Should You Get a Hospitality Management Degree?
Earning a degree in hospitality management is not a prerequisite for breaking into this field as there are any number of positions in the industry that require little more than a high school diploma. Plus, hospitality remains one of the few industries where experience and longevity are rewarded; it is possible to work one’s way up the ladder without an advanced degree.
But successfully completing your studies in hospitality management also has its advantages as, already armed with an understanding of operations management, cost control and hospitality accounting, it can pave the way directly into a salaried position and help advance your career more rapidly.
Still not convinced? Check out these eight reasons why a hospitality management degree can benefit your career.
1. NO AGE LIMIT: Going to school to study hospitality management is a decision that you can make at any point during your career trajectory. Types of degrees range from Associates to Doctorates. So if you don’t want to incur the expense of a four-year degree or you already have an undergrad degree in something else, there are still options available to you.
2. TUTION REIMBURSEMENT: Some hotel companies offer tuition reimbursement programs or scholarship funds. More likely than not, these benefits won’t cover the entire cost of the degree, but they will help to lighten the financial burden while also casting additional attention among human resources and your bosses on your commitment to the company and to the industry.
3. MORE CAREER PATHS: There is a wide range of jobs available to those with a hospitality management degree. Whether you want to become a hotel general manager or are considering a role in revenue management, operations, marketing, event planning or convention sales, this is a degree that can greatly open up those opportunities to you because the degree will help you develop the necessary skill sets to fulfill any number of positions within the industry. Plus, you’ll have your pick of hospitality segments to work in. After completing your degree, you’ll have options ranging from roles with greater responsibility in the economy hotel sector to entry level executives jobs at global hotel brands.
4. VALUABLE INTERNSHIPS: Colleges and universities with hospitality management programs typically offer a variety of hotel internships that can open doors to experiences that would otherwise be hard to come by. The internships will often align with students’ career goals. So if they plan to work in hotel marketing or operations, they can gain valuable experience to add to their resume while completing their coursework.
5. BUILD YOUR NETWORK: Students in hospitality management programs are also creating a professional network while they study as their classmates will likely go on to work in a variety of hospitality organizations after they complete their degrees, alumni of the program are likely already established in the industry and professors, too, often have second jobs in the industry. Maintaining these relationships can lend themselves to more opportunity down the road, including entrance into professional organizations, greater job prospects or simply provide you with fresh ideas to help you better perform in a current role.
6. ENHANCES YOUR BRAND: A resume that includes a hospitality management degree can pack a greater punch than those without and that can give you a competitive edge as you advance in your career and are competing with other industry professionals who may have equally impressive achievements as you in their past positions, but lack the educational qualifications that may push you higher up on the list of potential hires for a job.
7. LONG-TERM ROI: Yes, this degree is a financial commitment. But consider for a moment the celebrities who have also invested in the hospitality industry; Robert DeNiro is one of the owners of the luxury group Nobu Hotels while Leonardo diCaprio dropped nearly two million dollars on a private island off the cost of Belize to build an eco-resort. Like any hospitality management student, neither celebrity likely saw a return on their investment immediately after making it. But as with a hospitality management degrees, the gains should come in the long run.
8. PATH TO MANAGEMENT: Use your hospitality management degree to get into one of the management training programs offered by many global hotel brands. You won’t likely be hired as a hotel general manager or a sales director fresh out of school. –The hospitality industry also emphasizes experience and the success metrics that come with it. But most hotel companies are eager to attract talent that they can retain and to do so, they offer management training programs that set participants on a path of upward mobility. A hospitality management degree can prove useful in getting into these programs.