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Degree Overview: Associate of Hospitality and Travel

Majors Overview May 29, 2013

Students who are enrolled in an associate degree program in hospitality and travel will be prepared for careers with travel agencies, resorts, and hotels by studying topics such as marketing and lodging management. In this article, students will learn about continuing education options and job opportunities available to them from these two-year associate degree programs.

Hospitality and Travel Associate Degree Program

Hospitality and travel associate degree program will prepare students to plan special events and vacations for their clients. They may learn how to work with convention centers and caterers, create travel itineraries, book flights, and make room reservations. Students will also learn about tourist attractions and accommodations available at travel destinations both in the United States and abroad. The associate degree programs usually include instruction on how to ensure customer satisfaction and how to assign rooms to hotel guests. Applicants generally need a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma to be admitted into the program.

Program Coursework

Since there are several career paths in the travel and hospitality industry, most associate degree programs are structured to cover a range of topics, such as resort and lodging management, hospitality industry technology, and pre-travel planning. Program course topics may include the following:

•Word processing
•Computerized reservations
•Tourism
•Hospitality marketing
•Travel destinations
•Event planning
•Customer service
•Hospitality sales

Career Options

Travel and hospitality associate degree program graduates should possess the skills needed for entry-level jobs along with managerial positions. Depending on the individual, some may start their own travel or hospitality businesses. Individuals may obtain the following career titles:

•Event planner
•Travel agent
•Resort clerk
•Hotel manager

Information on Continuing Education

Applicants are required to hold a bachelor degree for certain positions in the travel and hospitality industry. For instance, larger hotels usually prefer to hire managers who hold a bachelor degree in the field related to business or hotel management, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). Likewise, candidates with a four-year bachelor degree will be preferred for positions such as event, convention, and meeting planners.

Most schools offer bachelor degree programs in hospitality and tourism management that include coursework in tourism law, event management, cost control, lodging management, and finance. These degree programs may also include an internship component.

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