The hospitality industry continues to grow. While travelers spent over $1.5 trillion dollars on hotel rooms in 2017, "employment of lodging managers is projected to grow four percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. However, expected growth in tourism, travel, and higher occupancy levels will contribute to the need for lodging managers.
Some large full-service hotels, including casinos, resorts, and convention hotels that provide a wide range of services to a larger customer base, will continue to generate jobs for experienced managers." While employment in the hospitality industry can be competitive, job applicants with previous work experience and an undergraduate or graduate degree in hospitality or hotel management can expect to have a much greater chance of landing the job. While the Bureau of labor Statistics reports a median annual salary of $51,840 for lodging managers, there is room for advancement and promotion within many of the nation's hotel chains that yield higher salaries. Here are two routes that an employees can take in order to pursue a career in hospitality management.
Start at the Bottom
Even the most distinguished hospitality brands in the United States rely on part-time and entry-level positions to run effectively. As Kim Evans writes, "Jobs in the hospitality industry are open to every skill of education and experience. Dishwashers, housekeepers, maintenance workers, kitchen staff, servers, and support staff often hire on with excellent companies with no more than a high school diploma or a vocational diploma." Some of these positions can even be filled on a part-time basis by high school students. We have all heard stories of future titans of industries who had humble beginnings as floor-sweepers and would later go on to own the company. An entry level position in hospitality is a great training ground for future promotion as an employee can build a track record of reliability and trust with management. Many corporations that have seen the value in retaining employees offer on-the-job training programs that can often result in management positions for employees.
Pursue a Degree in Hospitality Management
One of the best ways to stand out amongst the competition of other potential employees is to add a Master's of Business Administration with a hospitality focus to your resume. This high-level degree combines solid business theory with the needed training to produce business leaders who can navigate through the issues of management including decision-making and problem-solving. While many of the nation's top business schools require their MBA applicants to have two to five years of professional experience before entering the program, those applicants with hospitality industry experience can thrive within the degree plan.
Some misconceptions pertaining to an MBA are that the tuition rates for such degrees keep them out of reach and that the need to relocate to become a full-time graduate student makes it less appealing. The answer to both of these issues can be found in an online MBA in hospitality. One such degree is delivered at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, B.I. Moody, III College of Business Administration. With a very affordable overall tuition rate of less than $14,999, this 33-credit hour Online MBA program features concentration courses like Organizational Behavior and Leadership, International Business, Feasibility Studies in Hospitality and Tourism, and Global Contemporary Issues in Hospitality and Tourism. Backed by its exemplary business accreditation through the AACSB, the business school has designed this program to be completed in as few as 15 months. Degrees like this one not only make you hirable for upper level management in hospitality, they make you stand above the competition.
While the two roads to a position as a hospitality manager vary in time frame and effort, there are some advantages to each scenario. Either way, a career in hospitality management can be a rewarding one for those seeking to provide excellent customer service in the tourism, resort, and hospitality industry.