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What You'll Study in a Hotel Management College

Read what attending a college program has to offer.

The hospitality industry, like the business world as a whole, is sensitive to the ups and downs of the economy and the spending patterns of vacationers and corporate travelers. Hotel managers need to be business savvy to succeed. Fortunately, there's a straightforward solution: hotel management colleges.

Getting an education in the field of hospitality administration or hotel management ensures that you'll emerge well-trained in the vital financial and managerial subjects specific to running a hotel business.

What Will You Learn?

A certificate or associate degree usually prepares you for entry-level management positions, offering core courses in property management, sales and marketing, and basic finance. Often, an internship or externship program is required.

Hotel management colleges that offer bachelor's degrees will go into more depth with their curriculum. You can expect the core courses and externships, but you can also further specialize in areas of hotel management such as marketing, human resources or food and beverage management. Some typical courses offered at the bachelor's-degree level include:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Hospitality Accounting
  • Human Resource Development/Leadership
  • Resort Management
  • Casino Operations Management
  • Hospitality Franchising and Licensing
  • International Lodging Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Hospitality Law and Ethics

Similarly, a master's degree—usually a master of business administration (MBA) in hotel or hospitality management—prepares you for more advanced managerial positions.

Are There Online Hotel Management Colleges?

If you're not sure whether you have time to pursue a degree, don't forget that some hotel management colleges offer online programs. Online degree programs offer the same curriculum and even the same internship and externship opportunities that in-person programs do, but you can complete your coursework on a more flexible schedule. Lectures, discussions and even textbooks are accessible via the Internet—an ideal setup for those already working full time.

Just be sure to confirm that the hotel management program is accredited—either by a regional accreditation agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). Accreditation ensures that a school or program meets standards of educational quality and rigor. In other words, it guarantees you'll be getting a comprehensive and valuable education from a legitimate institution.


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