2022 Best Online Associates Degrees in Hospitality Management

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Pursuing an online associates degree in hospitality management can be a strategic way to develop communication, financial, and marketing skills.

Best Online Associates Degrees in Hospitality Management

Hospitality management graduates often go on to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including event planning, restaurant ownership, and hotel and resort operations.

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If you enjoy collaborating and communicating with teams of people, a hospitality associate degree may be a good fit for you. Not only will you have the opportunity to work closely with diverse groups of people, but you can also have a positive impact on customers’ experiences.

Associates Degrees in Hospitality Management Online

head chef checking revenue

Hospitality managers are responsible for supervising the administrative and operational tasks of a business in the hospitality industry. There’s a wide variety of fields that fall under the category of hospitality, including event planning, lodging, food and drink businesses, and theme parks.

In addition to helping with daily operations, hospitality managers also work to ensure that all guests and customers are satisfied with the services provided. This may include fielding and addressing customer complaints and feedback or greeting them when they arrive at the door. In order to make sure that business is running effectively, it is necessary to have an understanding of the structure of different companies.

An associate’s in hospitality management online program can provide you with this information while teaching you leadership, communication, and teamwork skills.

A typical curriculum for an associate degree program in hospitality management may also include:

  • Customer service management
  • Hospitality sales and promotions
  • Culinary applications
  • Sanitation for food service operations
  • Hospitality law and liability
  • Food, beverage, and labor cost controls

These courses are designed to leave you with both the project management and customer service skills needed to be an effective hospitality manager in your chosen field.

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Earning an associate’s degree in hospitality management is appealing to many individuals for a variety of reasons. This introductory degree provides a relatively quick way to learn essential skills, and an associates is generally satisfactory for entry into the industry.

Additionally, there are many career opportunities for those with a background in hospitality management. Associated career paths include:

  • Lodging manager
  • Meeting, convention, or event planner
  • Administrative services and facilities manager
  • Food service manager

Because this degree focuses on acquiring transferable skills, like delegation and budgeting, you can likely apply your knowledge to an area that you are drawn to. This might include careers in hotel management, tourism, or culinary arts.

Common Associate’s in Hospitality Management Specializations

girl manager trains restaurant interns

One of the most appealing aspects of a degree in hospitality management is the option to select an area of specialization that aligns with your interests and career objectives.

Common hospitality management concentrations include:

  • Food Service Management. During a food service management program, you can learn the fundamentals of running a successful restaurant or dining establishment, including food service sanitation and best business practices.
  • Resort Management. Resorts are composed of many moving parts, and this concentration aim to address all of them, covering topics like overseeing entertainment, dining, and nightlife events.
  • Hotel Management. In this program, you can learn about managing a hotel’s daily operations, including subjects like marketing initiatives, organizational behavior, and leadership.
  • Event Planning. In an event planning specialization program, you can learn how to work with clients to create events, studying topics like handling budgets, managing people, and communicating professionally.
  • Hospitality Accounting and Financing. Focused on the accounting and financing aspects of hospitality management, this concentration focuses on financial analysis, investing methods, and informed decision-making.

While these are common specializations, there are plenty more areas to choose from. Selecting the path that aligns with your career expectations can help tailor your professional qualifications.

Hospitality and Tourism Management Careers & Salaries

Hospitality and Tourism Management Careers & Salaries

Hospitality and tourism management encompasses a diverse range of industries. Selecting a concentration that matches your career aspirations could help you qualify for specific positions post-graduation.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, here are some common hospitality management positions, along with their median salaries.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Human Resources Managers $126,230
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers $99,290
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Food Service Managers $59,440
Lodging Managers $59,430
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers $59,230
Chefs and Head Cooks $50,160
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners $49,470
Travel Agents $43,810
Customer Service Representatives $36,920

While an associate’s degree can help you enter into many hospitality management careers, it does not ensure a specific job title or salary.

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Some of these professional positions may require additional schooling or experience. For example, human resource managers tend to have a bachelor’s degree and many years of work experience. In addition to previous experience, factors that can contribute to your eligibility for certain jobs within the hospitality industry include your skill sets, degree specialization, network, and location.

Online Hospitality Management Associate’s Curriculum & Courses

real estate agents discussing tripping schedules

Curriculum for an associates degree in hospitality management online program covers the necessary subjects to help you meet the needs of customers in any industry.

Depending on your concentration, some of the courses you take may be similar to the following:

  • Customer Service Management: This course is designed to give you the foundations of strong customer service, covering topics such as loyalty management and customer relationships.
  • Hospitality Sales and Promotions: You’ll examine the ways in which sales and promotions impact revenue for hospitality businesses, often studying real-world examples.
  • Culinary Applications: Intended to teach you the fundamentals of food preparation and operations, this course may cover areas such as food safety and dining room service.
  • Sanitation for Food Service Operations: This course teaches you how to follow specific state sanitation and hygiene requirements, focusing on safe environments and sanitary facilities.
  • Hospitality Law and Liability: Covering topics like contracts, hotel-guest relationships, and employment laws, this course explores the basic legal issues impacting the hospitality industry.
  • Food, Beverage, and Labor Cost Controls: Focusing on the cost control components of a hospitality organization, this course covers budgeting, food and labor costs, financial analysis, and inventory control.
  • Principles of Group Sales: This course examines the principles and function of group sales in the hospitality industry.
  • Hospitality Security: You’ll learn different tools, techniques, and resources to create a safe environment for staff and customers, studying topics like internal security and funds protection.
  • Community Approach to Tourism: This course explores the impacts of tourism on the life of community members, emphasizing ways to work together to create economically and environmentally friendly experiences.
  • Catering and Event Planning: This introductory course covers how to plan and execute events and catering, covering organizational structure, marketing and sales, and staff recruitment.

You’ll have the opportunity to develop your finance and business skills as well.

Admissions Requirements

student working waitress in coffee shop after lessons

Admissions requirements are intended to demonstrate your strengths, academic and otherwise, to colleges and universities.

While admissions criteria do vary from school to school, you will often be required to submit the following:

  • SAT or ACT scores (only when required)
  • High school diploma
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

In addition to these items, many schools expect you to meet a minimum GPA or complete pre-requisite courses in English and math. For admission into an associates degree program, colleges will often accept a GED in place of a high school diploma.

Online Associate in Hospitality Management Programs Accreditation

university campus offering Associates Degrees in Hospitality Management

If a college or university is accredited, that means it has passed an evaluation for quality by an accrediting agency. Accreditors review educational and organizational systems within a school or program to ensure that they are up to standard.

Attending a regionally accredited institution benefits you in several ways. Not only will your degree be considered valid by, but you can also rest assured that your instructors will be knowledgeable in their fields and your curriculum will cover necessary information.

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Employers also tend to prefer candidates who hold a degree from an accredited university, as it demonstrates they have received appropriate training.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial aid for students taking Associates Degrees in Hospitality Management

Financial aid can provide funding options for individuals from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds. There are several types of aid options available, many with varying application criteria:

  • Federal aid. In order to see how much need-based aid you are eligible to receive, you can fill out the FAFSA. Federal aid may come in the form of grants, student loans, or work-study opportunities.
  • Scholarship opportunities. Every school offers unique scholarship programs. While merit-based scholarships are often the first to come to mind, there are also scholarships that are based off of cultural background, community service, or creative contributions.
  • Work-study programs. Some schools offer work-study opportunities outside of the federally funded program. In exchange for working at the school, some of your expenses are covered.

Applying for financial aid early can help you better understand your options and stick to your budget.

Is Hospitality Management a Good Career?

view of a food service manager in a store

Yes, hospitality management is a good career for many professionals. Many hospitality management occupations, such as administrative services and facilities managers, have a projected employment growth that’s as fast as the national average for all other occupations.

In addition to a positive job outlook, there is a lot of flexibility within hospitality management careers. You can even choose to tailor your degree to fit your interests, pursuing areas such as culinary arts or event management. Many employees in the hospitality management industry also enjoy job stability and benefits packages. They often get to utilize their creative thinking and problem-solving skills as well.

What Can I Do with an Associate Degree in Hospitality Management?

Hospitality Management interns Attending Team Meeting

There are many career options for individuals who hold an associates degree in hospitality management. Because there are different specializations within the field, you can select to study and pursue an area that aligns with your interests.

Many graduates in hospitality management go on to work as lodging managers or administrative services and facilities managers. Others become food service managers, ensuring that restaurants run smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

The interpersonal, organizational, and managerial skills acquired during a hospitality management program could also help you qualify for promotions or leadership roles down the line.

Is Hospitality Management in Demand?

Yes, there are many careers within the hospitality management industry that are experiencing employment growth. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of food service managers is growing at a rate of 15% over the next ten years, which is faster than the average for all other occupations.

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Other positions, such as lodging managers and administrative services and facilities managers, have a projected employment growth of 9%, which is on par with the national average. Steady employment growth signifies a strong job market and a continued need for new hospitality management professionals.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Associate Degree in Hospitality Management?

If you follow a traditional, 16 week semester and attend school full-time, it will typically take 2 years to complete an associates degree. Some online programs offer accelerated hospitality management degree programs that allow for faster completion time.

For instance, if you choose to follow an 8 week semester and stay continuously enrolled year-round, including over the summer, you may be able to finish in less time. This is a helpful option for anyone who is on a strict timeline or is eager to begin their professional career.

Is an Online Associates Degree in Hospitality Management Worth It?

Chefs and Head Cooks discussing recipes

Yes, an online associates degree in hospitality management is worth it for many professionals. There’s a number of industries related to hospitality management, and degree specializations can allow you to focus on the one that most interests you.

For many careers related to hospitality management, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth that’s as fast or faster than the national average. Common careers in this field include food service manager, lodging manager, event planner, and administrative services and facilities managers.

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Entry-level roles may consist of serving or customer service positions under the supervision of these management professionals.

Universities Offering Online Associates in Hospitality Management Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

American Public University

American Public University campus

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape Community College campus

Atlantic Cape Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Bryant & Stratton College

Bryant and Stratton College campus

Bryant & Stratton College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Casper College

Casper College campus

Casper College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Central Texas College

Central Texas College campus

Central Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Chemeketa Community College

Chemeketa Community College campus

Chemeketa Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College campus

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College campus

Colorado Mountain College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Delgado Community College

Delgado Community College campus

Delgado Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Fayetteville Technical Community College campus

FTCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College campus

Genesee Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College campus

Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Madison Area Technical College

Madison Area Technical College campus

Madison Area Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Massachusetts Bay Community College

Massachusetts Bay Community College campus

MassBay Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Monroe College

Monroe College campus

Monroe College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

NHTI Concord’s Community College

NHTI Concords Community College campus

NHTI is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Ocean County College

Ocean County College campus

Ocean County College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Peninsula College

Peninsula College campus

Peninsula College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Purdue University

Purdue University campus

Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

St. Louis Community College

St Louis Community College campus

STLCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Associate’s in Hospitality Degree Online

food manager working and planing in laptop

Earning your associates degree in hospitality has the potential to equip you for senior or leadership roles in the industry.

Many individuals who earn their on-campus or online hospitality management degree become efficient communicators and problem-solvers. They also learn fundamental marketing techniques that they can put to use in their specific area of work. In addition to interpersonal skills, many hospitality management majors develop a strong understanding of budgeting and financial analysis, which is necessary in any number of fields.

If you’re ready to pursue your chosen specialty in this growing field, you can start exploring accredited schools that offer hospitality management associate degree programs today.

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Molly Doyle
WRITTEN BY
Molly Doyle
Molly holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of San Francisco and a B.A in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz. A Seattle-based educator, she focuses on student-centered instruction and creating culturally responsive curriculum.