Best Associate Degrees in Hospitality Management

Apr 10, 2021

What is an Associates Degree In Hospitality Management?

An Associates in Hospitality Management provides coursework on the service, operation, training, management, safety, and sanitation of various industries and topics including, but not limited to:

  • Cruise ships
  • Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Catering
  • Event planning
  • Travel and tourism

Degree-seekers also study the fundamental principles and practices that will not only promote success during their college career but, more importantly, in the career field of choice. They will not only learn of what food and beverages, lodging, recreation, travel, and tourism offer but will also go in-depth. Some of these expectations comprise:

  • Employee morale- The positive or negative overall outlook of the employees.
  • Delegating tasks- Choosing and assigning responsibility to the right employee.
  • Time management- Effectively use one's time.
  • Interaction with patrons- Delivering, meeting, and exceeding customer expectations and experience.
  • Evaluate the quality of products

Degree Programs

Degree programs in all colleges are not equal. Plenty of research will be necessary to find a university that piques the interests and is the right fit for the student. Course offerings and their programs will depend on the individualized institution. Here are some programs are as followed:

  • Several universities will offer two different degree types a student could pursue: Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management or Associate of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management degrees.
  • A different school will have a choice between a Foodservice or Hotel Operation Management specialization degree.
  • Other schools will have the same Foodservice or Hotel Operation Management specialization degree, but with multiple certificate curriculums.
  • Some will only provide a one-degree program.
  • An institution may have a degree program with a separate certificate curriculum.

Courses and Topics

Most programs are up to 60 credit hours in conjunction with general education studies. The classes typically incorporate:

  • English
  • Speech
  • Mathematics
  • A humanities course
  • Social science

Some forego the gen-ed courses and strictly concentrate on the hospitality curriculum. Some of the coursework discussions, guidelines, procedures, handling, and practicum include:

Food Sanitation and Safety

  • Prevention of foodborne illnesses- Proper heating temperature, etc.
  • Safe food preparation- Keep raw from ready to eat, etc.
  • Proper food storage- Clean, covered, etc.
  • Kitchen safety- Easy to clean,

Culinary Basics

  • Knifing skills- Types of knives (Chef, paring, cleaver, etc.), sharpening methods, upkeeping (handwashing, proper storage, etc.)
  • Cooking terminology- Able to decode and understand cooking vocabulary in recipes, etc.
  • Cooking methods- Frying, roasting, grilling, steaming, etc.
  • Food preparation- Preparing work station, rotating ingredients, removing trash, etc.
  • Set-up and sanitation- Washing hands, cleaning surfaces with hot soapy water, avoiding cross-contamination, etc.
  • Plate presentation- Choosing the perfect plate(s), portion size, classic or freeform techniques, etc.

Customer Service

  • Guest interaction- Self-control, adaptability, patience, listening, etc.
  • Difficult situations- Unavailable item(s), angry customers, lack of solution, etc.
  • Development of interpersonal skills- Communication, leadership, empathy, teamwork, etc.

Bar and Beverage Management

  • Spirit/ liquor, wine, beer, and other alcohol.
  • Inventory- Includes the quality of the product (good or poor condition), the quantity of the items (how many are in stock), what to or not to purchase, etc.
  • Purchasing/ receiving- Pricing of the product, vendors (the seller of products), etc.
  • Storage- Security, temperature, rotation, upkeeping, etc.

Hotel and Lodging Operations

  • Front desk- Issuing keys, managing reservations via phone or online, performing check-in/check-out duties, taking care of payment transactions, etc.
  • Housekeeping- Dusting, polishing, making beds, vacuum, etc.
  • Engineering- Maintenance, inspections, etc.
  • Food and beverage

Hospitality Internship

  • A part of the degree program for some colleges.
  • Getting hands-on learning and on-the-job training.
  • Applying the skills and experiences learned in class.

Other topics of focus

  • Marketing- Attracting loyal and new customers through ads and other services.
  • Business law- A practice relating to the welfare of employees, guests, and business policies, among others.
  • Finance- A management principle to keep track of income, expenditures, profit, budgeting, among other money matters.

Career option

With a degree on hand, they may qualify to pursue employment in:

  • Sales manager- Setting sales goals, monitor performance, etc.
  • Event planners- A liaison between clients and vendors, problem solver, and coordinator of various personal or professional events.
  • Hotel manager- Ensure guest satisfaction, monitor staff performance, an inspection of company standards of various services (cleanliness, appearance, etc.)
  • Food and beverage manager/ director- Overseeing the daily operations, hiring, termination, financial management, customer service, food handling, etc.

According to the City Colleges of Chicago website, a high level of education, especially a Bachelors and a Masters, are not required to level up in hospitality management. The highest level in most fields is a high school education or less, with some attending some college or receiving a certificate or an Associates' degree.

Continuing Education Information and Salary

Upon completion, graduates may enter the workforce or enroll in a Bachelors' program to further their education. Unlike other degree mandatory professions, some of the high-paying jobs in the hospitality industry need, at the minimum, a high school diploma with years of work experience at an establishment.

Entry-level positions, such as servers, bartenders, and concierges, are customer service-based and are usually on-the-job training. They do not require formal education. However, of the highest-paid employment and entry-level roles, a meeting, convention, and event planner typically need a bachelor's degree.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there may be a 12% downturn for lodging manager positions between 2019 and 2029. Although leisure and hospitality took a nosedive since February 2020, employment rose by 280,000 in March 2021. Thanks in part to the lifting of the coronavirus restrictions, lodging, the arts, food services, and drinking establishment has all seen job gains with average weekly earnings of $459.42.

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