A degree in Hospitality Management covers topics related to the hotel, event planning, tourism, food and beverage, travel, and conference management industries. It is a very practical degree that will allow graduates to go directly into the specific hospitality industry of their choice.
Although the industry is composed of many types of careers and hospitality institutions, the common factor that unites all hospitality employees is their dedication to customer service and providing clients with the best possible experience.
What kind of Hospitality Management degree should you get?
One can either choose to pursue a traditional on-campus Hospitality Management degree or an online one that can be completed either 100% online or is a hybrid between online and in-person classes.
For those that are already working professionals that are looking to gain a boost in his or her career, an online degree may be more preferable due to time constraints.
However, because hospitality management is a very client-focused degree, students should always make sure their online program has access to good resources with local hospitality institutions so that they can receive practical experience before graduation.
For those that do not wish to pursue a full degree, certificate programs in hospitality management are also available at some schools. Also, be sure to check out College Choice’s list of Most Affordable Online Colleges.
How much money do people make with a Hospitality Management degree?
The average starting salary for someone with a Bachelors in Hospitality Management is $34,752, with a mid-career average salary of $62,430. Salaries will range depending on industry, state, specific job titles, etc.
According to Monster.com, the highest paying careers in the hospitality industry are casino property general manager ($218,300), regional chef ($124,800), hotel manager ($112,400), regional restaurant manager ($95,800), head of housekeeping ($77,000), executive pastry chef ($60,200), and sommelier ($50,400).
What can you do with a degree in Hospitality Management?
A career in a management role is the most common thought of someone when thinking about a degree in Hospitality Management, but graduates will have developed basic business skills to be employed anywhere within the hospitality and business-related industries. For example, many graduates are employed in sales, human resources, travel agencies, event planning, etc.
What are the requirements for a degree in Hospitality Management?
There are no official national tests that one must take in order to complete a Hospitality Management degree. All students considering this type of program should have a desire to provide excellent customer service and be willing to develop strong group-work skills. Students should also possess strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills to think of new ways to engage with the global hospitality world.
What are the most affordable online Hospitality Management degrees?
The most affordable online Hospitality Management degrees were compiled using data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, Payscale, individual college websites, and the U.S. News & World Report.
Overall ranking was based on institutional excellence and return on investment. Institutional excellence is graded by various data such as graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and endowment. Return on investment is based on tuition, average starting salary of graduates, financial aid, and average student indebtedness.
Central Texas College
Average Net Price: $4,774
Central Texas College is a two-year college founded in 1965 dedicated to supporting student success and employability. CTC is not only known to serve members of the local community within the state, but also military personnel throughout the U.S. and worldwide via its online degrees and programs. In fact, CTC is currently the number one associate-level school among military service members using Tuition Assistance.
CTC’s online Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in hospitality management prepares students for a fast-paced career in the hospitality field. As the first 100% online program of its kind in the nation, students can finish their classes at their own pace in as little as three weeks to as long as 16 weeks.
- Specializations: Culinary Arts, Restaurant and Culinary Management, Food and Beverage Management, and Hotel Management
- Shorter certificate programs (20 to 38 credits) available: Property Management, Restaurant Operations, Institutional Food Service Operations, Culinary Arts, Baking, Rooms Division, Food and Beverage Management, and Restaurant Skills
The CTC Foundation offers about 170 scholarships with about 200 awards given every year to help students financially afford their education. Scholarships are based on financial need as well as merit. The two specific scholarships for hospitality majors are The Charles Leopard “Tiger” memorial Hospitality Endowed Scholarship and The Johnny Carino Hospitality Endowed Scholarship. Students should apply online within the specific deadlines to be considered.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Average Net Price: $5,438
Cincinnati State Technical (CTC) and Community College was founded by the Cincinnati Board of Education in 1966 originally as the Cincinnati Cooperative School of Technology. This two-year college currently offers more than 100 associate degree programs and certificates in a wide range of studies, as well as hundreds of online programs. CTC’s programs cost about half as much as the first two years at a traditional university.
CTC’s online Hospitality Management program focuses on the basics of managing lodging and restaurant operations through a mixture of classroom and hands-on experiences. Graduates receive an Associate of Applied Business degree upon completion.
- Sample Courses: Food Service Sanitation, Rooms Division Management, Financial Accounting, Business Law, etc.
- Internship opportunities with reputable hotel branches such as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, etc.
According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, job growth in the hospitality industry is projected to rise by about 18% in the coming year. Some potential job positions upon graduation are Front Office Supervisor, Food and Beverage Supervisor, or Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner. In general, the Hospitality Management program prepares students to manage multiple hospitality venues.
Utah Valley University
Average Net Price: $6,738
Utah Valley University is a four-year public school that was established after WWII with an emphasis on vocational training. Its online Hospitality Management degree is in the Woodbury School of Business, a school dedicated to developing successful professionals. A UVU education is also affordable, with 57% of its full-time undergraduates receiving some kind of need-based financial aid according to the U.S. News & World Report.
UVU’s online Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management provides students with the fundamental management skills needed to take on various careers within the hospitality and event planning industry.
- Specializations: Event Planning, Sales, Revenue Management, Culinary Arts, and Operations
- Sample Courses: Hotel Operations, Hospitality Finance, Organizational Behavior, Hospitality Revenue Management, Convention and Events Management, etc.
In addition to full support via online classes, students are also provided with individualized academic and career counseling, tutoring, internship opportunities, and job placement. Some areas of the hospitality field that one can enter upon graduation are hotels, country clubs, amusement parks, cruise lines, convention centers, etc.
Johnson & Wales University-Online
Average Net Price: $8,871
Johnson & Wales University was founded in 1914 with the goal of helping students fulfill their professional goals. Since 2008, the university began offering online courses to further support a wider variety of students. JWU-Online is also very affordable, with more than 90% of its students receiving some sort of financial aid.
JWU-Online’s Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management is aimed at helping current hospitality professionals advance in their career.
- JWU-Online ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2017 by the U.S. News & World Report
- Sample Courses: Beverage Appreciation, Human Resource Management, Managing the Hotel Guest Experience, Dynamics of Tourism and Sustainability, etc.
Some potential hospitality jobs that a graduate of this program can enter are revenue management, design and execution strategies, or financial analysis. Students can use the online Career Coach tool to browse various careers and industries, as well as take a personal assessment test to see which career path might be right for them.
Colorado Mountain College
Average Net Price: $9,408
Colorado Mountain College is a two-year college located in north-central Colorado. It was ranked among the top 13% of two-year colleges in the nation by the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. It was also named the third most-affordable college for obtaining a bachelor’s degree according to the U.S Department of Education.
CMC’s online Hospitality Management Certification is an affordable, 12-month program designed to prepare students for the various challenges within the hospitality industry.
- Part of CMC’s Resort Management degree program
- Pre-requisite to receiving the Educational Institute of American Hotel and Lodging Association’s (AH&LA) Hospitality Management Diploma
This certificate allows participants to advance in their career, moving into a supervisory or management position. Graduates of CMC’s full Resort Management degree program have become front office managers, marketing managers, executive housekeepers, human resource managers, etc.
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Average Net Price: $11,432
The University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a public research university founded in 1957. Its education prioritizes diversity, high scholarship, and strong community. UNLV also values affordability, with its students having lower debt upon graduation than the national average according to the U.S. News & World Report. The William F. Harrah College of Hospitality which holds its online hospitality degree is home to some of the world’s best hospitality programs.
UNLV’s online Master of Hospitality Administration (MHA) is a 30-credit program that teaches students the theories behind hospitality and human resource management.
- Program Structure: five major courses, four electives, and a professional paper
- Three major conferences hosted by the college: International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE), Regional CHRIE conference, and the Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism
In addition to receiving need-based financial aid from the university, there are specific scholarships available for hospitality students. For example, independent institutions such as the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LA), U.S. Travel Association, or the California Restaurant Association offer scholarships. Students who think they qualify should go on the individual websites for requirements and deadlines.
American Public University System
Average Net Price: $11,470
Reorganized in 2002 as the American Public University System, APU was founded with the goal of providing strong education for military learners. Today it continues to offer affordable quality education primarily aimed at adult learners. In 2017, it was ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by the U.S. News & World Report. The university also offers several tuition assistance programs, particularly for active military members and veterans.
APU’s online Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management develops strong leaders who plan on working in global hospitality workplaces. Combining theory with practical skills, students will be able to understand the core principles of hospitality upon graduation.
- Concentrations: Food Service, Lodging, Meeting and Event Planning, and Tourism
- Sample Courses: Hotel and Restaurant Purchasing, Management of Lodging Operations, Convention Sales and Services, Cruise Line Operations, etc.
This 121-credit, four-year program has an average tuition per credit cost of $270, or $250 with a military grant. Veterans also have various financial assistance options under the nation’s GI Bill. In addition, APU partners with several employers and associations to give education vouchers and discounts. Students who think they qualify should enter in their employment information when they apply.
Florida International University
Average Net Price: $12,966
Florida International University is Miami’s first and only public research university that was established in 1965. The university is currently ranked as the third best online college in the state of Florida by Affordable Colleges Online. The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, which houses its online Hospitality Management degree, hopes to create students who are keen at cultivating innovative management solutions for the hospitality and tourism industry.
FIU’s Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management is a hands-on program that teaches students to think globally when it comes to the hospitality field.
- Major Areas: Beverage Management, Culinary Management, Event Management, Hotel/Lodging Management, and Restaurant/Food Management
- Dual degree program with Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC) in China as well as study abroad opportunities available
- Industry experience requirement via a hospitality/tourism-related internship or practical training
FIU’s Hospitality Management program is nationally recognized, being voted one of the top 10 hospitality programs by industry employers and among the Top 20 Most Affordable Hospitality Degrees by Best Hospitality Degrees. The Chaplin School awards about $700,000 in scholarships to students annually due to its various partnerships with hospitality organizations.
University of Central Missouri
Average Net Price: $13,567
The University of Central Missouri was founded in 1871 in Warrensburg, Missouri. It has one of the most affordable tuition rates in the state, with about 92% of its students receiving some sort of financial aid. In keeping with its commitment to affordability, UCMO’s tuition has increased less than 3% each year, and has never once increased more than the inflation rate in the past seven years.
UCMO’s online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Hospitality Management (BSBA) focuses on management, marketing, and strategies of the hospitality industry.
- Sample Courses: Hospitality Case Analysis, Supply Chain and Operations Management, Business Statistics, Marketing Policy, etc.
- Opportunity to get involved with the Hospitality Management Association and other affiliated organizations
Because a degree in Hospitality Management prepares students for a variety of careers within the field, graduates are not limited to a specific career path. Some possible career titles upon completion of this program are Operations Manager, General Manager, Event Planner, Conference Coordinator, etc.
University of South Carolina-Beaufort
Average Net Price: $14,592
The University of South Carolina-Beaufort is a small, public university whose history dates back to the late 1700s. The university has two campuses, the Hilton Head Gateway and the Historic Beaufort campus, in addition to a new Hilton Head Island campus coming in 2018 that will host its Hospitality Management Program. USCB also the has the lowest tuition for a four-year public baccalaureate institution in South Carolina.
USCB’s online Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management is offered through the University of South Carolina-Palmetto College. Its goal is to prepare students for the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry, the number one industry in the state.
- Sample Courses: Club Management, Hospitality Financial Management, Hospitality Accounting, Hotel Management, etc.
- Practical hands-on experience at the Hilton Head Island
- Online degree cost the same as a traditional one
Because of its location on the Hilton Head Island, a Lowcountry resort town, students will have many opportunities to participate in internships. In addition, students can get involved with the Lowcountry and Resort Islands Tourism Institute which is dedicated to providing the area with a rich vacation experience. Many graduates of this program have gone on to successful careers in the hospitality industry thanks to their relevant undergraduate experiences.