A hospitality management associate degree is designed to teach students the ins and outs of the modern hospitality industry. Providing an overview of the travel, tourism, restaurant, and overall service industry, graduates of a hospitality management program go on to become skilled general managers, concierges, culinary directors, and so much more; their places of employment span hotels, restaurants, resorts, travel agencies and civic tourism departments. Hospitality management associate degree programs study the theoretical and practical management skills needed to work in today's industry. During an associate program, students also refine their skills in marketing, public relations, customer service, purchasing, budgeting, and cost-control.
Why an Associate Degree?
The hospitality industry is a fast-growing sector, and those who work in this field usually want to begin their careers right away. An associate 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. Job titles include food service manager, guest services manager, and food and beverage manager.
Inside a Hospitality Management Associate Degree Program
An associate program lasts an average of two years. Upon completing their pre-major courses, students are allowed to move forward and enroll in hospitality management courses. Common courses featured in this associate 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 in hospitality management prepares students to take on entry-level hotel, restaurant, and tourism jobs. One of the most common positions students take following graduation is in food service management. The average annual salary of food service managers is around $53,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it should be noted that the BLS also reports that total employment opportunities for food service managers are expected to grow by 5% from 2014 to 2024, as the number of eating and drinking establishments opening is expected to either hold steady or dip slightly.
Sometimes those who graduate from an associate program wish to further their formal education, often pursuing subsequent degrees like a bachelor’s in hospitality management and/or a master’s in hospitality management. For those who don’t want to pursue an associate degree, there is also the option of a hospitality management certificate.