Studying hotel management may seem like a perfect fit if you have always wanted to hold a top leadership role in a full-service hotel. Bachelor’s degree programs in this field of study can be standalone majors or specializations within another major. In either case, these programs usually include coursework in the different aspects of hotel administration, basic business studies and food service management.
Distinguishing Between Majors and Concentrations in Hotel Management
Some hotel management degrees are distinct programs of study, awarding a degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Hotel & Lodging Management. Others are hotel management concentrations within a hospitality management degree program. The coursework of a hotel management concentration is typically broader, requiring just three to five specialized hotel industry courses that fit into the curriculum of a hospitality program. Students in a separate hotel management major may take twice as many classes specific to hotel operations along with more general hospitality studies.
Neither the major nor the concentration in hotel management is necessarily better than the other when it comes to finding a job. Both hotel management and hospitality management degrees are acceptable for lodging manager roles, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Courses in Hotel and Hospitality Leadership and Administration
In a bachelor’s degree program in hotel management, a lot of your courses will be fairly specialized, either pertaining to the hotel industry itself or to the broader hospitality and tourism industry. Some coursework relates to management operations and strategies, including classes like Sustainable Hotel Support Operations, Hospitality Strategy Design and Execution, International Hotel Operations and Development, Resort Management and Sales Tactics and Strategies and Service Operations Management.
Other courses, like Hotel Facilities Management, emphasize the development and maintenance of the hotel property itself. Through courses like Hotel Strategic Marketing and Brand Management and Marketing Management for Services, you learn skills to help attract guests to your hotel. There are courses that focus on guest services, like Managing the Hotel Guest Experience and Leading Service Excellence in the Hospitality Industry, as well as those that emphasize the financial aspects of running a profitable hotel, such as Hotel Asset Management and Revenue Management.
Many bachelor’s degree programs in hotel management start with introductory courses in hospitality management, the hospitality and hotel industries and an overview of hotel operations.
The Business Foundations of Hotel Management
You will have a difficult time excelling in hotel management without first cultivating your skills in basic business management and administration subjects. Most hotel management degrees include some general business courses to help you develop these foundations. Studying finance and financial accounting is crucial to being able to understand the more complex concepts of hotel revenue management and cost control, as well as building the skills to develop and stick to budgets for each department of the hotel’s services. Studies in business computing can help as you learn to use the software applications most commonly utilized by the hotel industry for managing reservations and logistics. Since overseeing the people who staff the hotel is an important part of a hotel manager’s job duties, degree programs often include classes in human resources management that help you develop the skills to recruit, train and effectively manage personnel.
You might also take classes in business law and legal environments, which may focus on general business or focus more narrowly on laws pertaining to hospitality and tourism businesses.
Courses in Food and Beverage Management
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A degree in hotel management is more specialized than one in hospitality management, so you might not expect to encounter coursework related to food service. However, full-service hotels typically have at least a kitchen on-site for room-service food preparation, if not a full restaurant and lounge where drinks and food are served. Senior-level hotel management roles involve management of the hotel’s food service operations as well as its accommodations, guest services and finances.
Some of your food-related coursework will be more general in nature, with classes such as Food and Beverage in the Hospitality Industry, Introduction to Food Service Operations, Spirits and Wine Lists, Menu Planning and Food Service Theory and Practice. Others, like Hotel Food and Beverage Operations Control, put the study of food service into the context of the hotel industry and environment.
You may also take hands-on classes in a lab – or teaching kitchen – in the techniques of preparing foods in general or specific types of cuisines or dishes.