In today’s world, the hospitality industry is in the midst of a major shift. With the advent of new technologies and advanced modes of transportation, this industry continues to see a boost in demand for services internationally. Hotels, resorts, casinos, and other businesses in the hospitality field must adapt to meet their customers’ needs. This means hiring staff who are knowledgeable, capable, and highly educated. The hospitality degree is designed to prepare students for careers in this rapidly changing field.
What is Hospitality Management
Hospitality management is the process and practice of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the operations of various businesses in the hospitality industry. It encompasses the management of people and resources, including but not limited to marketing, finance, food & beverage, human resources, and maintenance. Many people think of hotel management when they think of this field, but hospitality management also includes hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, cruise ships, events, and many more.
Difference between Hospitality Management and Hotel Management?
Hospitality and hotel management are two different but related subjects. The following chart indicates some of the key differences between Hospitality and hotel management.
|Hospitality Management||Hotel Management|
|Description||Hospitality management is used to describe any industry that deals with enhancing overall guest experiences in hotels, restaurants, casinos, events, nightclubs etc.||Hotel management, on the other hand, is a more specific field that focuses on overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of a hotel.|
|Employment||Employment opportunities for hospitality degree holders are greater and varied.||Hotel managers work exclusively in hotel chains and resorts.|
|Focus||People management.||Operations management.|
Online Hospitality Degrees
There are many online hospitality degree programs available that can help you get started in the career of your dreams. Associates, Bachelor’s, and Master’s level online degree options are offered by several accredited schools. Here is an overview of the available online hospitality degrees.
|Program||Duration||Credits (may vary)|
|Associate of Applied Science or Science in Hospitality Management||2 years||60 credits|
|Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management||4 years||120 credits|
|Master of Science or Master of Business Administration Hospitality||2 years||30 credits|
Choosing an Online Hospitality Degree
When choosing an online hospitality degree, it’s important to look for a school that holds national or regional accreditation either by the U.S. Department of Education or (CHEA) the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This ensures that your degree program is at least as good as the best schools in your state or country. Programmatic accreditation for Hospitality Degrees include
- (ACPHA) Accrediting Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration
- (CAHM) Commission for Accreditation of Hospitality Management
- (AACSB) Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business
7 Online Associate Degrees in Hospitality
While most associate’s degrees prepare graduates for entry-level positions, an associate hospitality degree takes graduates further along in their career path in hospitality. An associate’s degree in hospitality management prepares students for supervisory and managerial positions in hospitality industries.
Here are 7 most affordable online associate degrees in hospitality.
#1. Gulf Coast State College
Program: Hospitality and Tourism Management A.S.
Accreditation and Ranking: Accredited by SACSCOC and is ranked #12 cheapest colleges in America
The Hospitality and Tourism Management A.S. degree at Gulf Coast State College is a great way to prepare you for immediate employment in an entry-level position. The program is designed to help students learn about the business of hospitality while also developing their skills in leadership and management. Courses include basic food preparation, accounting, managerial accounting, lodging operations, cost control, and purchasing.
#2. Itawamba Community College
Program: Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management
Accreditation and Ranking: Accredited by SACSCOC and is ranked #6 Best Community Colleges in Mississippi
The A.A.S in Hospitality Management online at Itawamba Community College is a 60-credit program that prepares students for careers as managers and supervisors in the hotel and restaurant industry. The program features specialized instruction in hotel and restaurant management, including topics such as food service management, banquet services, hotel, and restaurant interior design, food safety and sanitation, and food production. Students will also learn to prepare various kinds of foods, including hot chocolate and coffee beverages.
#3. Casper College
Program: A.A.S in Hospitality and Tourism
Accreditation and Ranking: Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is ranked #3 Best Associate Degrees Online in Hospitality Management.
The Associate in Hospitality and Tourism Management degree at Casper College is a broad-based program designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the hospitality and tourism industry. The degree will provide students with a solid foundation in general business administration and the liberal arts, allowing them to apply their knowledge toward careers ranging from food service to hotel management.
#4. Cincinnati State
Program: Associate of Applied Business in Hospitality Management
Accreditation: Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
The Associate of Applied Business in Hospitality Management at Cincinnati State offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills related to the management of food and beverage operations. The program consists of 60 credit hours, with students selecting one of two tracks: Food and Beverage or Operations. Students who pursue this degree are prepared for supervisory positions within the industry.
#5. Massbay Community College
Program: Associate in Science Hospitality Management
Accreditation and Ranking: Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and is ranked #2 Best Community Colleges in Massachusetts.
The Associate in Science Hospitality Management at Massbay Community College is a 64-credit program that prepares students to enter the hotel, resort, and restaurant management sectors. It provides them with an introduction to all aspects of the hotel, resort, and restaurant management sectors, as well as critical thinking and communication skills.
#6. Monroe College
Program: Associate in Applied Science in Hospitality Management
Tuition: $643 per credit hour
Accreditation: Regionally accredited by MSCHE
The online Associate in Applied Science in Hospitality Management degree at Monroe College is a 60-credit-hour program that covers the industry’s basics but also emphasizes communication skills. The degree prepares students to pursue a bachelor’s degree and includes several liberal arts electives in addition to classes that focus on core business and hospitality concepts.
#7. Bryant & Stratton College
Program: AAS Hospitality Management
Tuition: $9,315 per semester
Accreditation: Regionally accredited by the MSCHE
The AAS in Hospitality Management at Bryant & Stratton College is a 39-credit program that gives you the knowledge and skills to work in one of the most exciting industries today. This program will give students an excellent foundation in hotel management, casino operations, sports venue operations, travel and tourism operations, or sales and finance/marketing principles. You will also learn human resources (HR), marketing, and principles of business so that you can pursue additional education or move into a new field of study later on down the road.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality
A bachelor’s degree in Hospitality typically lasts 4 years, and it is a prerequisite for many hospitality-related careers. In order to earn this degree, students must complete courses in hospitality law, accounting, food service management, marketing, and leadership and management in the hospitality industry.
Here are 8 affordable online Bachelor’s degrees in Hospitality.
#1. University Of Central Florida
Program: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC and ranks at #5 of the Best Hotel and Hospitality Management Schools in the World.
The Online B.S in Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida is a 120-credit-hour program designed to provide graduates with the knowledge necessary to manage and lead an organization that serves the hospitality industry. The curriculum focuses on the principles and practices of marketing, accounting, finance, tourism, and wine production. Students will also learn about global perspectives on the hospitality industry, creative decision-making techniques, behaviors and attitudes toward hospitality management, and how these principles connect to the global economy.
#2. University Of The Potomac
Program: BSc in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Tuition: $240 per credit hour
Accreditation: Regional accreditation is by the MSCHE.
The Online Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism at the University of the Potomac prepares students for managerial positions in the hospitality industry. This 120-credit program includes courses in Meetings and Events Management, Revenue Management, Technology in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry, and Strategic Management and Planning. Through these courses, students will learn about the impact of hospitality and tourism on community resources as well as develop strategies for developing effective tourism-related businesses.
#3. East Carolina University
Program: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management- Concentration in Convention and Special Events Management
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC and ranks at #8 of the Top Public Universities in North Carolina
The Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management- Concentration in Convention and Special Events Management at ECU offers students the chance to specialize in meeting, event, and convention planning. The degree is designed for those who want to focus on the unique challenges faced by convention planners, whether it be planning for a convention center or a large trade show. The concentration is 120 credit hours long and can be completed either face to face or on an online platform.
#4. Missouri State University
Program: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Leadership
Tuition: $267.00 per credit hour
Accreditation: Programmatic accreditation is by the (ACPHA) Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. Regional accreditation is by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Leadership – General Operations at Missouri State University is a four-year program that helps you gain valuable experience that prepares you for the business world. This program will teach you about running a resort, casino, or conference center. The curriculum includes hospitality management, accounting, marketing, and personnel management courses.
#5. American Public University
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management (BA)
Tuition: $285 per credit hour
Accreditation: Programmatic accreditation by ACBSP, regional accreditation is by the Higher Learning Commission.
The B.A in Hospitality Management at American Public University is a 120-credit-hour program that provides students with a thorough and practical understanding of the aspects of marketing, ethics, revenue management, HR, law, leadership, and strategic planning. Students will be able to hone their practical understanding of these topics through coursework as well as through their internship experience. Students learn how to apply knowledge of ethical standards when working at various positions within the hospitality industry.
#6. Bellevue University
Program: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Tuition: $440 per credit hour
Accreditation: Regional accreditation is by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management at Bellevue University provides you with the knowledge and skills to lead a successful hospitality career. You’ll learn about the ins and outs of the industry, from finance to operations, as well as how to be creative, innovative, and lead confidently. The accelerated cohort program is 127 credit hours long that is designed to be manageable for busy students. The program also offers a capstone project, which allows you to apply what you’ve learned throughout your studies and create a project that showcases your knowledge and reflects your interests.
#7. Devry University
Program: Bachelor’s Degree Business Administration with a Specialization in Hospitality Management
Tuition: $514 per credit hour
Accreditation: Programmatic accreditation by ACBSP- Accreditation Council for Business Schools, and Programs; regional accreditation is by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Bachelor’s Degree – Specialization in Hospitality Management at Devry University will teach you about the tools required for meeting and event management, such as venue selection, sponsorships, staffing, finance, and exhibit coordination. You will also study the principles of new or established restaurants, as well as the basics of food.
safety. The program is designed to help you develop a solid understanding of how to operate a successful business in this field.
#8. Charleston Southern University
Program: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Tuition: $515 per credit hour
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC and is ranked #11 nationally in 2022 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
The online B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism at Charleston Southern is a 125-credit degree that explores economics, communication, marketing, human resources, law, and strategic planning. The program prepares students for jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry by analyzing the challenges faced by businesses today. Graduates will be able to apply their knowledge of business practices and research methods to improve customer satisfaction while also understanding the needs of their customers and employees.
Masters Degree in Hospitality Management Online
A Master’s degree in Hospitality is an academic degree that prepares students to work as managers and professionals in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industries. It typically takes two years to complete the program, and students learn about business management, marketing, food service management, and tourism studies.
Here are the 7 most affordable online Master’s degrees in Hospitality.
#1. University of Mississippi
Program: Master of Science in Hospitality Management
Tuition: $504 per credit hour
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC and ranks at #2 of the best colleges in Mississippi.
The MSc in Hospitality Management at the University of Mississippi is a 30-hour program that prepares management-level professionals for the advancement of knowledge in hospitality management. The program is distinguished by its faculty, who are all industry experts with extensive experience. The curriculum includes courses on Advanced Foodservice Management, Marketing and Financial Management, Trends & Topics Hospitality Management, Hospitality Information Technology, and more.
#2. Auburn University
Program: Master of Science in Hospitality Management
Tuition: $533 per credit hour
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC and ranks at #1 Best Colleges in Alabama.
Auburn University’s Online Master of Science in Hospitality Management is designed for busy professionals who want to learn how to leverage their business acumen to create a sustainable and profitable hospitality business. The 33-credit program’s blend of theoretical and applied courses focuses on the concepts of informed decision-making, problem-solving, and hospitality management in an international business context.
#3. Kent State University
Program: M.Sc in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by the Higher Learning Commission and ranks #6 Top Public Universities in Ohio.
The M.Sc in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Kent State University is an excellent choice for anyone looking to advance their career in the hospitality industry.
This is a 30-credit program with specialty classes in Hospitality and business management that help students develop critical analysis skills and research abilities to solve advanced hospitality and tourism issues. Students will study topics like Hotel and Tourism Management, Club Management, Park Management, and Event Management.
#4. Lynn University
Program: Master of Business Administration in Hospitality Management
Tuition: $750 per credit hour
Accreditation: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC
The Master of Business Administration in Hospitality Management at Lynn University is an ideal option for students who want to be able to manage the essential business components of a hospitality business. The program provides students with advanced business and management skills, including human resources, marketing, finance, and more. Students will also be prepared for the challenges they face in their careers after graduation by learning from guest VIP speakers who share their real-life industry experiences as well as tips and tricks to overcome challenges in their positions as leaders in Hospitality.
#5. Florida International University
Program: Master of Science in Hospitality Management
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC and ranks at #7 of the Best colleges in Florida
The Master of Science in Hospitality Management at Florida International University is a 33-credit-hour program that provides students with the opportunity to develop a broad range of critical business skills by focusing on finance, marketing, human resources, law, globalization, and more. Students are given the chance to develop their managerial mastery through the coursework and experience gained throughout their time in the program. They will be able to connect with employers and other professionals through internships, research projects, and thesis projects.
#6. Johnson & Wales University
Program: Master of Business Administration in Hospitality
Tuition: $842 per credit hour
Accreditation: Regional accreditation is by the New England Commission of Higher Education
The Master of Business Administration in Hospitality at Johnson & Wales University is a two-year program designed to prepare students for careers in the hospitality industry. The program’s curriculum is focused on developing advanced communication skills and an ability to analyze problems from diverse perspectives. The MBA in Hospitality is centred on the principles of hospitality, which include understanding the dynamics of customer satisfaction, building brand loyalty, and creating an environment where employees are inspired to go above and beyond.
#7. Everglades University
Program: MSc. Hospitality Management
Tuition: $840 per credit hour
Accreditation and Ranking: Regional accreditation is by SACSCOC and is ranked #5 best online colleges in Florida.
The Master of Hospitality Management at Everglades University is a 36-credit-hour program that provides students with the business and management knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the ever-expanding hospitality industry. Students will learn about successful practices for leadership, teamwork, and planning in the hospitality industry. They will also be exposed to concepts such as accounting, human resources management, project management, and more. Graduates of this program are prepared for employment in managerial positions in hotels, restaurants, resorts, cruise ships, and more industries that rely on hospitality to attract and keep their customers.
Admission requirements for hospitality management degree programs may vary by school but typically include the following:
|Associates Degree||High school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores|
|Bachelor’s Degree||High School Transcripts, ACT or SAT Test Scores, Minimum GPA 2.0-2.5|
|Master’s Degree||Bachelor’s degree ,letters of recommendation, internships or professional experience, Statement of intent, official transcripts|
What Can You Do With a Hospitality Degree
With a hospitality degree, you can leap into a higher pay bracket. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for a general manager of hotels and motels is $59,430—and that’s just for starters.
You’ll also be able to work in a constantly changing and growing field. Hospitality managers are responsible for everything from marketing and customer service to sales and marketing—and they’re expected to be highly skilled at problem-solving and customer relations. That means you’ll need to be able to adapt quickly when things go wrong or are unexpectedly changing.
The following chart shows the level of education employees in hospitality management have obtained. Data collected from Zippia.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Hospitality Degree
Most people are surprised to learn that hospitality is a career path with many opportunities. You can work in hotels, restaurants, bars and lounges, cruise ships and resorts, campsites, airports, casinos, and theme parks—you name it! And the jobs aren’t limited to just one type of hospitality business. The following chart highlights the most popular jobs and salaries for hospitality degrees.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner||$49,470 per year|
|Travel Agent||$43,810 per year|
|Lodging or Hotel Manager||$59,430 per year|
|Hotel Sales Manager||$57,305 per year|
|Food Service Managers||$59,440 per year|
|Casino Managers||$82,170 per year|
|Theme Park Manager||$ 62,000 per year|
States With The Highest Employment Rates For Hospitality Degrees
Hospitality jobs are highly dependent on location. States with the highest employment rate for hospitality jobs have a combination of population density and suburban/ rural areas that make them hospitable locations for businesses in the hospitality industry.
The following chart highlights the states with the highest employment rates for Hospitality Managers.
Data collected from BLS
|Metropolitan area||Employment||Annual mean wage|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||1,440||$ 99,600|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||1,210||$ 73,950|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||690||$ 92,070|
|Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV||640||$ 63,440|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||580||$ 78,600|
|Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV||580||$ 86,160|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||520||$ 69,300|
Is A Degree in Hospitality Worth It?
To work in hospitality requires more than just a love of the industry. You need to have an understanding of business, finance, and management, as well as the ability to multi-task. Hospitality degrees can help you build these skills while giving you the hands-on experience needed in this field. Many hotels and restaurants now require a degree for certain positions, so having one can give you an edge when applying for jobs.
If you’re looking for a career where your creativity will be valued, then hospitality is a perfect field of choice. Hospitality managers are always coming up with new ways to improve their establishment’s services or attractions—and those ideas often become part of the industry’s standard practices.