How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management
Looking to get into a career involving travel and leisure? If you love to travel want to make everyone else’s one-week vacation your everyday life, getting your associate’s degree in hospitality management is the first step toward realizing this dream. With this degree, you can work anywhere there is a hotel, resort, spa, or restaurant! You will also get to meet a lot of new people traveling from all around the world. If learning about different cultures is interesting to you, then you will have plenty of opportunity to be exposed to them.
The hospitality industry is very fast-paced and challenging, but at the same time, fun and rewarding. The chances for promotion is often pretty good in most places. At the associate’s level, you will be exposed to the core basics of the industry such as front-office management, reservation systems, food and beverage management, customer service techniques, tour and destination planning, safety and sanitation, health and nutrition, travel and tourism, marketing, and much more. With so much to learn, it is unlikely that you will get bored in this program.
The associate’s degree typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, if you choose to earn your credential online, you may be able to complete it earlier. Depending on how many classes you can take per quarter/semester, you may be able to finish a lot quicker.
If you are busy but looking to go to school while still attending to your personal obligations, pursuing an associate’s degree in hospitality management online could be a great option. Distance learning can work really well for those who are motivated and independent learners. It is important to make sure that the college you choose is accredited so that the credits you earn can be easily transferred to a four-year college should you decide to continue your education. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. By pursuing your degree online, you would be able to log into the classroom portal from anywhere and anytime to complete required coursework and exams. Students can easily communicate with other students and their professors via chat platforms and email.
Common Associate’s in Hospitality Management Curriculum
By pursuing your associate’s degree in hospitality management, you will be study theoretical and practical management skills, hospitality business law, and food and beverage management. Because the industry is so people-oriented, students will be prepared for a career in the field by getting exposure in marketing, purchasing, budgeting, and cost control as well.
Some classes you can expect to take include:
- Food safety and sanitation
- Hospitality accounting
- Food production analysis
- Hotel and restaurant marketing
- Restaurant management
- Hotel management
- Hotel operations
- Event planning
- Principles of management
Of course, depending on the school you end up enrolling at, the classes may slightly differ. By finishing your associate’s degree, you will gain a pretty solid understanding of how the hospitality industry works. From there, you can either look for an entry-level job or continue your education. Many employers today prefer students with higher education, so most associate’s graduates will go on to at least earn their bachelor’s degree. This way, they remain competitive and have better chances for the more well-paying jobs.
In addition to hospitality management related courses, you may also be required to take some electives and general education classes before graduating. These classes will help you develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in understanding real-life situations and succeeding in your job in the future. Many of these general education course requirements can be waived if you took AP classes and passed their respective exams in high school. If this sounds like it might be you, we recommend checking with your college counselor to see which classes you might not have to retake.
Associate’s in Hospitality Management Careers
There are so many different jobs in the hospitality field to choose from. Professionals with an associate’s degree in the field work hard to make sure that guests have the most enjoyable experience possible when they are traveling. This means that having great people-skills is very vital to success in the industry. Employees often have to make smart decisions at the last minute and be organized to make sure that their hotel, resort, or restaurant runs smoothly.
After graduating, you can explore the following career options:
- Dining room supervisor
- Banquet sales coordinator
- Guest services manager
- Assistant food and beverage manager
- Management trainee
Of course, the options open up vastly with a bachelor’s degree, which is why it is highly encouraged for students to continue on to complete a four-year degree. The associate’s degree is a great stepping stone to the next big thing, but will not cover all the topics as deeply as a higher degree program would. It will, however, give students a clear idea of what they can expect in the field and from there, they can decide whether or not they want to continue pursuing it.
By starting out with an associate’s degree and then transferring completed courses to a four-year college, you can also save a lot of money because the classes at the associate’s level tend to be much more affordable at a community college.
Graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in hospitality management are highly sought within the field because they will be much more well-versed in the field and have technical familiarity. Many of these individuals eventually rise to the highest levels of management within hospitality organizations.