Hospitality Management Degrees: What is Involved?

Posted on 02 Dec 2015 20:38

Hospitality management is a broad term that can refer to many diverse areas of the hospitality industry. While it is true that sometimes the term is not well-defined, and may even be too broad, programs that used to be called Hotel and Restaurant Management, Hotel and Catering, or Hotel and Food Service, may now be called Hospitality Management as a more all-encompassing label. Today in the U.S. there are over 500 post-secondary institutions that offer programs in hospitality.

Colleges with hospitality management programs are much more numerous today than they were in the latter part of the 20th century, yet, many top level managers in the hospitality industry still possess no professional degree in hospitality.

As such, students in hospitality management programs become prepared for entering management careers in various parts of the hospitality industry, not only including restaurant and hotel management but other types of lodging or food service establishments. As well, students may enter into casino management, travel agency management, cruise, and various entertainment operations. The scope of career opportunities is quite broad. Some degree programs in hospitality management will also offer a few or several specialized courses which focus in on particular types of business or services. Examples are casino and gaming, private clubs, resorts, and nightclubs.

The types of institutions that offer these programs are the same types which may offer programs in culinary arts, including fully independent culinary schools, universities, community colleges, or technical schools. Just as is true of culinary arts education, hospitality management education is a combination of the practical and the theoretical. This allows a student to learn much more in a given time period that he or she would while working on-the-job in one place. However, what is true of culinary arts is true of hospitality management. A combination of post-secondary education and practical work experience is needed to advance.

Hospitality programs will teach the specifics of managing accommodation and food and beverage services, as well as general business principles, human resource management as well as such things as revenue management, marketing, etc. The specific course and structure will depend on the specific school. There are hundreds of programs in the United States offering hostility management, hotel and restaurant management, hotel and catering management, etc. Four-year baccalaureate degrees, two-year associate-level degrees, and professional certificate programs are offered.

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