of jobs for lodging managers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was projected to grow minimally at 8% from 2014-2024. Job opportunities are projected to be better for experienced industry workers with college degrees.
Many fully online master's programs in hotel management are available, though some programs require a few brief on-campus visits and may call for internships. Most programs can be completed within 2-4 years.