The hospitality industry has some of the highest competition when it comes to jobs, which is why an individual should improve his or her chances of being hired by earning a hospitality management degree. In addition to a degree, those in the hospitality sector should also aim to get as much professional experience as possible in order to learn more and show they know how to put their educations to good use. One advantage of earning a hospitality management degree online is that a student can get ahead in his or her field while working and earning a salary at the same time.
For online hospitality degree programs, it’s best if the program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, also known as the ACPHA. Even if the program hasn’t been accredited, it can still be a worthy investment, but future students will do well to first check with potential employers to be sure. One thing to consider is that the ACPHA currently only accredits bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, which means that associate’s degrees and certificate programs may be a worthy investment even if they aren’t officially accredited.
Those who have already attained a hospitality degree and have some experience can look into completing an online hospitality management certificate program. Such programs may offer the option of specializing in food service management or spa management. As long as the individual has a solid idea of the type of career he or she would like to have, earning a certificate could be just the thing needed to show current and future employers how committed he or she is to advancing in the industry.
Distance learning two-year degree programs in hospitality generally have the same specialization level, but implement more in-depth hospitality management courses. Students receive a liberal arts education, in addition to an education background in fundamental business practices before they turn their attention to their chosen specialization areas. Depending on how competitive the job is, a person might need the proper education in addition to hands-on experience.
Something to consider is the fact that approved master’s degree hospitality programs are sparse, but there are several that are well regarded. Those interested in casino management might enjoy earning a specialized certificate at school close to locations where casinos are located. While completing their credit hours, students learn about casino marketing and laws concerning casino operation.
Another option is there are several schools that offer a Bachelor of Science degree in tourism management and hospitality, and they may offer this program online. The program will usually cover meetings management, food service and hotel management. Both on-campus and distance learning students learn from the same instructors, and both types of students receive the same type of degree. One of the largest advantages of the program is that the university can help students find internships and full-time employment.
Those in need of a program that offers advanced studies should look into a tourism and hospitality management Master of Business Administration program. A major selling point of some of these programs is that they could be conducted entirely online, which can be a big draw for students who would like to work while they earn their degrees. Scholars also don’t have to worry about being punished if they decide to put their degree on hold for a semester or two. A master’s degree program usually takes two years to complete, and students may be able to design their own curriculums.
Job Forecast for the Hospitality Management Industry
One of the biggest driving forces of the hospitality market is the state of the economy. When the economy is down, people usually don’t travel or dine as much, which negatively impacts those in the tourism and hospitality management industry. That being said, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is still expecting jobs in the industry to swell by a small percentage in the upcoming years. Those employed in suburban areas are most likely to see growth, because chains will start to expand to these areas.
As far as salaries are concerned, they can vary. For instance, managers of small hotels may earn roughly $50,000, and managers of luxury resorts can make six figures in addition to job perks.
Hospitality Management Industry Trends
There are several opportunities available for those who have graduated from a program with a hospitality management concentration. Currently, jobs are available in entertainment complexes, bed-and-breakfast establishments, casinos and hotel wonderlands. A majority of the job opportunities exist in mega resorts, but competent and well educated hospitality managers are wanted everywhere.
Anyone thinking about going into the hospitality industry will do well to first earn a hospitality management certificate or degree. Programs are offered all over the world at a variety of degree levels. It’s a good idea to get in touch with the admissions offices of prospective schools to learn more about tuition, program length and scholarship opportunities. It can also be beneficial to speak with program graduates and instructors to get a more well-rounded idea of what a specific program has to offer.