Skip to main content

How to Propel Your Hospitality Career: 5 Key Degrees to Pursue

4 minute read

By Ryan Pratt

Propelling your career in the vibrant hospitality industry often hinges on robust academic grounding. The selection of an appropriate degree is a significant step toward realizing success in this diverse and fast-paced sector. For individuals keen on advancing their hospitality careers, pursuing the right degree is a crucial decision. Fortunately, if you start a search online today, you can learn about five key degree paths that can boost a burgeoning career in the field of hospitality.

Shutterstock: Andrey_Popov

Hospitality Management

A degree in Hospitality Management imparts practical and theoretical knowledge related to the operations of a hospitality business. Students delve into subjects such as event planning, food and beverage management, and hotel administration. This degree lays a broad foundation and equips learners with the skills to oversee different aspects of the business, from customer service to financial management.

The strong focus on business principles provides a versatile skill set. These skills are applicable to a wide range of hospitality settings – hotels, restaurants, resorts, and more. With a degree in hospitality management, you can rise to managerial positions and lead teams effectively.

Since there are so many career opportunities in the hospitality industry, salaries can vary significantly. 1 However, as far as some of the most common jobs are concerned, hotel and restaurant managers make an estimated $61,000 per year.

Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts is a specialized degree that offers intensive training in food preparation and presentation. This degree is ideal for those who have a keen interest in the gastronomical side of hospitality. It helps aspirants to understand different cuisines, culinary techniques, and the art of plating.

In addition to the culinary skills, students also learn about food safety and sanitation, nutrition, and menu planning. It prepares them for roles like executive chef, pastry chef, and restaurant manager. Any creative and technical skills acquired can provide a competitive edge in the culinary world.

The salary range among culinary arts graduates ranges significantly, with top earners making upwards of $95,500 per year while low earners take home $18,500 annually. According to ZipRecruiter, the majority of jobs in this field make between $31,000 and $56,000. 2

Event Management

Event Management is another degree that can drive your hospitality career forward. It covers a comprehensive range of subjects from logistics to public relations and marketing. Event management degree holders have a keen understanding of planning, executing, and evaluating events.

The curriculum also includes strategic planning, risk management, and financial control related to events. This degree prepares students for a career in a variety of settings, including event planning firms, hotels, convention centers, and corporations. It equips them to handle everything from small-scale gatherings to large conferences and weddings. For their expertise, event planners earn an average yearly salary of $52,560. 3

Travel and Tourism Management

Travel and Tourism Management is a degree that focuses on the dynamics of the travel industry. It incorporates areas such as travel agency management, tour operation, and sustainable tourism. This degree provides insights into global tourism trends, marketing strategies, and customer service in travel contexts.

Graduates are well-equipped to handle the intricacies of the travel industry. They can work in diverse roles, such as travel consultants, tour operators, and tourism marketing specialists. Their global perspective allows them to understand and cater to the needs of travelers from around the world. Salaries in this sector range from $55,704 for travel coordinators to $89,031 for travel managers. 4

Hotel Administration

A degree in Hotel Administration provides a deep understanding of the operation and management of hotels. It covers areas like front office operations, housekeeping, revenue management, and human resources in a hotel context. The degree provides a comprehensive view of hotel operations, making it invaluable for those aspiring to work in this sector.

Students learn how to deliver excellent customer service, manage hotel operations, and drive profitability. Upon graduation, they are prepared for roles such as hotel manager, front office manager, and rooms division manager. The skills gained can help in effectively running and managing hotel establishments. Front office managers earn an estimated $47,738 per year, while rooms division managers make $53,496 per year. 56

Follow Your Passion

Pursuing a degree in the hospitality field can set the stage for a successful career. Each of the degrees mentioned above offers a unique perspective and skill set.

Whether it’s overseeing a hotel, running a top-notch restaurant, planning exquisite events, or leading tours around the globe, these degrees can provide the academic foundation you need. With the right degree and a passion for service, the hospitality world can be your oyster!

Ryan Pratt