A hospitality management associate degree is designed to teach students all the ins and outs of the modern hospitality industry. Providing an overview of the travel, tourism, restaurant, and overall service industry, hospitality management students move on to become skilled general managers, concierges, culinary directors, and more. Individuals with this type of degree can find positions in hotels, restaurants, resorts, and tourist management offices. Hospitality management associate degree programs study the theoretical and practical management skills needed to work in today’s industry. During their degree program, students will also develop skills in marketing, public relations, customer service, purchasing, budgeting, and cost-control.
Why an Associate Degree?
The hospitality industry is a fast-growing entity and those who work in this field usually want to begin their careers right away. An associate degree is a great way for students to cultivate an understanding of the hospitality management field without spending too much time or money in school. That said, on-the-job training and an associate degree can pave the way for an array of entry-level careers in hospitality management. Some job titles could include food service manager, guest services manager, and food and beverage manager.
Getting Into an Associate Degree Program
Hospitality management degree programs are fairly easy to apply to. Some of the common application requirements include:
- A high school diploma or its equivalent
- Desired entrance exam scores
Inside an Associate Degree Program
An associate degree program lasts an average of two years. Upon completing their pre-major courses with an acceptable GPA, students will be allowed to move forward and enroll in hospitality management courses. Common courses featured in this associate degree program include principles of management, hotel operations, event planning, financial accounting, and tourism sales.
An online associate degree in hospitality is generally more flexible and adaptable to one’s personal schedule than a traditional degree. Hospitality management is a very hands-on degree, so many schools require online students to come into testing centers for evaluation. Students may also be required to listen to live video or audio lectures throughout their degree programs.
What’s Next for Hospitality Management Degree Holders?
An associate degree in hospitality management prepares students to take on entry-level hotel, restaurant, and tourism jobs. One of the most common positions students accept after graduating from this program is working as a food service manager. The average salary of food service managers is around $55,010 a year, the BLS states. But the BLS also reports that employment opportunities of food service managers is expected to decline 3% from 2010 to 2020, as the number of eating and drinking establishments opening is expected to decline.
Sometimes those who graduate from an associate degree program wish to further their formal education and will often venture into such degrees as a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and/or a master’s degree in hospitality management. For those who don’t want to pursue an associate degree, there is also the option of a certificate in hospitality management.