Master’s in Hospitality Management Programs
Hospitality management is a broad field offering a wide range of potential career opportunities—including some in unusual destinations! From lodging managers to food service managers, hospitality management professionals perform a variety of services to help provide fun and memorable experiences for guests.
This article explores some of the possible career opportunities you could pursue in hospitality management, some key skills that may be useful in the field, and the ins and outs of Masters in Hospitality Management degree programs.
What Is a Master’s in Hospitality Management Program?
A master’s in hospitality management prepares students to assume a managerial role and provide leadership skills in settings such as:
- Food and beverage industry
- Travel and tourism
- Entertainment and sport venues
- Resort and spa services
Depending on the program, you might take courses such as:
- Brand Management and Guest Experience
- Business Models
- Marketing Decision Analysis
- Development and Asset Management
- Global and Regional Standards
- Sales and PR
- Information technology
- Industry operations
- Statistics and research to best understand the industry
There are a number of related degrees, including Master of Tourism Management (MTM), Master of Science in Entertainment Business, MBA in International Business Hospitality and Services Industries Management, or Master of Science in Hospitality Management Studies.
Concentrations in Hospitality Management
Hospitality management encompasses many areas of the guest experience, including events, food and beverage management, tourism, entertainment, and more. So, if you are pursuing a degree in this field, you may want to choose a focus area that aligns with your interests and goals. Here are some hospitality management concentrations to consider.
Tourism and destination management
Tourism and destination management involves managing all the elements of a tourism destination—from local businesses to visitor services—in order to balance the needs of both locals and visitors. In this concentration, you might study topics such as land use and transportation, urban planning, sustainable travel, and other areas related to managing tourist hotspots.
Food and beverage management
Food and beverage management involves running restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments. Professionals in this field may do everything from overseeing kitchen operations and monitoring food safety protocols to tracking inventory and finances. In this concentration, you could study topics such as food science, nutrition, wine and viticulture, the principles of leadership, and other subjects that could help you take the helm of a busy dining destination.
Event planning and management
Event planning and management involves organizing and coordinating gatherings such as weddings, conferences, and trade shows. Helping these occasions run smoothly may require anything from managing risk and financial concerns to handling marketing, promotions, and design. In this concentration, you could dive into subjects such as expo and convention operations, hotels and lodging, public relations, e-marketing, and other topics that may help you plan crowd-pleasing events.
Admission Requirements for Hospitality Management Programs
Admission requirements for hospitality management programs vary by school and Program, but here are some typical requirements.
Generally, hospitality management graduate programs require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Some programs may also require a minimum GPA and/or standardized test scores, such as the GRE.
Work experience requirements
Some hospitality management graduate programs may require or recommend that you have relevant work experience. You may also be asked to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to pursue a hospitality management degree. For instance, perhaps you hope to take your hospitality career to the next level or even launch your own business. Being clear about your experiences and goals could help your application stand out.
Application and admission deadlines
Application and admission deadlines vary by school and Program. It’s important to research the specific deadlines for each Program you’re interested in and submit your application on time.
Online vs. On-Campus Hospitality Management Programs
When choosing a hospitality management program, you may find online, on-campus, and hybrid options. Here are some potential advantages of each.
Advantages of online programs
Online hospitality management programs could offer the flexibility and convenience you need to pursue your education even when life gets busy. You may be able to study from anywhere, on your own schedule. So, online programs are often a great option for working professionals who need to balance work and school.
You also might be able to save money on things such as room and board, relocation costs, or transportation costs.
Advantages of on-campus programs
On-campus hospitality management programs featuring in-person classes are the more traditional option. They could offer the opportunity to network with other students and faculty, participate in hands-on learning experiences, and access campus resources.
Hybrid programs: a combination of online and on-campus learning
Hybrid hospitality management programs feature a combination of online and traditional courses. They typically offer the flexibility of online learning along with the in-person experiences found on campus. So, for some students, hybrid learning could be the perfect way to pursue the benefits of both worlds.
Financing Your Hospitality Management Degree
Concerned about financing your hospitality management degree? Here are some options you might explore to help you fund your degree.
Scholarships and grants
You may be able to find scholarships and grants, including those designed for students pursuing a hospitality management degree. Scholarships and grants are gifts that don’t have to be repaid. They are typically awarded based on academic merit, financial need, or other criteria. Your school’s financial aid office may have more information about scholarships you could pursue.
Student loans might be another option for financing your hospitality management degree. Some students may qualify for federal loans, including Direct Subsidized Loans and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Other students may borrow private loans from banks and other lenders.
Employer tuition reimbursement programs
Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs for their employees. If your employer offers this assistance, it could be a great way to help finance your hospitality management degree while continuing to pursue helpful work experience.
Career Opportunities in Hospitality Management
Hospitality management is a diverse field that calls for many types of professionals. Here are some fast-growing career paths in hospitality management.
Careers in lodging management
Lodging manager roles are projected to grow 7% between 2022 and 2032, much faster than average.1 These professionals manage various aspects of hotels, resorts, and other lodging establishments. They may oversee staff, manage budgets, and help create a positive experience for guests.
Some job titles in lodging management include hotel general manager, front-desk manager, revenue manager, and convention service manager.
Median annual salary, 2022: $61,9102
Careers in food and beverage management
Food service manager roles are projected in 359,200 openings to 2022.3 These professionals run the day-to-day operations of restaurants and other food and beverage establishments. They are typically responsible for managing staff, ordering ingredients and supplies, making sure workers adhere to food safety protocols, and handling customer concerns.
Some job titles in food and beverage management may include restaurant manager, bar manager, director of food and beverage, and banquet manager.
Median annual salary, 2022: $61,3104
Careers in event planning and management
Meeting, convention, and event planner roles are projected to grow 8% between 2022 and 2032, much faster than average.5 These professionals organize and coordinate events such as weddings, conferences, and business conventions. They work with clients to plan the event, negotiate contracts with vendors, and manage the event on the big day.
Some job titles in event planning and management include event planner, meeting planner, exhibition organizer, and convention services manager.
Median annual salary, 2022: $52,5606
Popular Schools with Master’s in Hospitality Management Programs
Key Skills in Hospitality Management
Hospitality management professionals typically need a variety of skills to succeed in their roles. Here are some of the key skills you may want to work on as you pursue your career in this field.
Leadership and team management
Hospitality management professionals may need to lead and manage a team of employees. They should be skilled in motivating their staff, resolving conflicts, and leading workers to deliver a positive customer experience.
Customer service and communication skills
Hospitality management professionals usually work in customer-facing roles and must be able to resolve requests and complaints effectively. They typically need strong communication skills, both verbal and written, in order to exchange information with customers, workers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
Financial management and analysis
Hospitality management professionals generally need to have good business skills. They need to be able to manage and track budgets, as well as promote the profitability of their establishment.
In conclusion, hospitality management is a diverse field that has many fast-growing career paths. If you’re interested in helping to create memorable experiences for guests when they travel, dine, or attend a special event, you might enjoy a job in the hospitality industry. By choosing an educational program that suits your interests, developing key skills such as leadership and communication, and understanding the typical job responsibilities in this field, you could be on track for a career that meets your future goals.
GradSchools.com offers 92 Grad Schools with Hospitality Management Master’s Degree Programs
Sources: 1https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/lodging-managers.htm | 2https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119081.htm | 3https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/food-service-managers.htm | 4https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119051.htm | 5https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Meeting-Convention-and-Event-Planners.htm | 6https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131121.htm
Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Accessed 7/29/2023.
Full Sail University
Southern New Hampshire University
CERAM Business School
Rochester Institute of Technology
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Columbia College Chicago
University of New Hampshire
West Virginia University