The hospitality and tourism industry is booming. With millions of people across the world taking trips to new destinations every day, there has never been a bigger demand for qualified hospitality and tourism professionals. From travel agents to tour guides, hotel managers and entertainers, there is a high demand for skilled professionals in the field.
Entry into this lucrative field starts with a comprehensive education in hospitality and tourism. There are many great colleges and universities that offer programs in this field, from associate degrees to graduate certificates. These colleges offer both in-class and online study and are geared toward both traditional and continuing education students alike. Finding the right program is the first step toward enjoying a rewarding career in this field.
Many students who study toward a degree in hospitality and tourism are professionals that are looking to advance in their field. Online classes offer you the flexibility of studying on your own schedule while still working your full-time job. Take courses online at night, in the morning or whenever your schedule allows. With a variety of formats to meet your learning needs, you are sure to find it easy to learn at your own pace.
Career Outlook and Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality and tourism industry has experienced massive growth in recent years. Wages for hotel managers, chefs, tour guides and entertainers have grown and are only expected to increase. While the salaries of travel agents has fallen due to the popularity of the Internet, profits for independent web-based travel companies have jumped sharply. Salaries for professionals in the field are generally competitive, with the average salary for a hotel manager hovering around $46,880 annually.
For the entrepreneurial student, there are many opportunities to run a lucrative tourism business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that independent cruise planners earn an average of $110,473 annually, a number that reflects the high demand for the personalized service that Internet planning sites simply don’t offer. The average bed and breakfast owner earned over $97,453 in 2011. These numbers don’t even include smaller tour operators who own their own businesses conducting boat charters, walking tours and bus tours. There is no limit to what you can do with a degree in tourism and hospitality.
Tourism and Hospitality Career Choices
The hospitality and tourism industry encompasses a wide range of careers. Aspiring actors often venture into the field, landing jobs as costumed characters at amusement parks and as recreation directors at luxury resorts. Singers, dancers and musicians often find fulfilling careers as entertainers on cruise ships. The hospitality and tourism field includes positions as head chefs, restaurant managers, casino managers and hotel staff. There are many great careers in the field, and the right student can enjoy a profitable career in hospitality management.
Courses of Study
The distance learning tourism and hospitality degree includes a rigorous course of study in several functioning areas. You will learn the fundamentals of management with an emphasis on running and managing a business. The coursework will include classes in human resource management, accounting, finance and marketing.
You will also study business communication, specialty marketing and the basics of database management. In-depth courses in hotel management, customer service, front office operations, cruise ship operation and conference management are also included in the curriculum and will prepare you for the ins and outs of the industry.
Many students supplement their distance learning tourism and hospitality degree with internships that help them learn the industry and get an up-close look at what it takes to succeed in the field. These interns study in hotels, work on cruise ships and learn alongside chefs in five-star restaurants.
If you are looking for a rewarding career in the tourism industry, find the right distance education program today.