What Can I Do With a Master’s in Hospitality Management?

What is Hospitality Management

When you think of hospitality management, what image comes most readily to mind? Do you think of a hotel manager, a restaurant manager, or something entirely different? Hospitality is simply the interaction between a host and a guest, a combination that encompasses so many of our interactions. Today the hospitality management sector includes event planning, tourism and leisure, night life, cafes and bars, experiences, hotels, and every niche in between. Hospitality management is also incredibly lucrative, and drives economies of major cities. In fact, according to the bureau of labor statistics hospitality management is the third largest field after health care and business. Worldwide, hospitality is ancient. Particularly when you view it as an exchange between host and guest. In Japan, entire ancient ceremonies (still present today) center around the presentation of tea. In the past, feasts were a pan-cultural experience and supported many entrepreneurs (even if they weren’t called so at the time). These are all hallmarks of what hospitality still means to us today. One difference between hospitality in the past and today is that hospitality is today a multi-billion dollar industry, powered by massive logistics trains, and multinational corporations. While there have undoubtedly been many shrewd providers of hospitality in the past, in today’s interconnected world it’s even bigger business. Millennial behaviors, the climate, and technology are among some of the top influences for change in the industry. Below we will take a closer look at how some of these top influences will change your career in hospitality management, and how that informs the answer to what one can do with a master’s in hospitality management.

Hospitality Management Trends

  • Millennials: First it was cupcakes, then it was donuts, then it was avocado toast. We jest of course! But not entirely. Millennial behavior has changed the face of hospitality drastically. According to the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research millennials will represent half of all travelers in the US by 2025. Millennial trends change rapidly. They enjoy spontaneity and unique experiences. For instance, if catering to a group of people who make many and varied spontaneous decisions, restaurants may want to include an in-house bar, and bars may want to allow for the delivery of services like Uber Eats, or perhaps your restaurant can excel at ambiance. When considering discounts on travel, marketers to the “ever-evolving” trends rather than the original “tried and true” market of decades past.
  • Technology: with so many individuals taking matters into their own hands, they are free to work wherever and whenever. Restaurants, cafes, hotels, and bed and breakfasts fill up with savvy and innovative individuals. As a result, the industry reflects this shift through offering high tech equipment, fast internet, and more. Technology doesn’t just mean computers, it also ties in with travel and tourism. Travel and tourism uses technological advances such as e-travel Tourism, virtual tourism, in-flight WiFi and more.
  • Sustainability: hotels in particular have historically been non-sustainable. Beyond that, they’ve straight up been wasteful. Source: DANA. As green alternatives become less expensive and more appealing, hospitality managers have shifted towards more economic practices which effect budget, incentivized ecologically sound upgrades, and actutually strengthened the brand. Guests understanding the impact their travel has on their carbon footprint, and minimizing that impact is an industry perk. The time for a greener upgrade is now!

What this means is that hospitality is, more so than ever, centered around innovation. Sustainability has entered the realm of supply chain management and hospitality behaviors have shifted with the times and circumstances. People of different cultures may seek to cross them or find something that feels like home. Does your menu reflect this? Are you ensuring that packaging is not just recyclable and compostable but maybe even giving back to a greater cause? These are the emerging trends that continue to impact and change this thriving field.

Now is a great time to get a Master’s degree in hospitality management. A Master’s degree in hospitality management is the top level academic route towards most upper management hospitality positions.

Master’s in Hospitality Management

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, hospitality and tourism is the third largest industry after health care and business. This means that finding a position in the field of hospitality is not as difficult as many other industries. However, the conundrum that those who work in the hospitality industry often find themselves in is how to make a livable wage within their chosen profession. A Master’s degree in hospitality management is one answer to this question. According to Payscale.com a Master’s in hospitality management can double your salary. In fact, if making minimum wage- often the starting salary of a job in hospitality management- a Master’s can potentially triple your salary.

A Master’s in hospitality management generally lays the foundational work of an MBA while taking it a step further. A Master’s in Hospitality Management will focus of course on hospitality and in some cases related fields like real estate and tourism. Programming includes intense finance-related course material as opportunities for specialization. A master’s degree in hospitality management is a great option for the individual who is seeking to advance their career in a field related to their particular interests. Common areas of specialization include entrepreneurship, marketing management, and operations among others.

Every Master’s in Hospitality Management will vary, but the key components of your program will include the following course material:

  • Marketing Research
  • Brand Management
  • Business Law
  • Hospitality Sales
  • Advanced Business Modeling
  • Data Driven Marketing
  • Managing Hospitality Distribution
  • Graduate Independent Research
  • Food Service Facilities Design
  • Restaurant Development
  • Work Experience Practicum
  • Airline Service and Management
  • Law for Entrepreneurs
  • Technology
  • Strategic Business Plan Development
  • Wine Marketing
  • Negotiations in Hospitality Management
  • Global Consumer Culture
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Microeconomics/ Macroeconomics
  • Yield Management
  • Catering and Event Management

Most Master’s in hospitality management require a minimum of 30 hours or two to three years to complete. Expect to take required general business-related course material with a heavy emphasis on finance. Other common MBA courses focus on accounting, ethics, management, marketing, and operations and are often embedded within a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management

Salary of A Hospitality Manager

According to Payscale, the Average Salary of a Hospitality Manager is $54,638 but with a master’s in hospitality management can increase to as much as $200,000. Here is why:

In a hospitality management position you will be in charge of the general oversight of potentially a restaurant or hotel. You will attend to the finances of the establishment, inspect the premises for code, oversee employee performance, and attend to conflict resolution with customers. As we mentioned above, the are a vast array of careers available under the umbrellas of hospitality management.

What Can I do with a Master’s in Hospitality Management Recap

Just to summarize how gaining a master’s in hospitality management can fit into your hospitality career:

  • First: Gain some years of experience in the industry
  • Second: Pick an area of specialization whether that is marketing, entrepreneurship, or a personalized track.
  • Third: Apply to program that serves as the best fit for your career. Take a look through these Master’s degrees in hospitality management
  • Fourth: Complete the core course material for an MBA
  • Fifth: After you graduate you can begin your search for a career in hospitality management.
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