The hospitality industry is a dynamic and growing field with a great opportunity for advancement. Management careers in the hospitality industry are available in a variety of settings and with a range of specialties. Growth is expected to continue within the tourism, travel and hospitality industry and in particular within large full-service hotels, casinos, resorts and convention hotels. These venues provide a wide range of services to a large number of consumers that will generate job opportunities for highly experienced and trained managers. Individuals with advance college degrees are expected to have the best opportunities within this growing industry.i
Although the hospitality and tourism industry has been negatively impacted by the economic recession, there are signs and projections that consumers are beginning to travel and vacation more and this increasing demand will create more and more job opportunities within the industry. Take for example, the recent growth of the gambling/ casino sector. These establishments are frequently combined with restaurants/spa/ lodging facilities and they have created considerable job opportunities. In particular, this sector has created significant opportunities for individuals with hospitality management degrees as they provide a wide range of services to a large customer base and require managers with both a depth and breadth of industry knowledgeii . The opportunities available within the hospitality industry are numerous but they all require specialized knowledge and an understanding of the dynamic integration of a variety of factors that determine success.
These careers have the additional benefit of providing both local and global opportunities and room for career advancement and worldwide connections. An understanding of finance, marketing, tourism development, customer service, security and other industry-specific issues are central to the success of any senior manager and are key elements of any quality hospitality management graduate degree program.
Although many areas of this industry are expected to grow moderately, event planning and convention services are one aspect that is projected to have tremendous growth. Employment of convention and event planners is expected to grow 44 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As globalization increases and businesses continue to recognize the value of professionally planned events the need for individuals with these skills is expected to grow. Job opportunities will be best for candidates with advanced degrees in hospitality management.
Individuals with advanced degrees can excel in a variety of areas including:
Hotels/ Resorts/ Casino/ Airlines/ Cruises
Event Planning/ Convention Services
Real Estate Development
Experience in one or more of these areas will increase the opportunities for both employment and advancement since many of these areas are captured within one industry setting. Increasingly, managers must supervise and make key-decisions, which consider a variety of aspects of the industry within one business. Casino’s and resorts for example, may require management that is capable of understanding the unique needs of the gaming community, the hotel setting and the special services such as spa’s, restaurants, events and conventions.
Although, the mean annual salary of lodging managers was $75,310 in May 2011 this varies greatly based on the size and location of the business. Individuals that are interested in earning higher salaries should focus on metropolitan areas or locations that are year-round tourist attractions. Gaming operations management salaries showed a mean of $113, 340 and general managers of hotels averaged $ 177, 994 again, the location and size of the establishment does create some variable in salary. However, both of these highlight the strong earning potential within the industry.vi
Online Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management at Drexel University
Drexel University has a history of supporting the relationship between academics and industry and includes an emphasis on technology within the program, critical to students preparing for careers in this dynamic industry. Students who graduate from this online program with a Master’s of Science degree in Hospitality Management will be prepared to meet real world challenges and to be key decision-makers in the hospitality industry.
The online program offers students the ability to select a concentration in one of two popular and dynamic areas:
Gaming and Casino Management - Courses in the Gaming and Casino Management concentration include Casino Security, Financial Analysis, and Current Issues in Gaming.
Global Tourism - Coursework in the Global Tourism Concentration include the Global Tourism System, Tourism Development, and Tourism Marketing.
These concentrations are designed to position our graduates to take full advantage of the areas of continued growth and expansion within the industry. The global marketplace, technology, continued development in the Gaming Industry are all reasons why expertise with this focus will give our graduates the opportunity to take full advantage of the emerging and expanding positions that these areas are presenting and developing.