Travel, tourism and hospitality have a presence in all states, although it’s likely to be a larger part of a state’s economy in surf-and-sand spots like Hawaii, California or Florida; convention center cities like Atlanta, Las Vegas or Chicago; and business hubs like New York City, Dallas or Seattle. Career opportunities in the hospitality industry cover a broad spectrum, from lodging managers to meeting and event planners to CEOs. Understanding of the hospitality industry is often learned from hands-on experience, and that can make moving up through the ranks easier than in some other fields. However, earning a degree in hospitality management can still be beneficial to helping you advance more quickly or in having an edge in earning a coveted position.
If you're putting in the time and money to go to college and earn a degree, you probably want to be sure you're using your time and money wisely. That's why OnlineColleges.com made this list of the 10 best colleges offering online hospitality management degree programs. We analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) with our proprietary methodology to identify these top 10 accredited schools. If you're considering earning a hospitality management degree, one of these colleges might be the perfect place to do it.
From hotels to casinos to restaurants to events, the hospitality industry is a fast-paced, rewarding profession that requires strong business acumen. Students who enroll in online colleges for hospitality management have the opportunity to explore many areas of the field and gain several invaluable skills along the way.
Hospitality management is a diverse field, so it's not surprising online hospitality management degrees have similarly diverse curriculums. Although the exact coursework that students can expect to complete depends on the school they enroll in, below are examples of classes that may be available in a hospitality management program.
Online education for hospitality management can teach graduates a number of skills to help them deal with the rigors of the field. The following are some examples of these skills.
Whether someone's on vacation or a business trip, chances are a lodging manager's work has made the trip a lot more pleasant. Those who enter lodging manager careers are responsible for ensuring that guests at motels, hotels, casinos, lodges and bed and breakfasts have an enjoyable stay. Daily responsibilities of these professionals include ensuring that rooms and public areas of an establishment are clean; hiring, training and supervising staff; decorating the property; and creating budgets and making sure they are adhered to.
In order to gain employment as a lodging manager, hopefuls are generally required to obtain a degree in hospitality or hotel management. Professionals in this field may want to consider specializing in a specific area of the business by becoming revenue, front office or general managers.
People who work in food service manager careers have diverse employment options, including restaurants, school cafeterias and hotels. The job duties of this position usually include negotiating prices with food and equipment suppliers, overseeing staff, managing food preparation and portion sizes and enforcing quality and safety standards. In addition, this position requires someone to have strong customer service abilities, as food service managers may also greet guests and field complaints about service and food.
Candidates for the food service management profession should be proficient in a number of skills, such as written and verbal communication, leadership, problem solving and training abilities. In addition, these workers must be able to function under stressful conditions because they often work long hours and are required to deal with unhappy customers.
Travel guides work with customers who are interested in taking long-distance trips, expeditions and tours. These professionals are responsible for helping clients with several aspects of their travel arrangements, including itineraries, accommodations, sightseeing, transportation and shopping. In addition, travel guides must ensure that their customers are safe, so they may need to hire qualified medical professionals for a trip, or if they are acting as a tour guide, be able to administer first aid themselves.
People who pursue travel guide careers should have sales, communication, customer service, listening, accounting and negotiation skills. Also, they should know how to use basic software like Microsoft Office and more specialized programs used in the travel industry.
Beginning a meeting, convention or event planner career generally includes obtaining a degree in hospitality and tourism or meeting and event management. Some employers may also expect job candidates to have one or two years of planning or hospitality experience.
In addition, some employers prefer to hire those who have obtained professional certifications. For example, the Convention Industry Council and the Society of Government Meeting Professionals offer credentials that can help job seekers demonstrate their expertise and stand out from the competition.
Meeting, convention and event planners have diverse responsibilities, including meeting with clients to find out their needs; choose venues based on clients' preferences; obtaining and reviewing bids from service providers; and hiring and supervising staff.