Online Schools for Resort Management: How to Choose

Students interested in studying resort management can find online undergraduate and graduate degree programs available from several institutions. Here we explore the different degree options, as well as look at some considerations for selecting a school.

How to Select an Online Resort Management School

Resort management is a broad field within the hospitality industry. Degree programs related to resort management are available at the certificate, undergraduate and graduate levels. Each of these online programs requires a different level of commitment. Some specific resort management positions in the hospitality field include front desk manager, group sales manager, executive housekeeper and catering manager.

Program Level

An online associate's degree often takes two years of full-time work and qualifies graduates for entry-level positions in the hospitality field, such as assistant manager or associate. A distance learning bachelor's degree often opens graduates up to similar entry-level careers, though the 4-year degree holder may often be able to move up in supervisory positions more quickly than those with an associate's degree. However, many management positions are based on experience in the field, and it is not impossible for one with an associate's degree to rise to an upper management position.

Area of Focus

Because there are often many areas within a resort, there are many specific programs within resort management. Some of these include restaurant management, spa management and hotel management. When choosing a program, the student should consider which aspects of the resort interests him or her most. Students who wish to work in the food industry as it relates to resort management should find a program in restaurant management rather than one that only features event management or spa management.

Most programs related to hospitality and resort management give students the option of taking related hospitality courses as electives, as well. At the bachelor's degree level, students often have the option of earning a minor in an area like lodging or casino management.

List of Online Resort Management Programs

Online Certificate in Hospitality Management

An online certificate in spa and hospitality management can be undertaken by those beginning in the industry as well as veterans seeking to fresh up their skills. Many certificate programs are available fully online and do not require an internship. Classes cover:

  • Facilities and service operations management
  • Trends and emerging issues in hospitality
  • Event promotion
  • Entrepreneurship

Online Associate's Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management

Online degree programs are generally delivered through a school's online degree portal, such as Blackboard or WebCampus, which are online bulletin board-like programs. In addition to classes, students are often required to complete an internship or field experience, requiring a certain number of hours working under the supervision of a hospitality professional at an outside business. Course topics include:

  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Convention sales and services
  • Hospitality management and supervision
  • Tourism

Online Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality and Tourism

An online bachelor's degree program requires students take about 120 credits of coursework, which often equals four years of full-time study. Most of the courses are taken fully online, though an internship at an external business may be required for this degree program. In addition to hospitality courses, students take courses in:

  • Gaming and social policy
  • Club management
  • Special events and beverage management
  • Convention sales

Online Master's Degree in Hospitality Administration

Fully online master's degree programs in this area are generally aimed at individuals already working in the hospitality industry. Professors may be available to students by e-mail, phone, chat rooms and discussion boards. Courses are offered through an online course management program, and cover hospitality topics in:

  • Marketing systems
  • Research methodology
  • Human resource management
  • Financial analysis for the services industries

Schools With Online Programs in Resort Management

Colorado Mountain College offers an online certificate in hospitality management that covers topics like hotel sales and marketing, cost control and more. CMC also offers an Associate of Applied Science in resort management, but it is not completely online. This unique associate's degree requires students to live and work in a Colorado resort for two years as they take in-person and online classes and participate in various internships.

The University of Massachusetts in Amherst has an online Bachelor of Science program in hospitality and tourism management. The program is known for its highly rated faculty, and combines subject areas like business and the humanities in with hospitality and tourism. Students can also individualize their course of study.

The University of Nevada in Las Vegas offers an online Executive Master of Hospitality Administration (MHA) that consists of 30 credit hours. Students take ten courses, which includes four electives and a capstone course. Applicants must have three or more years experience in the industry.

Aspiring resort managers can pursue a variety of certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the field of hospitality and tourism. When choosing a program students should consider how the degree level will prepare them for their desired career, as well as what specializations the program offers.

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