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Hospitality Management Degrees

Overview of the field

Travel and tourism industry generatesbillions each year. Its importance can be gauged from a fact that some country’s entire economy is based on tourism. Hospitality management forms the core of the travel and tourism industry, consisting of hotels, resorts and restaurants. It also includes planning and organizing events including preparation of food, its presentation and handling accounts.

Is hospitality management the right profession for you?

If you have the following qualities, you may not only want to pursue a career in hospitality management but may also excel in it.

  • Customer-service skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Listening skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Business skills

In short, a career in hospitality management is for you if you like dealing with people, travelling and leading a team of hospitality management professionals.

How to enter the profession?

There are many academic pathways leading to a career in hospitality management. Most, if not all positions require a high school diploma or GED. Some management positions may require an advanced degree like a bachelor’s in hospitality management or a related field like Business, management, accounting, etc. However if you are a working professional with limited time for college degrees but a strong desire to advance in the hospitality management field, consider enrolling in a hospitality management certificate.

Types of hospitality management certificates

Hospitality management is a vast, rapidly expanding and evolving field.There are many different types of certificates in hospitality management, focusing on different aspects of the industry. The following is admittedly not an exhaustive list.

  • General Certificate in Hospitality Management
  • Master Certificate in Hospitality Management
  • Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate

General Certificate in Hospitality Management

A Certificate in Hospitality Management is a one-year program which takes 30 credit hours to complete. These points can then be transferred to a diploma program which takes another year to complete. The courses are usually offered one at a time. 

Highlights of the coursework

Coursework in Certificate of Hospitality Management program is generally based on theory and practice introducing students to the various aspects of the hospitality industry. Some of the main courses include:

  • Food and beverage management
  • Business communication
  • Business etiquettes
  • Hospitality accounting
  • Hotel law
  • Travel law
  • Restaurant law
  • Hospitality employee training

Another important aspect of the hospitality management industry is planning and organizing high-level meetings; the certificate may train you for that as well.

Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate

The certificate is both for new entrants in the field and experienced spa managers/directors, looking to learn the latest marketing trends.
Courses are taught in all aspects of spa operations. These include:

  • Customer Relations
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing/Retailing
  • Business Planning/Operations
  • Legal Issues

The certificate consists of 5 required and 2 elective courses. Participants must pass them with at least a grade of “C” or better. Participants have as long as 5 years to complete the certificate’s requirements.

Master Certificate in Hospitality Management

The certificate is for those who are interested in learning financial management and hotel revenue management. It gives a complete overview of the industry and teaches participants best practices in management. Participants are taught fundamentals of hospitality management so that they can succeed in an executive office environment or with high-performing hotels.

Admission requirements

You do not need any specific qualifications for admission into a certificate of hospitality management program. A general interest in the field or some prior experience might be very helpful in understanding the mechanics of the hospitality industry though. 

Career prospects

The hospitality industry is one of the biggest businesses in the world. A Certificate of Hospitality Management allows you to work in hotels, casinos, restaurants, and resorts etc.Without prior work experience, you may qualify to apply for entry-level positions which can lead to, over a period of time with more academic qualifications and work experience, positions like:

  • Food service managers
  • Lodging managers
  • Resort and hotel general managers
  • Human resources managers
  • Event and conference planners
  • Marketing managers
  • Executive housekeepers
  • Front office managers
  • Food and beverage directors

Food Service Managers

They are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants. They ensure that their customers are satisfied with their dining experience and the business is profitable.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that food service managers earned a median yearly salary of $47,960 in 2012.

Lodging Managers

They work for hotels, and motels, etc. Other than running the establishment efficiently, they are also responsible for making it profitable.

BLS reports that lodging managers earned a median yearly salary of $46,810 in 2012.

Obtaining a certificate in hospitality management, in short, is the fastest way to starting a career in the industry or excel in your existing career in the hospitality industry.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


How long does it take to get a Hospitality Management Degree?

There are different kinds of degrees in Hospitality. The duration of the degree depends on the type of program you are enrolled in. If you choose an associate's degree, it will take around two years of education to complete. A bachelor's degree typically takes four years in college and a master's program will require two years of study, after a four year bachelor's program.

What are the requirements to get a Hospitality Management Degree?

To get a Hospitality Management degree, candidates will require a high school diploma or equivalent degree. To apply for a bachelor's degree, you will need to fill out the application form for your chosen university. This will include taking an SAT exam, submitting letters of reference and writing a personal statement. For a master's program, a GPA of 3.0 or above is preferred. You will also have to take standardized tests like the GRE and write a personal statement.

How much can I make with a Hospitality Management Degree?

With a degree in Hospitality Management, you can have a career in the fields of Food and Beverage Management, Human Resources, Lodging Management or Travel and Tourism Management. These are just some of the industries you will have access to after your degree in Hospitality Management. Average hourly earnings in the leisure and hospitality industry in the first quarter of January 2019 were approximately $16 while average weekly hours were approximately 26 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Can I study the Hotel Management degree program without being formally admitted in the program?

A:With permission of the faculty adviser, there are some universities that allow students to study for the Hotel Management Degree without being formally admitted. Such students are regarded as ‘non-matriculated’ and remain in this category until or unless they are formally admitted through proper channel.

Q:What are the common areas of study in the Associate Hospitality degree?

A:The Associate Hospitality degree program includes Business Management, Hospitality Operations, Hotel and Restaurant Marketing, Restaurant Management, Hospitality Laws and Management Hiring Practices.

Q:Can distance learning hospitality management degrees be pursued?

A:Yes, there are various institutions offering distance learning hospitality management degree programs. Penn Foster Career School, South University, DeVry University and Kaplan University Online are a few popular ones offering this degree program online.

Q:Which university offers the best online hotel management programs?

A:Online Hotel Management programs are offered by a variety of schools and universities such as the Schiller International University, Kaplan University and Penn Foster Career School. These are amongst the well reputed institutes offering distance learning programs in Hotel Management. Students can opt for associate, bachelor or master's level degrees at these universities and schools and earn their degrees much faster than the traditional programs.

Q:What are your arguments about restaurant hospitality management programs taken online?

A:Restaurant and Hospitality Management programs are offered online via a bunch of accredited online schools. All that matters is that the online institute you chose should be accredited. Beyond that, all online schools have the same content as the campus based schools. In fact, online schools help save a lot of extra costs such as travel expenses. Online hospitality management classes also allow students the flexibility of scheduling their own classes and taking the course at their own pace.

Q:How long does it take to complete online Hospitality Management degrees?

A:Online Hospitality Management degrees are self paced programs and have no specified time duration. Students can't take as much time as they desire to complete the program. They schedule their own classes and take them from anywhere in the world with an internet connection only. However, on average, online students also take the same time as the on-campus students.

Q:How long it take to complete a degree in Hospitality Management?

A:Hospitality Management degree programs can be opted at the associate, bachelor, and master's level. The associate in hospitality management can be completed within two years, the bachelor in hospitality management in four years and the masters in hospitality management in another two years. The above mentioned programs can be opted online as well. Online programs are self-paced; hence, there is no duration restriction on online programs.

Q:What is the Hotel Management degree salary and what kind of job will I get?

A:Hotel Management degree salary highly depends on the sector you are working in as well as which degree you have. The pay scale is different and depends on these factors. With a degree in this field you can get job anywhere in the food industry, ranging from hotels, restaurants to government sector of food management.

Q:As I read about the Hospitality Management programs, there was mention of the course on English Composition. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common too get to read about the course on English Composition while going through the Hospitality Management Programs. This course usually is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with strong understanding of the basic writing skills and how to improve on that. Hands on experience is also added in this course.

Q:Will a degree in hospitality management provide me with all I need to know to work in a hotel complex?

A:Like many academic qualifications, there is only so much you can learn in the classroom; and like many career paths, you will learn a lot through hands-on experience once you start work. Also no hotels are identical so you will always have to be flexible and adaptable to most situations. A degree in this field will provide with a good foundation and understanding of how the industry works and will prove invaluable.

Q:What is hospitality management?

A:Hospitality management is the academic study of the hospitality industry. In the past, many drifted into the industry and much of the learning was undertaken 'on the job'. In the modern hospitality industry, especially at management level, organizations would expect to see some kind of formal education. A hospital management degree would equip you with the skills you need to build a successful degree in this field.

Q:Is hospitality management training necessary for a career in the hospitality industry?

A:It is not compulsory to undertake a program for a career in the hospitality, many enter this sector with very little formal education. However, to progress to management level, it would be useful to demonstrate your interest by completing an academic program related to the hospitality, as an employer would expect to see it.

Q:I am thinking of a hospitality management degree online. What kind of things can I expect to learn?

A:You will be studying an all matter of topics that will be useful for someone in the hotel and leisure industry. This could include learning about marketing techniques, customer service, facilities management, health and safety laws, greens management to name but a few. There are a number of optional subjects always available so you can design your degree around your career intentions.

Q:What are the benefits of an online degree in hospitality management?

A:Hospitality management is one of the growing professional sectors nowadays. You can prepare for this field by enrolling in an online degree in hospitality management. There are a number of benefits of online education such as the following: low costs, flexibility and convenience, self-paced programs, no travelling and text book expenses, and easy to manage.

Q:What are the main curriculum components of an online restaurant management degree?

A:The curriculum of an online restaurant management program entails a number of subjects that students must study. These include areas such as strategy and management, data analysis, small business development, culinary management, basic food production, nutrition, facilities management, financial accounting, and HR. It is important to remember that the coursework will vary from school to school.

Q:A restaurant management degree online can be pursued at undergraduate and graduate level only?

A:Restaurant management degree programs are gaining popularity due to the growing field of culinary arts and hospitality. This area can be pursued at all levels of higher education, ranging from associate degree programs to masters degree programs. Students can also study restaurant management at non-degree levels. There are many schools offering certificate and diploma programs.

Q:What types of hospitality management degrees are available in America and what do they teach you?

A:Hospital management degrees are offered at several academic levels in the United States, such as certificate in hospitality management, bachelor's in hospitality management and master's in hospitality management. These degrees are designed in such a way that they build a core foundation for the students in the principles of hospitality, lodging and customer service.

Q:What can you do with a hospitality management degree?

A:A hospitality degree will prepare you for diverse careers in the tourism and hospitality industry. The degree will equip you with customer service skills, problem solving skills, a basic understanding of finance, and tourism. Here are a few job positions you can pursue: Hotel/Lodging Manager, Travel Agent, Event Planners, Restaurant manager, and more. An undergraduate degree will lead to entry level jobs whereas a graduate degree will qualify you for advanced managerial job positions. It is important to remember that the income level will depend upon the career path and your degree.

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