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Hospitality Administration/Management, General

Program Description

Just the Facts

Hospitality Administration/Management, General. A program that prepares individuals to serve as general managers and directors of hospitality operations on a system-wide basis, including both travel arrangements and promotion and the provision of traveler facilities. Includes instruction in principles of operations in the travel and tourism, hotel and lodging facilities, food services, and recreation facilities industries; hospitality marketing strategies; hospitality planning; management and coordination of franchise and unit operations; business management; accounting and financial management; hospitality transportation and logistics; and hospitality industry policies and regulations.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

Hospitality programs encompass everything from service to marketing, from management to food preparation.

There are different levels of education available. There are training institutes and colleges that offer diploma or certificate programs in a wide variety of areas, including hotel management, cruise hospitality and tourism management. These prepare students for entry-level positions in the hospitality industry.

Four-year degree programs, as well as graduate and postgraduate programs, prepare those wanting to work in the highest management levels of the industry.

Choosing a two-year college program doesn't shut the door on getting a higher degree later on. "You can start your training close to home without the immediate need to go off to university," says William Pattison. He created a major hotel chain before becoming the chair of a university hotel management program.

Pattison recommends that high school students contact a community college that offers hospitality training. He says the education gained would be the same as two years at university and would often transfer into university credit so you can finish a degree program later on.

Many community colleges, universities and technical institutions offer distance learning courses in hospitality services management. Students complete the courses via correspondence and over the Internet. These are worth investigating if you are unable to commute to an actual campus. If you decide on this option, though, make sure the program is legitimate. Find out if it's recognized by travel and tourism organizations.

When choosing a school, you should always find out what kind of credentials it has. Many schools are accredited by professional hospitality organizations, which ensures that they meet certain industry training standards.

Students entering a hospitality program should possess certain qualities. "The most important thing I look for in both students and prospective employees, whether they are coming in at an entry level or in management, is whether or not they basically like people," says Ernie Wilson. He is a professor of hospitality management at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast.

But a positive attitude isn't the only thing you need. "The second component to a proper preparation in the field," says Wilson, "is being well grounded in business management skills."

The best way to develop those skills is to get experience working for a business, preferably one that focuses on customer service. Any experience in the hotel or restaurant industry would be especially helpful.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For information about occupations related to this field of study, see: Meeting, Convention and Event Planners

For more information related to this field of study, see: Lodging Managers

Hospitality Net
A home page for hospitality professionals with news, trends, job listings, events and newsgroups

Entertainment, Hospitality, Travel and Resort Jobs Page
A free service that includes job listings

Hospitality Career News
Stay up on the latest news in the hospitality industry


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