Hospitality management programs prepare people to manage hotels, bed and breakfasts, cruise ships, resorts, and other hospitality facilities. Students learn to supervise staff and oversee operations and development. They also learn to plan and market services and other features at their facilities.
Whether traveling to get away from it all or for business purposes, many people want their lodging to feel like their home away from home. Mind you, we're not talking about stacks of old mail on the kitchen table, dishes in the sink, or clothes on the floor, all of which can stay at home. We're talking about a haven where weary travelers can relax and enjoy themselves.
And behind the comfort of every hotel room and the satisfaction of every customer are the varied efforts of a large team of people. And as with all teams, in order to coordinate different responsibilities, you need qualified managers.
As a hospitality manager, you envision what a customer might want when staying at your organization, and you go about making that happen. You help oversee the overall operations of your facility. In order to do this, you need to learn about finance and marketing, hospitality laws and regulations, customer relations, and management. This prepares you to handle the money matters of running and marketing a business within legal boundaries. It also prepares you to see eye to eye with your potential customers and effectively supervise your staff.
Hospitality management programs prepare you to oversee the overall operations of a hotel or to focus on just one aspect of its management. For example, you could work on the actual hotel facilities, making sure that they're built to your standards. Or you might work with the food services; you could plan menus, order supplies, and supervise the chefs. You might even help develop a new resort, inn, or hotel. Remember, one of your responsibilities (and job perks!) as a hospitality manager might be to live in a gorgeous city in another country.
Many schools offer programs in hospitality management, which is sometimes also known as hotel management, resort management, or hotel administration. You can typically earn a bachelor's or a master's degree in this program. In general, a bachelor's degree takes four years of full-time study after high school. A master's degree typically takes between five and six years.