A degree in Hospitality Management is one that can provide you with a number of opportunities to work within several key industries in a number of positions. As you make your way through the coarse work, you’ll discover the benefits of being the right person for these positions to provide others the best possible customer service, no matter the industry you’re serving. With this type of degree, you’ll find several areas in which to choose your niche. It’s just a matter of discovering your strengths and weaknesses in certain areas and allowing the right hospitality school to bolster your strengths and transform your weaknesses. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of degrees you can obtain along with the job opportunities you’ll have available to you upon completion and have a great career.
Topics Covered in this Guide
Hospitality Management Degree Levels
As with most majors, you can begin with an associate’s degree and eventually work your way into a doctorate. This can take anywhere from two to roughly ten years, give or take, to complete this type of training program. While some will luck into a position with just a high school diploma, the chances of this are becoming quite rare and just a matter of luck and circumstance. Times have changed within the last ten or so years where a degree of some kind is mandatory to obtain any type of employment, or so it seems.
You can start your associate’s degree program at most community colleges or four-year universities, though most often your budget for higher education can make the decision for you. Either way, you’ll want to check into the program itself and how it ranks with the school. The better the ranking, the more apt you’ll be at finding a job within one industry or another. With hospitality and hotel management falling underneath a business program, you should look into the business schools around you and find the best you can afford through personal savings, student loans, and/or scholarships.
With the completion of each degree level, you’ll find more opportunities and options with better paying positions. So when you’ve completed your associate’s degree, you should consider investing in your bachelor’s, then maybe your master’s to even a doctorate. The beneficial part of this plan is that you don’t have to do each program right next to each other. You can take breaks in between each program level in order to obtain experience in your field as well as pay down some of the loans, if any, you’ve obtained to complete your coarse work. While this make reaching a doctorate level, you’ll find you won’t feel burned out as you secure a position within one industry over another. Another prospect to taking your time getting through the programs is your employer may help in paying for your education, which can be a real plus when you reach the masters and doctorate levels.
Skills and Education You’ll Receive with This Degree
With this type of hospitality and hotel management degree, you’ll find yourself learning a multitude of general principles rather than specific ones, much like how a liberal arts education is developed. This is due to the rate of outdated material you’ll encounter should you learn on specific areas alone. Much like technology, this industry is constantly changing every couple of years as new tourists and people looking for entertainment pour into the various places where this degree does the most good. In order to keep up with new fads and trends, most business schools have adopted the general principles in how you should treat your clients without specific methods since those methods vary from person to person and generation to generation.
So, with this being the case, you’ll find your coarse work places a great emphasis on principles, analytical tools, processes, and systems since these trends are slower to change over the course of ten years compared to other learning tools. With the emphasis on these general tools, you’ll find yourself capable of working within management, marketing, and operations within a multitude of industries that cover services in food, accommodations, and tourism. By learning these tools for these different positions, you’ll know you can handle your clients with the expertise, commitment, and skills developed through your time with your business school.
As you develop the tools set forth by your school, you’ll find yourself developing skills within yourself that focus on subject exposure (dealing with a variety of people), problem identification, basic concepts of the industry and how to cater to others, decision making processes, theories about the industry and its clientele, and management applications to help you succeed in your new position. As you work your way through these different sets of skills, you’ll discover more about yourself and your personality. This may help you in deciding if this is the right industry for you. We all have our own special talents, but those talents may not incorporate well into the industry we think we want. Just because we do well with the practiced applications as set forth by our business school, it doesn’t equate to success in a professional setting. Despite these words of caution, most students can and do very well within these industries as they adapt their strengths and weaknesses to the needs and wants of the industry’s clientele, bringing the best possible service to the table.
Some final notes before we dive into the areas of this industry where opportunities exist for those interested in this field. As we move more and more into the technology age as well as a global one, it’s highly recommended by schools and businesses alike to master as much as you can skills for different technologies along with learning at least one foreign language. By having these capabilities, you’ll be able to market yourself by standing out among the rest.
Opportunities in Hospitality Management
With any of the levels of education you pursue within this degree program, you can find yourself working in a number of areas, including hotel management, hotel sales, marketing, personnel administration, and franchise opportunities through different venues and types of businesses. By obtaining these degrees, you can choose where you wish to work based on the appeal of the business to your personality and sensibilities. Casinos, clubs, lodging, food and beverage, and even tourism, event and convention services have management opportunities for those willing to do the work and gain an appreciation for all the tasks involved in managing one of these places.
Cruise ships, amusement parks, food services (hospital, school, and government), resorts, airlines, fast food operations, and even travel agencies need people with these types of management degrees in order to serve their customers with the best customer service possible. The plus side for someone completing work in these fields is the options you have from the above choices. There’s truly something for everyone when it comes to this industry of hospitality.
As you work on securing a position within one of these industries, you’ll find yourself also looking for ways to better your skill set even as you work your way to the very top. Most of these contain plenty of room for advancement especially for those that have the right skill and mind sets for the industry and the needs of the clients.
From helping people decide their next vacation at a travel agency to ensuring their safety and pleasure aboard one of the airlines you oversee to preparing the best dishes and accommodations you can, you’re building a lasting relationship with new and established clients that will come back to you each and every time. For those working in casinos or on cruise ships, you could find your duties including the gaming areas, where you’ll be responsible for the fun and entertainment for your guests. You’ll have the power to decide on the shows your hotel or ship offers along with the types of games they can play from slots to poker to blackjack and more. On top of this, you’ll have the options to change the layouts of these areas to provide an overall aesthetically pleasing and welcoming environment where guests will want to part with their hard-earned money all in the name of fun.
Even if you don’t end up in a casino or on a cruise ship, you’ll find your own fun wherever you decide to specialize your talents. With the food service industry, you can create fun and/or traditional table settings and organize or experiment with the menu choices that a place has to offer. If you’re in the hotel management arena, you’ll have the opportunity to provide the best of the best in terms of service and overall memorable times for your guests from their rooms to the information they require about the town in which your hotel or resort is situated. You’ll never find yourself overwhelmed with boredom as the demands of the industry and of your guests will keep you on your toes with a smile upon your face.
While there are some that aren’t suited for this industry, the industry is always in need of those who care about others, have an outgoing personality, and a willingness to see to the needs of guests. Whether your degree is in hotel management or one of the specialty areas of marketing or administration, you’ll find yourself loving your work, even in your beginning position as you work your way through the ranks. With a focus on customer service and hospitality towards your guests, you’ll discover not only what makes your guests tick, you’ll also uncover information about yourself based on your strengths and weaknesses in certain areas of your position. By learning this information, you can build towards strengthening it or changing it to make it work for you and your business. Getting a degree in this field of work can help you achieve your ultimate goals of success with others and traveling the world without even leaving your backyard because of the different people you’ll meet along the way.