Much like business degrees, hospitality and hospitality management degrees cover a lot of ground, ranging from restaurant/hotel management to working with sports teams or aboard cruise ships. The industry is wide-ranging and changes quickly as culture, technology, and other factors evolve in society. A degree in hospitality would likewise cover disparate subject matter, much of which is applicable outside the industry, including accounting and basic business and management skills.

Where is a Hospitality Degree Most Useful?

Any sector in the industry has opportunities only readily accessible for workers with degrees, including most management positions. In recent years, this has become especially true in hotel management. For entry level openings, a degree is seldom required; however, for those seeking a career in hospitality management, having the right educational background can be key.

What Would I Learn While Studying for a Hospitality Degree?

To understand if the degree is worthwhile, it is best to focus on the curriculum first, to determine its usefulness and applicability to the individual student. In general, degrees in hospitality management cover similar topics to an undergraduate business degree or a degree in business administration, but with everything geared toward the hospitality industry specifically. All programs and schools differ somewhat in their coursework; however, most will offer classes in accounting, administration, finance, human resources, marketing, and public relations. These can be applied in many sectors, so if a student chooses to work in another industry, much of what they have learned would be of use in that setting as well.

How Would it Influence My Career in the Industry?

According to, having a bachelor’s degree could potentially double a worker’s entry level salary in this industry. An example starting salary they give without a degree is $15,980 per year or minimum wage, but the starting salary with a BA is between $25,000 and $30,000 per year. Of course, this depends on where in the varied world of hospitality services a worker is beginning his/her career and on a host of other factors; however, the difference is likely to be substantial and continue through management-level positions.

In other words, having a degree is likely to increase income, both immediately and in the future, and will likely open doors to more enjoyable work than that of the typical entry level hospitality positions (clerks, housekeepers, wait staff).

How Much Would it Cost?

Tuition costs vary greatly. The choices in programs and settings seem to grow each year. On average, according to various online sources, tuition for online hospitality degrees runs $15,636 per year. Because of the variability in educational costs, it may be possible to find a less expensive degree program that meets your needs and in your area or online.


With wages stagnant and education costs on the rise, earning a degree in hospitality now may be one promising avenue for advancement, even if making the choice proves difficult. The degree offers access to myriad work settings, using skills that easily translate to other industries and job sectors, while also enhancing career advancement opportunities.

Further Reading: Top 10 Best Online Hotel Management and Hospitality Degree Programs