What Can You Do With A Hospitality Degree?

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Hospitality is a term that refers to the treatment of guests by a host or hostess, often in reference to the hotel and entertainment industries. The ultimate question is this: What can you do with a hospitality degree? This article includes areas of study within the field of hospitality, examples of schools with reputable hospitality programs, and examples of careers you may qualify for with a degree in hospitality.

Hospitality Studies

The field of hospitality has many individual areas of study that can prepare you for more specific jobs. Below are some examples of subjects within the field of hospitality. If you enjoy providing people with comfort and entertainment and any of the topics here seem particularly appealing to you, then you should consider pursuing a degree in hospitality.

Food services management

Restaurant management

Hotel management

Travel management

Sports management

Entertainment management

How to Get a Hospitality Degree

If you find you’re interested in pursuing a degree in hospitality, then you should consult your guidance counselor for ideas of what courses you can take in high school to prepare you for a career in hospitality. You should start applying to colleges and universities during the beginning of your senior year of high school.

The Hospitality College at Johnson and Wales University offers six different types Bachelor of Science degrees for undergraduate students interested in hospitality management. Topics include but are not limited to Hotel and Lodging Management, Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, and Travel-Tourism and Hospitality Management. Graduate students can earn a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Hospitality. The college also promotes getting hands-on experience by taking advantage of one of their many internship and study abroad opportunities, as well.

Stratford University offers undergraduate students a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management in which they experience in-class learning as well as the opportunity to take part in dining events and cooking competitions to prepare them for the world of hospitality upon graduating. The school also offers an accelerated degree program in which students can earn their hospitality management degree in a period of either 15 or 30 months as opposed to four years of studies. With multiple campuses in the state of Virginia and one in Baltimore, MD, more students are able to take advantage of Stratford’s hospitality management program for a future in making people feel more comfortable in unfamiliar settings.

Concordia University at Saint Paul has a great online hospitality management program for individuals who are constantly on the go with busy day schedules. Online opportunities allow students to complete and submit coursework in a reasonable time frame in the comfort of their own homes without adding having to drive back and forth to campus multiple times a day to their already hectic schedules. Concordia’s Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management gives students an educational experience that builds their leadership and critical thinking skills in addition to entertainment and hotel management knowledge.

Careers in Hospitality

As you’re in the process of earning your hospitality degree, you should begin to consider what career path you’re most interested in traveling. Once you make this decision, then you’re better able to choose classes that best prepare you to reach your career goals. In this section, you’ll find examples of different types of career options available to you to help you choose what path you may want to travel.

Entry Level Careers in Hospitality

With a bachelors degree in a specific area of hospitality and experience gained through an internship, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described below.

Banquet Captain

Banquet captains work together with hosts and hostesses as well as event coordinators to provide guests with the ultimate dining experiences. They interact with guests to provide quality customer service and to receive feedback on the work of their staff. They possess excellent verbal communication skills as well as outstanding managerial skills in order to successfully create schedules and determine overall costs. A bachelors degree in food service management or hospitality management with a concentration in food service is highly valued by those looking to hire a banquet captain.

Not including tips, banquet captains can earn over $24,000 annually, based on knowledge and years of experience in the food service industry.

Reservation Sales Agent

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Reservation sales agents assist people with many types of accommodations. They help in organizing travel arrangements and in booking hotel rooms for individuals on business or pleasure trips. They often serve as the go-between for individuals and other agencies to make sure all accommodations are acceptable for all parties involved. They possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and outstanding organizational skills, and many reservation sales agents have a bachelors degree in hospitality.

Reservation sales agents can earn an annual salary of around $32,000, depending on their education and experience levels.

Hotel Front Office Manager

At a hotel, the front office manager supervises the office staff to ensure things run smoothly. Office managers also handle customer service issues that may arise, such as schedule discrepancies and dissatisfied guests. They often answer to higher up hotel managers in order to best decide how to handle certain customer service situations. People with positions as front office managers of hotels are often those who have received promotions over the course of their years working at the hotels, but it is not unheard of for front office managers to have an associates or bachelors degree in hospitality or hotel management with background knowledge in business. They are personable and have impressive leadership skills in order to best oversee staff members.

Hotel front office managers can earn around $42,000 annually, depending on the hotel location and their knowledge and experience levels.

Advanced Careers in Hospitality

With a higher degree, such as a masters degree in hospitality, or just after gaining years of experience in the field of hospitality, you may find that you qualify for one or both of the positions looked at here.

Hotel Revenue Manager

It is the job of a hotel revenue manager to assign nightly room rates for a hotel. Room rates are based on economic factors, so it is important that hotel revenue managers constantly remain up-to-date on the latest economic trends as well as the happenings of local competition. Excessively low prices will reduce a hotel’s revenue and in turn hurt the business, despite the larger number of guests. If room rates are set too high, the hotel will most likely lose revenue due to lack of business. In addition to years of experience in the field, a masters degree in hotel management is particularly impressive to employers. Customer service skills are appreciated, as are good organizational skills and strong background knowledge in business finance.

Hotel revenue managers can earn around $51,000 annually, based on their education and experience levels.

Convention Services Manager

Convention services managers work for hotels, arranging and supervising events such as conferences and conventions. They converse with organization and business leaders in order to meet their requirements for the events, and then set about organizing outside services for those specific events. They coordinate with caterers and sound system management for food arrangements and potential video recording services, as well. Convention services managers typically hold bachelors degree in some area of hospitality management, and many often possess master degrees in fields related to event coordinating and hospitality management.

Convention services managers can earn a salary of around $53,000 annually, with advanced education and previous hospitality and customer service experience.

Companies that Hire People with Hospitality Degrees

Upon earning your degree in hospitality, you’ll need to find a company that is in need of a hotel manager, desk clerk, entertainment manager, or whatever particular career path you’re interested in within the field of hospitality. Below is a list of companies that hire people with degrees in hospitality.

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts – various locations across the U.S.; hires positions for hotel managers, convention services managers, banquet assistants, etc.

The Plaza Hotel – located in New York, NY; hires positions for general managers, banquet managers and captains, office managers, etc.

Marriott Hotels – locations around the world; hires positions for directors of food and beverage, restaurant supervisors, administrative assistants, etc.

Destination Hotels and Resorts – locations across the U.S.; hires positions for activities attendants, assistant controllers, directors of catering, audio visual managers, etc.

The job market for people with hospitality degrees isn’t exactly at its peak, but it is also not spiraling downward on a slippery slope. If you’ve got the right education and determination with a strong desire to help people feel at home away from home, then reach for the stars and get your dream job in hospitality management.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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  • Amber Young

    A degree in Tourism will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs and there is plenty of growth since it is the world’s largest industry. However you will likely need to get additional education and hands-on experience in whatever area you choose to specialize in—hospitality, destination management or travel management, to name a few. For those of you still in school I recommend that you take advantage of any internships and use them as an opportunity to gain experience in your specialty. This will increase your chances of at least getting an entry level job upon graduation. That’s what I did! I worked for free for one semester at a travel agency. loved it and it turned into a paying job! For more information on a career in travel, check out my website at https://www.yourtravelcareer.com/. Best of luck in your career search!

  • Margaret Mitchel

    Well that’s quite a list! Also, holders of a hospitality diploma can apply for the position of an event manager. I study at a graduate school in Chicago (http://chicago.lesroches.edu/) and that’s exactly what I’m going to do, though initially I wanted to become a hotel manager. I changed my mind after my first internship at a Marriott hotel where I found that event management is much more exciting for me personally.

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