Business Majors: Hospitality Management

Coursework, Educational Requirements and Careers

Breakfast in garden
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What Is Hospitality Management?

Hospitality management is part of the service industry - an industry that brings in more money and creates more jobs than any other. When most people think of the word hospitality, they often think of things like hotels and other forms of lodging, but this industry extends well beyond that. Subfields of hospitality management include lodging management, food and beverage management, casino management, and travel and tourism management.


Educational Requirements

A degree is not always required to secure entry-level positions within the hospitality industry. But if you want to work on the management side of this industry, you will need one of two things: work experience or an education.

Specific educational requirements for aspiring hospitality managers vary depending upon the career goal. For example, someone wishing to work in casino management will need a different education than someone who wishes to work as an event planner. 

Let's take a look at specific educational requirements for the subfields we discussed above.

  • Lodging Management: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an associate degree may be enough to work at smaller hotels, but larger hotel chains prefer to hire lodging manager with a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Food and Beverage Management: Food and beverage management is also known as food service management or restaurant management. The BLS reports that a degree is not always required to work in this area of hospitality management, but that many establishments are increasingly preferring to hire managers with some postsecondary education. This is especially true of upscale restaurants.
  • Casino Management: Every casino has different educational requirements for gaming workers, particularly casino managers. Although a college degree is not always required, it is preferred in larger establishments. 
  • Travel and Tourism Management: A high school diploma is often enough to begin work in the travel and tourism industry. Having work experience, certifications, and specialized travel training can help individuals move into management. 

    Hospitality Management Programs for Business Majors

    There are thousands of schools that offer some type of hospitality management program. You can choose to earn anything from a certificate and a diploma to a full-fledged degree. As we learned above, getting a formal education is often recommended in the field. Classroom time can supplement hands-on experience and open up doors that may not have otherwise existed.

    Hospitality Management Coursework

    Business majors who study hospitality management usually focus on learning general management skills, as well as skills that are central to this industry. For example, someone who is studying food service management might learn all about catering, sanitation, food procurement, and dining room management. On the other hand, someone who is studying travel management might focus more on tourism management, domestic and international travel, and event management.

    Some of the courses that are common in general hospitality management programs include

    • Hospitality Management
    • Hospitality Information Systems
    • Management and Supervision
    • Food and Beverage Management
    • Event Planning
    • Club Management
    • Front and Back Office Management
    • Marketing and Communication

    Working in Hospitality Management

    After completing a hospitality management training program or earning a degree in hospitality management, business majors should be able to secure at least entry-level employment within the hospitality management field.

    Possible hospitality job titles include, but are not limited to:

    • Hotel/Motel Manager
    • Travel Agent
    • Casino Manager
    • Event Planner
    • Restaurant Manager
    • Cruise Director