Pursuing an online associates degree in hospitality management can be a strategic way to develop communication, financial, and marketing skills.
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
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
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 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|
|Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers||$59,230|
|Chefs and Head Cooks||$50,160|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||$49,470|
|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
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 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
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 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?
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?
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?
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 offers an Associate of Arts in Hospitality. The program offers a comprehensive curriculum covering hospitality essentials, like purchasing, sanitation, safety, marketing, food preparation, and legal considerations. This is a fully online program with new classes starting monthly. Students may transfer in up to 45 qualifying credits toward the degree’s 60 required credits.
APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Atlantic Cape Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management that can be earned online. It is designed for students interested in hospitality careers in hotel, restaurant, casino, and tourism businesses. In addition to general education courses, the curriculum covers fundamentals like management, operations, marketing, food service, and sanitation.
Atlantic Cape Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Bryant & Stratton College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management. This 39 credit program may be attended at one of three campuses or fully online. It aims to teach students in-demand skills in management, business, and finance that will complement their existing passions for service, food, event planning, and general hospitality.
Bryant & Stratton College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Casper College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. This program aims to provide students with marketable expertise to meet staffing demands and excel in the ever-growing hospitality and tourism industry. All courses are offered online. Students may also be able to receive credits for their work experience.
Casper College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Central Texas College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management that can be earned online. Students may specialize in Baking, Culinary Arts, Food and Beverage Management, Room Scheduling, Hotel Management, and Restaurant Operations.
The curriculum includes general course requirements in humanities, behavioral sciences, computer competency, and mathematics. After finishing these, students are required to take major-specific courses in their chosen concentration.
Central Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Chemeketa Community College offers an Associate in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The program boasts flexible online instruction, several hands-on development opportunities, and expert faculty members who are active in the industry. Students may customize their course schedules around their professional interests, and the program’s 92 credits can typically be completed in just 2 years.
Chemeketa Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College offers an Associate in Hospitality Management with two tracks to choose from: Operations or Food and Beverage. The food and beverage track includes a culinary certificate. Graduates of the program may pursue a variety of entry-level and supervisory roles in the hospitality industry.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Colorado Mountain College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Resort Management. Students pursuing careers in premium hospitality areas like Aspen, Vail, and Steamboat Springs often find this program to be a good fit. In addition to flexible online instruction, the program emphasizes hands-on job experience prior to graduation.
Colorado Mountain College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Delgado Community College offers an Associate in Hospitality Management with six different high-demand concentrations. The program boasts 100% online courses and a curriculum recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. Topics covered include daily operations, hospitality technology, leadership and human resources, interpersonal communication, and diversity.
Delgado Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Fayetteville Technical Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management. It aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in hospitality roles in hotels, resorts, restaurants, clubs, and other service venues. The program is housed entirely online and can typically be completed in 2.5 years of full-time study.
FTCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Genesee Community College offers an Associate in Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management. Graduates of the program may pursue entry- and mid-level roles within the hospitality field or continue their studies toward a bachelor’s degree at a 4 year institution. Students may complete at least 75% of their degree through online coursework.
Genesee Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Hillsborough Community College offers an Associate of Arts in Hospitality Administration Management. The program is designed to provide students hoping to pursue bachelor’s degrees with foundational knowledge in the discipline. This online, 60 credit program covers general requirements for most bachelor’s degrees and can typically be completed in 2 years of full-time attendance.
Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Madison Area Technical College offers an Associate in Hospitality Management program that is designed for students who are passionate about helping others through hospitality industries. Students can attend class fully online or in a hybrid model. The curriculum covers studies in team building, communication, cost control, and other hospitality operations topics.
Madison Area Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Massachusetts Bay Community College offers an Associate of Science in Hospitality Management. The program offers on-campus day and evening courses and asynchronous courses online.
While this program is often an excellent choice for students intending to enter the hospitality field, graduates often pursue careers outside the industry as well. Many become entrepreneurs, marketers, accountants, event managers, and even interior designers.
MassBay Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Monroe College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management. The program offers online, in-person, and hybrid course options to provide students with the flexibility needed to earn an education at the pace and location that works best for them. Courses cover key topics like room division, food and beverage management, and interpersonal communications.
Monroe College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
At NHTI Concord’s Community College, the Associate in Hospitality and Tourism Management program allows students to cater their education to their professional goals. It offers specialties in Digital Communications, Event and Conference Management, Hotel Administration, Travel and Tourism, and Wedding Planning. The program consists of 63 credits and can be completed entirely online.
NHTI is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The Associate in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management program at Ocean County College is designed to be a launching point for careers or educational aspirations in hospitality. Most students can complete this online program in 2 years. Graduates often continue their education in bachelor’s degree programs in hospitality or enter management roles in the industry.
Ocean County College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Peninsula College offers an Associate in Hospitality and Ecotourism. The program aims to help students learn the skills needed to excel in the hospitality industry. The curriculum covers collaboration, communication, customer relations, industry operations, and event management. The program admits new students three times a year and offers courses in online, in-person, and hybrid formats.
Peninsula College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration program at Purdue University allows students to choose from several industry specializations. Options include Customer Service, Meeting and Event planning, Retail Management, and Hospitality Management. Students in the program typically need to devote 15 to 18 hours to their studies weekly, and most can complete the online, 90 credit program in 2 years.
Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
St. Louis Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management. The online program is intended for students entering the field or looking to advance in their existing hospitality careers. The curriculum covers core concepts such as procurement, tourism, safety and sanitation, culinary essentials, guest relations, and event planning.
STLCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Associate’s in Hospitality Degree Online
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.