Earning an associate degree in hospitality management often qualifies graduates for management positions at smaller facilities. Individuals with a two-year degree and experience may be able to find management positions at larger resorts; however, large resorts often require management candidates to hold a four-year bachelor's or even a master's degree. Many schools offer hospitality management programs online.
Some employers may also accept applicants without an educational background as long as they have equivalent work experience in hospitality management. Individuals who do not have an educational background in hospitality management but possess administrative qualities may be able to participate in company sponsored training workshops, which prepare hospitality workers for advancement opportunities.
Associate of Science in Hospitality Management
At the two-year degree level, students gain foundational skills in computers, accounting, economics, marketing and statistics. They also learn skills in general and personnel management, cost control, menu planning and operations administration. Some course topics in these programs typically include:
- Foundations of professional cooking
- Professional table service
- Fitness and lifetime sports
- Careers in hospitality
- Principles of marketing
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
At the bachelor's degree level, students learn about resort management laws, facilities management and maintenance, hospitality marketing initiatives and trends in tourism and resort management. Additionally, they often take classes in business math and study a popular foreign language. Some course topics might include:
- Food and beverage controls
- Entrepreneurial leadership
- Financial analysis of the hospitality industry
- Organizational theory and development
- Hospitality facilities design
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS states that general and operations managers as of May 2015 make a median annual salary of $97,730. Food service managers in the same year make a median annual salary of $48,690. Between 2014-2024, food service and general operations manager positions could expect job growth of 5% and 7% respectively, according to the BLS.
Licenses and Certifications
While resort managers are not required to obtain licensure, voluntary certifications are available through the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. Interested resort managers who meet minimum education or experience requirements and pass an exam can earn the Certified Lodging Manager or Certified Hotel Administrator credential. Re-certification is required every five years.
Resort managers interested in staying up-to-date on hospitality trends can search field-specific websites, which may offer news articles or blog columns. They may also be able to sign up for periodic e-newsletters. Managers can also look to local libraries and virtual or local bookstores for materials that can help them develop general leadership or business strategy skills.
Smaller resorts typically require resort managers to have a two-year degrees in hospitality management, while larger resorts may require a bachelor's or master's degree. Experience can also play a role in qualifications and some resorts may have company sponsored training workshops.
Industry organizations, such as the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, often sponsor 1-2 hour seminars and webinars on various resort management topics. Themes may include social media positioning strategies, leadership development techniques and trends in tourism. Resort managers can also take part in more in-depth hospitality conferences, which may run for several days.