Online Colleges for Hospitality & Culinary Professions

"Leave the shower curtain on the inside of the tub." Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, supposedly said this from his deathbed, after being asked for a few last wise words. Besides being a funny anecdote, Hilton's line indicates the extent to which details matter if you're in the hospitality business. Whether you're working for a hotel, restaurant or event planning business, your job is to treat your customers like esteemed guests, making them feel cared for by anticipating and meeting some of their most basic needs, such as for food and shelter.

Hospitality and Culinary Arts Degree Programs and Careers

In the hotel world, more and more employers prefer hiring college graduates for management jobs. Online degree programs in hospitality allow you to get essential on-the-job experience while earning the credential necessary for advancement. Working toward degrees like the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality or the Associate of Arts in Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, you can take classes in everything from basic customer service to accounting practices and relevant legal issues.

It's obvious why on-the-job training is crucial in the culinary arts: to learn how to wield a knife, you have to practice using it in the kitchen. But getting formal training at one of the culinary arts colleges can give you the edge you need to land that kitchen job. Associate degree programs teach you the basics of food preparation and presentation, while bachelor's degree programs include courses in advanced techniques.

Job Outlook for Hospitality and Culinary Arts Careers

Once you've earned your degree, you'll be in great shape to land a hospitality and culinary arts job, such as chef or head cook, lodging manager, or food service manager. In 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lodging managers earned $53,500 annually, while food service managers earned $51,400.

Online Programs for Hospitality or Culinary Arts

Online classes can offer students the flexibility to juggle school work with their personal lives or provide a learning environment that they feel more comfortable with. Below is one students story as to why they decided to take online classes to pursue their dream of working in the hospitality and travel industry.

"A college degree is something so much more that a piece of paper. It is someone's willingness to commit to bettering their life. For me, it took one life jarring incident to get serious. Now, I have not had an easy go at life. My childhood was anything but stable and most of that was my mothers' inability to hold a job.

I learned many things through my mothers' trials and tribulations. For one, I craved a steady job and income. I did not want to have to worry about finances, day in and day out. I've also learned the importance of a degree and just how much farther in life that can get you.

When I elected to go back to school, I knew I was not going to be able to go to a conventional college. So, I chose online classes. This allows me to be able to attend school full time and to be able to provide the finances needed in this society. I have been a chef for eight years and I know that it is time to discover a new outlet. So I am pursuing a degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Tourism and Hospitality. I am someone with a lot of drive and a very intense work ethic. There is nothing in life I cannot conquer and a college education is going to be one of my biggest assets."

- Kallie (Colorado)

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