Accelerating at jetliner speed, the travel and tourism sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, creating 55,000 new jobs each month. Many of those new positions are in the field of hotel management, where new graduates can generalize at smaller boutique establishments or specialize in a host of various fields at large corporate properties. A desire to join this rapidly growing workforce leads many to wonder what degree is best to secure a job in hotel management.
Head Straight for the Four-Year Track
To become a hotel manager, a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management offers students the most versatility, the best training and the greatest employment opportunities. While smaller hotels with fewer services may employ workers with associate’s degrees or special certifications, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many major hotel corporations require their managers to hold bachelor’s degrees in hotel management, hospitality or business administration.
While U.S. hospitality jobs are expected to grow more slowly than other industries, the international market is teeming with activity. Newly opened or burgeoning economies like those in China and India are particularly robust, and a bachelor’s degree in hospitality makes job candidates more attractive to large hotel corporations with properties in growing global markets.
Why Choose Hospitality Instead of Business?
Most accredited university hospitality management programs provide abundant business administration courses such as accounting, finance and business computing. Those core business classes are balanced with numerous courses tailored to the hotel and tourism industry, covering practices in real estate and facilities and restaurant management.
The majority of university hospitality programs also have strong ties to the industry itself. Those links provide students with:
- Ample internship programs,
- Courses and lectures led by notable hotel professionals,
- Networking opportunities and
- Specialized career events.
More than 2,500 US and international hospitality programs use curriculum developed and provided by the American Hotel & Lodging (AHL) Educational Institute. Many of these courses offer the latest information and training for students who plan to work in corporate properties.
Once students have earned a bachelor’s degree, many benefit from pursuing additional continuing education programs conducted by the AHL’s Educational Institute. Aimed at professionals currently working in the field, the institute presents various advanced certifications such as the prestigious Certified Hotel Administrator designation.
For those who want to advance higher on the corporate hotel elevator, a master’s degree or doctorate is in order. From California to New York, most major colleges offering hospitality and hotel management bachelor degree programs also offer master’s degree curriculum. These advanced degrees are especially helpful for those who seek corporate positions such as general manager, vice president or hotel developer.
It takes a strong, vibrant workforce to manage the five million hotel rooms housed in the United States, and an even more vigorous corps to operate the millions of rooms around the world. A bachelor’s degree in hospitality management enables students to take advantage of those abundant opportunities in the U.S. hotels and abroad.