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Degree Overview: Associate of Hospitality Management/Administration

Majors Overview June 2, 2013

In this article, students will learn about the associate degree program in hospitality management, as well as gain information on potential career options, requirements, and courses to make an informed decision their education.

Associate Degree Program in Hospitality Administration

Students enrolled in associate degree programs in hospitality management are taught basic concepts related to managing hospitality businesses such as restaurants, cruises, hotels and resorts. Coursework covers business principles, including accounting, facilities management, marketing and human resources. These programs are typically offered by colleges, universities and community colleges as an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Arts (A.A.). Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Through an associate degree program, students will have the opportunity to complete an internship that provides professional experience, and it usually takes two years to complete the program, if students are enrolled full-time. Some programs, especially an Associate of Applied Science, allow students to select areas of concentrations, including food service management, lodging management, culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts. Students who want to transfer to a four-year bachelor degree program should consider earning an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree. Program course topics may include the following:

•Customer service
•Food and beverage management
•Organizational management
•Human resource management
•Risk management
•Front office operations
•Marketing
•Food service management
•Lodging promotion
•Convention sales

Career Options

Students who have earned their associate degree in hospitality management will qualify for management positions at a small hotel; however, the majority of large hotel chains require individuals to have either an undergraduate or graduate degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). Associate degree program graduates may obtain the following career titles:

•Front office manager
•Event planner
•Housekeeping supervisor
•Food service manager

Continuing Education Information

Students seeking continued education beyond an associate’s degree in hospitality management should consider enrolling in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. A bachelor’s degree program helps students expand their knowledge in management and business; in addition, give them the option of specializing in tourism, event management, restaurant and catering management, or hotel management. A professional option may be offered through the master’s degree programs, which is devised to help students seek advanced positions or switch to a career in hospitality management. There are also other research-focused master’s degree programs with a hospitality concentration that are ideally suited for those seeking college-level or research teaching positions.

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