How Long Does Hospitality Management School Take?

An exciting career in an exotic and amazing location—this could potentially describe your job and your workplace if you have an educational background in hospitality management. For example, you could start out as a crew for a hotel, resort or other accommodation and move up the ranks to become a lodging manager. To prepare yourself for this career path, you need to learn the tools of the trade by going to hospitality management school. Strictly speaking, there are no formal degree requirements to work in the field of hospitality management. You may even get an entry-level job with just a high school diploma. However, having a degree will certainly make you more qualified in the eyes of employers—especially those who run five-star hotels and large resorts.

There are actually different educational paths that you can take in the field of hospitality management. The shortest path is through a certificate in hotel management which takes a year or less to complete. This can get one a job in the entry-level post in smaller hotels and inns where the services are usually limited.

A slightly longer program for those who are interested in a career in the hotel industry is an associate’s degree. These programs usually include general education courses and hospitality management-focused classes and take a couple of years to complete for those enrolled full-time.

Although an associate’s degree program will be enough to get you into an entry-level position, a bachelor’s degree program will give you better chances of employment. If you already have an associate’s degree, it will only take you two more years to earn your bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. If you enroll in a bachelor’s in hospitality management program right after high school, you can expect to earn your degree after four years if you are a full-time student.

If you are gearing for a supervisory position in the establishment that you are working in, it’s a good idea to obtain postgraduate studies. Combined with your extensive experience in the hotel industry, a master’s degree in hospitality management will certainly give you an edge against those who only hold undergraduate degrees. Business schools usually offer one year master’s programs in this field although in most schools, this degree can be earned after two years.

A doctoral degree in hospitality management is ideal if you have plans of teaching the course to aspiring workers of the hotel and restaurant industries. Since this requires a dissertation, the typical completion time for this degree is about five years. However, some students can complete it in as little as three years while others take substantially longer than five years. Reasons for a student’s delay in obtaining a doctoral degree include problems encountered with research, funding to conduct the research and personal and family issues of the doctoral degree candidate.

Keep in mind that an educational degree is only going to take you so far. Once you are hired, you need to prove that you have the skills and traits to really stay long in the industry. You need to genuinely love your job to be able to provide clients with exceptional customer service that will make them repeat customers or encourage them to spread the word to others. You also need to know how to listen to your customers and if you are holding a managerial position, having business and leadership skills are going to be a must.

Career Spotlight: Lodging Manager

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