A service management degree is a distinct academic program that prepares students for hospitality leadership positions. Students will learn about everything from legal issues to hospitality management to staff development.

What is Service Management?

Hospitality-based service management is the managerial and administrative science of overseeing a hospitality organization. A degree in service management introduces students to the vital skills and competencies required for a successful career in a hospitality-based organization, such as a hotel or resort. Service management involves a wide array of applicable topics, such as event planning, tourism management and hospitality service entrepreneurship. Similar degrees include international hospitality and service industry operations. Food, hotel and travel management are also related. Graduates go on to work in the travel or restaurant sectors.

Rudimentary Service Management Coursework

A service management degree will first need to teach students about basic business and hospitality concepts. For example, students will study hotel operations management, which will provide an overview of housekeeping, lodging operations, front desk supervision and room division management. These classes will also introduce students to the fundamental principles of revenue management and interdepartmental collaboration. On the serious side students must learn about unfamiliar hospitality laws that define the legal rights of guests and the responsibilities of hospitality organizations.

Human resource management is an important class that will show how to assess needs and implement training plans for employees. Because turnover rates are high in service-based organizations, students will learn how to attract, screen and interview candidates. Finally, sales and marketing courses will expound on the unique marketing principles and challenges of the hospitality industry. Students will master how to plan advertising campaigns, coordinate with sales functions and maintain positive relations.

Complex Service Management Coursework

A degree in service management will also educate students on sophisticated topics. For starters, technology is revolutionizing how guests and hospitality organizations access and provide information. Students will learn about cutting-edge hospitality information management students that incorporate reservation, inventory, property management, customer service and Point-of-Sale functions together.

Conversely, students will be exposed to the procedures and principles of effective food and beverage service management. This will involve control systems, inventory management, menu pricing, cost-volume-profit analysis and even theft prevention. Students must also understand how to assist and coordinate meetings, conventions and special events. This will require them to understand the principles of event flow, room dynamics and common business trends and preferences.

What are Possible Service Management Careers?

Many students mistakenly assume that the majority of service management careers is related to customer service. Thus, they imagine themselves working the front desk and dealing with distraught customers. However, the hospitality industry is actually very diverse with business positions similar to the commercial world. For example, a graduate with a degree in service management could go on to become a call center supervisor for a hotel chain, a project manager for a travel agency or a facility services manager at a foreign resort. On the other hand, they may enter a professional position and work in the legal, accounting or human resources departments. Possible entry-level jobs include event coordinator, quality assurance specialist and aftercare coordinator.

To wrap up, a degree in service management prepares hospitality professionals to enter a wide range of business related careers. A bachelor’s in service management degree lays the foundation for studying a master’s in fields such as hotel operations, finance or administration.