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What can I do with a degree in hospitality management?

Over the centuries, people have been empowered to explore the world beyond their hometown boundaries thanks to advances in transportation and communication technologies. Remote parts of the globe that were previously closed off have now been opened up to tourism. For those with adventurous spirits who want to help others tap into their sense of wanderlust, a degree in hospitality management can open up a wealth of career opportunities.

In addition to jobs in tourism, those who pursue a bachelor's degree in hospitality management also can become involved in event planning, facilities management and more. Some of the most popular academic specializations include:

  • Lodging
  • Tourism and Travel
  • Casinos
  • Food and Beverages
  • Conventions and Events

Meeting, convention and event planning is one of the highest growth careers in the field of hospitality management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that this job will grow 33 percent between 2012 and 2022, three times as quickly as the average growth for all occupations during that time. These hospitality professionals meet with clients to plan events such as weddings, business conventions, parties, anniversaries and other occasions. They assist in coordinating amenities such as rooms, transportation and food, in addition to soliciting bids from various providers of these services.

A bachelor's degree and 1-2 years of experience is typically desired in this profession. Also, there are two voluntary certifications which may enhance one's candidacy among prospective clients:

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation

  • Offered by the Convention Industry Council
  • Requires:
    1. Minimum 36 months of meeting management (including recent employment in the field)
    2. Continuing education credits
    3. Passing an exam

Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation

  • Offered by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP)
  • Requires:
    1. One year experience as a meeting planner
    2. Minimum six months membership in the SGMP
    3. Three-day course
    4. Passing an exam

Lodging management is another popular career path for hospitality professionals, although the BLS projects that this career will grow only one percent between 2012 and 2022. Some of the responsibilities of this job include maintaining hotel standards for guest services, monitoring staff performance and allocating funds to various departments.

A bachelor's degree is highly recommended for those employed at full-service hotels. Additionally, lodging managers may find it useful to get a voluntary certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Finally, food service management is another possible specialization for people interested in careers in hospitality. The BLS predicts two percent growth for this industry between 2012 and 2022. Some of the responsibilities include managing inventories, maintaining standards of customer service and ensuring compliance with health and food safety regulations.

Similar to lodging managers, a bachelor's degree is preferred for positions in upscale companies. There's also a voluntary certification offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

A degree in hospitality management can provide a number of opportunities in hotels, restaurants, casinos and travel agencies, to name a few. Please check the visual below for salary information and a full list of references.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Hospitality Management?
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