Resort Management Degree Programs, Majors and Certifications

Apr 24, 2020

Essential Information

Managers of hotels, resorts, casinos, and other types of hospitality establishments oversee daily operations that may include catering, meetings, and special events. Typically, year long resort management certificates are intended for students with professional experience and a focus on career advancement skills in areas such as hospitality law, marketing, accounting, and information systems. Some programs will accept students without experience but require them to complete a cooperative work experience and additional coursework.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs provide training in the fundamental business principles of hotel and resort management. Associate's degrees typically last two years, while bachelor's programs last four years. Completion of general education courses as well as internships and other field experiences are often required for degree-seeking students. Candidates to resort management programs need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll. Field trips and internships may be a part of some programs.

Certificate in Resort Management

Though certificate programs in resort management are available, similar training is more commonly obtained through undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in hospitality management. These programs usually require 12-18 credits of coursework that provide instruction in the organization, decision-making, and operations of hotel and resort management. Coursework in a resort management certificate program combines hospitality industry theory and processes with practical instruction in management. Common topics covered include:

  • Hospitality law
  • Food and beverage management
  • Hotel and resort operations
  • Financial accounting and analysis
  • Hospitality marketing and sales

Associate Degree in Hotel and Resort Management

Associate's degree-level hotel and resort management programs provide classroom and hands-on instruction in catering, lodging and special events operations. Many associate's degree programs in resort and hotel management are available through community colleges. The curriculum of an associate's degree in hotel and resort management program includes technical skills along with general education and business administration theory classes. The following topics are commonly covered in such programs:

  • Resort operations
  • Business law
  • Food and beverage management
  • Conference and meeting planning
  • Financial accounting
  • Hospitality computer applications

Bachelor's Degree in Hotel and Resort Management

While bachelor's degree programs in hotel and resort management are available, many programs lead to a degree in hospitality and business administration, often carrying a concentration in resort and hotel management. Programs provide a comprehensive overview of all managerial hotel and resort duties, ranging from marketing and organization to food preparation and convention planning. The final year of many programs engage students in a capstone seminar, in which they analyze case studies, conduct research, and complete projects. Hotel and resort management majors receive instruction in many facets of business and hospitality management. Students typically take classes in:

  • Food and beverage management
  • Event planning
  • Financial accounting
  • Organizational behavior and theory
  • Economics
  • Hospitality marketing

Popular Career Options

Hotels and resorts require managers to oversee the various elements of daily operation. Graduates from an associate's degree program are qualified for entry-level management or trainee positions in resorts, hotels, restaurants, event venues, and other accommodation establishments. Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in hotel and resort management are qualified for a range of leadership and managerial positions with hotels, restaurants, resorts, clubs, and theme parks. Some individuals work as event planners or operations directors. Others are hired as financial, housekeeping, or marketing managers. Additional common career options include:

  • Human resources manager
  • Convention coordinator
  • Resort developer
  • Food and beverage manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lodging manager employment is projected to show 1% growth between 2018 and 2028. In May 2019, the average annual salary of a lodging manager was $63,570. Managers at resorts and hotels are generally offered free services provided by the establishment and frequently earn bonuses.

Continuing Education

Some certificate program graduates have extensive professional experience and are qualified for managerial positions without further education. However, many hotels and resorts prefer to hire managers with a degree and most schools allow students to apply certificate credits towards an associate's or bachelor's degree. These degree programs include further technical instruction in various aspects of resort management and provide the opportunity for additional professional experience. Graduates with an associate's degree in hotel and resort management typically have the experience and qualifications to obtain an entry-level management position, but many choose to pursue a bachelor's degree.

Resort management certificates and degrees teach students about managing different types of resorts and hotels through hands-on learning experiences. These training programs prepare students to oversee the operations of a variety of businesses.

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