Students interested in the hospitality industry often want to know more about the difference between a hospitality and tourism degree. The tourism industry is a fast growing industry that focuses on the satisfaction and happiness of guests and customers. Many people can only afford to take a single vacation every year, and experts working in their field want them to feel happy about their experiences. The biggest difference between the two programs is your future career outlook.

What is the Difference Between a Hospitality and Tourism Degree?

Those working in the hospitality industry work as hotel clerks, restaurant managers, bar managers, cruise ship representatives and dozens of other positions. While some people find that hard work can help them get ahead, others want a higher level position right out of school. Before you decide on a college degree program, think about the difference between a hospitality and tourism degree. The main difference refers to where those individuals work. With a tourism degree, you can work at a state or national park, in a museum or a private tour companies. Those with a hospitality degree typically work in hotels, motels and resorts.

What is a Hospitality Degree?

A hospitality degree is a degree that prepares you for working in customer service and travel industries. Students take courses on food sanitation, food preparation, hotel management, ordering and human resources. Upon graduation, you will know how to take stock of inventories, schedule employees working underneath you and follow a strict budget. Many graduates work in industries that involve a high level of customer service, including as a manger of a five star resort or as a manager of a conference center. Many degree programs require that students work part-time at a local hotel or do an internship with a college or restaurant owned by the school.

What is a Tourism Degree?

Tourism is a specific type of industry relating to travel. These degree programs look at how to make clients and customers feel more comfortable and satisfied while traveling. Many graduates work as representatives for major travel companies, but other graduates work as travel agents and tour guides. When looking for a new school, make sure that the program uses the latest software and programs used by guides and travel agents. You also want to pick a program that lets you do an internship. Some programs even send students to work for Disney and other major companies.

Careers Available

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lodging managers make a median of nearly $47,000 a year. The BLS also reports that the job outlook for lodging managers is on par with other similar industries. By 2022, this field will see an addition of around 700 new jobs. At the same time that the number of management positions will increase, so too will other hospitality and tourism jobs. Though travel agent jobs are on the decrease, positions as tour guides and museum workers will increase.

If you enjoy working with others, putting smiles on the faces of guests and leading groups, working in the tourism and hospitality fields might be a good fit for you. Make sure that you look at the difference between a hospitality and tourism degree and your future career goals and plans before you decide which degree program is right for you.

For more information on Hospitality Degrees, please see “Top 10 Best Online Hotel and Hospitality Management Degree Programs 2014“.