Have you ever thought about working on a cruise ship or helping people book vacations? What about managing a hotel chain in Mexico or a casino in Vegas? You can finally turn that interest in vacationing into a career.
With an improving economy, domestic and world travel are gaining in popularity. The industry has been on the rise over the past decade, increasing at a rate of 17%*. It also accounts for almost 10% of the U.S. job market and supports over 14 million jobs*.
So go see a few more beaches and sip a little more wine. You may work longer hours than the average Joe since people vacation 365 days a year. But when you finally get your vacation, you won’t even have to leave the office.* World Travel and Tourism Council, Research Inforgraphics
Undergraduates typically receive a Bachelor of Science degree. While some universities have distinct hospitality schools, others have their hospitality programs under the direction of the business school. Common majors include hospitality management, entertainment and event management, or restaurant and food services management. Within each of these disciplines, some colleges offer additional specialization. For example, hospitality management students at Orlando-based University of Central Florida may select a track in golf and club management, lodging management, professional tennis management, or theme park and attraction management.
Students wishing to further develop their industry knowledge often pursue a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management, a Master of Management in Hospitality, or a Master of Business Administration. For hospitality-related research or teaching, a Ph.D. is the next step. Many schools also conduct continuing education programs for working professionals. These certificates serve as recognized marks of achievement in specific areas, such as destination marketing or event management.
Core classes often include human resources management, marketing, hospitality law, leadership, ethics, strategic management, food sanitation, and managerial communication. Much of your additional coursework will be devoted to your particular area of interest. An event management major, for instance, might take specialized courses such as food preparation for catered events, event promotion, and advanced trade show management. An entertainment management student’s schedule might include consumer behavior in entertainment, entertainment and technology, and entertainment law and ethics. All hospitality degree seekers need to be prepared to get out from behind a desk. Most schools encourage internships and other practical experiences. At Rochester Institute of Technology, Henry’s Restaurant operates on the same floor as the hospitality department, enabling students to experience what it takes to run all aspects of an actual dining establishment.