Getting a Hospitality Management Degree can Unlock Diverse Career Opportunities
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Another name for the degree in hospitality management is the hotel management degree. Aspirants attending this degree have diverse job scopes in the hotel industry. The candidate learns several aspects of running a hotel including finance management, guest attendance, information systems, public relations and accounting. The degree is available in all the various formats. Candidates can complete a short certification program or an associate’s degree. The condensed courses usually get over in two years at the most. Aspirants can also complete a bachelor’s degree, a graduation degree (master’s), or a PhD program. Diploma programs are also available. Although entry level positions in the job does not require advanced training, yet employers nowadays seek professionals with a minimum qualifications of bachelor’s degree.
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Although hotels are the primary destinations following a hospitality management degree, yet there are other fields where candidates can find employment. These include any facility that involves taking care of the guests. So, aspirants can have jobs in cruise ships, amusement parks, guest houses, convention centers, country clubs and destination marketing entities. To advance in the career, candidates need to display a professional caring attitude at the job. Making guests feel at home is the secret of success in this field. Several job positions open up following the degree. Although the general manager position has maximum demand, yet candidates can get jobs as loading manager, casino manager, restaurant manager and lodging supervisor. Aspirants can also work as concierge at the facility. Candidates earn reasonable salaries in the field, but more on that later.
The field holds a broad range of job promises. It is one of the most dynamic industries and continues to grow dynamically. According to projections from the World Travel Organization, the industry would grow to triple its present size by 2020. The industry intricately links with the tourism industry, which is also an evolving sector. Overall, the job prospects look highly promising.
Various available degrees
- The Associate’s degree is usually a two years program. This degree is best to secure an entry level position at a facility. The course would impart a general education about the various aspects of hospitality management. The salary would not be the highest level, but nevertheless you can get a job after two years. However, for ensuring progress in the career, most candidates complete the bachelor’s degree after the associate’s. Many candidates do not apply for the associate’s degree if they are not looking for immediate placements. The associate’s degree is most popular for hotel staff who are looking forward to a short course that would help them to apply for a higher post than basic positions.
- The bachelor’s degree: This is the commonest degree in the field. The bachelor’s course takes four years to complete and it imparts the candidate with the necessary qualifications to participate in the core system of running the facility. The course would teach various aspects of taking care of guests and increasing the revenue of the hotel. Job opportunities in managerial posts can open up after completing the bachelor’s degree.
- Master degree programs: The masters degree offers an advanced curriculum to candidates. The student can take up core courses focused on the major, and choose the electives for specializing in a particular sector of the field. Masters programs usually take two years to complete, but some business schools offer one year programs. Since you opt for the master’s only after completing the bachelor’s course, the degree also holds high promotional value. Most candidates opting for a masters already has a secured position at a hospitality facility and are looking for a suitable course to increase the qualifications and apply for a promotion.
- The Doctorate degree: The doctorate degree in the field offers a high degree of specialization in any particular related field in hospital management. Candidates have to undertake a great deal of research and submit a thesis at the end of the course. Established professionals in the industry, looking forward to move to the topmost level in the hospitality system, usually complete the PhD.
Career opportunities and salaries
Entry level positions in the industry usually offer salaries in the range of $20,000-$40,000. There are several opportunities in this range. Candidates can work as hotel agents, hospitality parcel specialists, shift manager, restaurant manager, gym instructor at the hotel, and as a helpdesk attendant. High paying jobs in the range of $40,000 include the positions of managerial superintendant, area director for revenue management, concierge, service manager, and sales manager. Other jobs include the posts of housekeeping manager, and network management officer.
With gaining experience and obtaining the master’s or PhD degrees, more job opportunities open up. The salary is also high in the range of $75,000. However, the highest paying salaries are available mostly to the ones with significant experience in the field. Usually, one needs to have at least 15 years of experience in the field to command high salaries such as these.
The finance manager is an important post in this range. The manager would be responsible of managing the expenditure at the facility and increasing the revenue. General manager posts also fall in this category. However, one must note that the pay scales in the industry depend largely on the facility. For the same job, some facilities can pay more than other facilities with similar job responsibilities.
Initial level jobs include staff and attendant positions. You can begin your career as a bar staff, floor staff, kitchen staff, room service staff, housekeeper, receptionist and cleaner. The next level of jobs includes team leader and basic management positions. You can work as kitchen manager, shift manager, bar shift leader, kitchen shift leader and hotel team leader. The pub manager and night manager posts are also available in this range. Other associated employment opportunities include jobs at the head office, jobs in the finance department, customer service, IT, legal, retail, operations and IT.
Basic job responsibilities
The basic job responsibilities are the same for all positions in hospitality management. You have to maintain cleanliness and decorum at the hotel. You can be working at any level of the hierarchy, but these basic premises always remain the same. The hotel performs smoothly when its various departments coordinate flawlessly. This is only possible when there are basic standards to adhere by. The hotel must have a comfortable and friendly outlook to endear the guests. Guests must be able to have immediate access to various necessary facilities. Room maintenance is a key responsibility for the hotel staff. The manager has to ensure that all rooms have fresh beddings and towels in each shift.
Responsibilities of maintenance also include checking the IT system and the electrical system. The manager must be able to attend to any electrical problems at the earliest. The IT department has to ensure that guests have access to Wi-Fi internet. Internet connectivity is a major aspect of finding the right hotel. The IT department also has to undertake additional responsibilities like securing the online booking facility at the hotel. Online promotion of the hotel is another critical aspect that the IT manager must superintend.
Effective coordination between different departments is very important. If you are in the room maintenance section, you must immediately report any permanent damage to the room to your senior. Besides room maintenance, the hotel management responsibilities also include the restaurant and room service. The food at the hotel must be of the best standards. It should be yet another reason for guests to return to the hotel. The security department is another critical aspect. The hotel must have a robust security system. The hotel has to ensure that guests provide proper identification documents and information like contact numbers for gaining admittance at the facility. The belongings of the guests must be safe in all scenarios.
Tips to make progress
To progress in the sector, the candidate can build his foundation on two key aspects. The aspects are that of handling the revenue at the facility and handling the comfort/convenience of the guests. For progressing, aspirants must be conversant and have expertise in handling either parameters of the job. The responsibilities in any field of hospitality management would require consideration of these basic aspects. Besides, the two aspects are not spate but interconnected. The mathematics is quite simple. To increase the revenue of the hotel, it must be the ideal destination for guests. Guests must prefer to return and recommend the hotel. The hotel becomes the destination of choice only when it has impeccable facilities and great customer service.
Although hotels and guest houses are the usual facilities to get jobs in the field, there are other places of employment. However, the principles of ideal guest attendance apply in these fields also. Additionally, there can be extra responsibilities. Also, guest standards vary largely. Guests at a cruise liner are different from guests at a community center. So, the candidate must have specific experience in attending to guests in various situations. However, one has to ensure complete adherence to the rules and regulations of the hotel.