Best Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs
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An online associate in hotel and restaurant management program can help prepare students for the hospitality and service industry. Hotel and restaurant management programs and hospitality management programs typically cover the same topics. Degree-seekers can learn to lead a team, solve problems, and create a positive experience for customers.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2018-2019, the average cost of undergraduate tuition and fees at a two-year institution was around $3,560. An associate degree in hospitality management typically requires 60 credits and takes two years to complete. However, online learners may graduate faster if they're in an accelerated program.
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Costs vary for a hospitality management degree, depending on the program and whether it's online or on campus. Additionally, some learners may pursue an online business degree to further their education.
Overall, the career outlook for graduates in this field appears promising. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 15% job growth rate for food service managers from 2020-2030. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $56,590, as of May 2020.
What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?
Learners may be able to thrive in an associate in hotel and restaurant management program if they have commitment, enthusiasm, and leadership ability. These roles require exceptional motivation, people skills, and superior attention to detail.
Most associate programs include general education requirements, such as English composition and psychology. There are also management and marketing courses as well as major-specific hospitality courses.
Studies in hotel and restaurant management usually cover customer service, supervision, software applications for business, and human resources.
Major-specific courses depend on a student's program or concentration. The format an institution uses for online classes can include live video discussions or modules with pre-recorded lectures. There are often additional requirements such as labs, practicums, or internships, depending on the program.
Students may choose a concentration such as:
- Restaurant management
- Hotel and lodging management
- Beverage management
- Catering management
- Meeting and event management
- Tourism management
Additionally, each online associate in hotel and restaurant management program has a specific set of requirements. For example, some require in-state residency, while others waive extra fees for out-of-state students. And, while an associate degree typically takes around 60 credits, some programs offer accelerated options.
Ultimately, the best associate in hotel and restaurant management programs provide academic instruction and practical experience.
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Popular Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?
Principles of Hospitality Management
Students explore management theory and the field of hospitality, origin of hospitality, its development, current scope, and future trends. The course emphasizes organizing, planning, and leadership skills.
Software Applications for Business
This course prepares students with basic skills in creating and editing word-processing and spreadsheet documents. They can learn applications for formatting business information, creating business reports, and solving business problems.
Hospitality Cost Control
Students learn how to efficiently operate a hospitality facility through product handling, inventory, and labor control. Learners gain skills in analyzing operating costs regarding different types of services.
Human Resource Management
Students study the supervisor's role in human resource management. This course typically covers topics such as recruiting, conducting job interviews, planning orientation, and developing policies and procedures.
Hospitality Event Management
The hospitality event management course helps students learn to plan events and address safety and security concerns. Students explore meeting and event processes such as pre-planning, resources, audience needs, event location, and compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?
Students need a high school or GED diploma to pursue an online associate in hotel and restaurant management. There is also usually an application fee. College entrance exams — such as ACCUPLACER, ACT, or SAT scores — are often required to measure math, verbal, analytical, and writing skills.
Based on placement scores, students may need to take general studies courses as well as those specific to their program. However, there are associate programs that offer college credit for life and work experience. For example, military training could provide transferable skills that match with college curricula.
Additionally, a college application essay can allow a student to describe their goals and expectations and demonstrate their writing ability. Students also may need letters of recommendation to explain why they're a good fit for the program.
What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree?
Hospitality careers such as food service managers are in demand. Additionally, earning an online associate in hotel and restaurant management can help graduates pursue various jobs in motel, hotel, resort, nightclub, or bar management. There are also opportunities in travel and tourism with airlines, cruise lines, and travel agencies.
An associate in hotel and restaurant management may be a good choice for people who already have some experience in the hospitality industry. For example, according to the BLS, most food service managers start as cooks, servers, or hosts and spend years learning the necessary skills to become managers.
As of November 2021, the average base pay range for hospitality managers is between $35,000-$76,000 per year, according to Payscale. Salaries typically include a base, plus bonus, and other employee benefits. Education in the business of hospitality may help put professionals at the top of the candidate pool.
Restaurant General Manager
A restaurant general manager oversees all aspects of the restaurant's dining room, kitchen, and exterior grounds. They schedule staff and take care of budgeting, accounting, payroll, and other finances. Additionally, a general manager is often responsible for promotions and advertising, booking entertainment, or scheduling events.
Average Annual Salary (as of December 2021): $50,560
Lodging managers usually have previous hotel customer service experience in addition to an associate, bachelor's degree, or certificate. Like other hospitality managers, their goal is to keep the business running efficiently and maintain profitably. They help hire, train, and manage staff and also maintain standards and procedures.
Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $56,670
Event managers work with clients to create and schedule events, conferences, and parties. They often help pick a venue and usually work with third-party vendors, including caterers and DJs. Event managers must also keep within their clients' budgets.
Average Annual Salary (as of November 2021): $54,620
Food and Beverage Director
This upper management job usually requires a college degree and extensive prior experience in the field. Food and beverage directors oversee a company's entire food and beverage service. They make human resource and purchasing decisions. Additionally, they decide which products to carry and implement staff training.
Average Annual Salary (as of November 2021): $71,000
Director of Housekeeping
Housekeeping directors work in hotels, apartment buildings, or nursing facilities. They oversee a staff of housekeepers, ensuring excellent performance and professionalism. A director of housekeeping needs great communication skills and computer proficiency as they may also have payroll and accounting duties.
Average Annual Salary (as of November 2021): $58,190
Hotel and Restaurant Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Students with an associate in hotel and restaurant management may go on to pursue advanced degrees. For example, sales managers, which can include some professionals in the hospitality field, earned amedian annual salary of $132,290 as of May 2020, according to the BLS. These roles typically require a bachelor's degree and experience in the industry.
Additionally, certification can help advance your career in hotel and restaurant management. Hospitality professionals can expand their digital skills with the Cvent Supplier Network certification. Managers can learn how to improve a venue's online presence, create proposals, and increase the requests for proposal conversion rates.
A hospitality department trainer certification can help professionals illustrate their industry expertise and ability to train others. There are also certifications through Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, including hospitality revenue management, certified hospitality digital marketer, and revenue management analyst.
How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?
Costs can vary. In-state students typically pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state learners. However, some programs allow all students to pay in-state tuition rates, no matter where they live. You will also need to look at the cost of online vs. on-campus programs. Some online programs may charge access fees to distance learners.
Other factors also determine the true costs of an online associate degree, such as books, supplies, and software expenses.
Online courses are generally synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous programs have a schedule similar to on-campus classes, with live video lectures and discussions, while asynchronous options provide more flexibility. Programs may also be a hybrid combination, part-time, full-time, or accelerated for quicker graduation.
For distance learners, location is important because some online programs may have on-campus requirements, internships or other location-specific workshops. Additionally, some learners may do best in a hybrid program that requires some time on campus.
College and program accreditation is perhaps the most critical factor in considering a school and associate program. Accreditation is an evaluative process that ensures a school or program meets specific quality educational standards. A school without accreditation can't guarantee it adequately prepares students. Also, earned credits from these schools may not transfer to accredited institutions.
Another essential aspect of a good program is the student support services available. Student services cover everything from support for technology for online classes to writing assistance and academic advising and mentorships. Student support can also assist with internship opportunities and job preparation, such as writing a resume.
Best Accredited Online Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs
Is an associate degree in hotel and restaurant management worth it?
Yes, it's worth it to get an associate degree in hotel and restaurant management. The credential can help professionals take the next step in their careers. While hospitality professionals can work their way into many of these roles, an associate degree may give candidates an edge.
Many community colleges and universities offer online versions of on-campus courses and programs. An online program is worth it for students who need the flexibility to work while they attend classes. What's more, trends in employer partnerships and anticipated growth in the demand for online programs create more acceptance of an online education.
How fast can I get an associate in hotel and restaurant management degree online?
It takes approximately two years to earn an associate degree in a traditional college setting. However, students could complete an accelerated online associate in hotel and restaurant management in 12-18 months. Additionally, learners can sometimes reduce the time it takes by getting credit for life and work experience.
It's also possible to test out of some classes. Students also may have credits they can transfer to the new program. Maintaining the maximum workload instead of opting for part-time courses can also help students graduate faster. In the end, the quickest way to get an associate degree online is to earn as many credits as possible in the least amount of time.
Is an online associate degree in hotel and restaurant management program credible?
The best way to determine if a program is credible is to check the institution's accreditation. Online institutions and their programs receive accreditation from the same agencies as their on-campus counterparts.
Institutional and programmatic are the two types of accreditation. There are also two types of institutional accreditation, regional and national. Institutional accreditation evaluates a college's academics, administration, and available resources.
National accreditation mainly covers technical and vocational colleges, while regional accreditation typically assesses two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Programmatic accreditation focuses on individual programs and academic disciplines, such as business or nursing. Proper accreditation is vital for online programs to ensure credibility.
Salaries vary depending on the job and may include a base, bonus, and additional employee benefits. For example, according to Payscale, entry-level restaurant managers with less than a year of experience typically earn an average annual total compensation of just over $41,200. By comparison, an early career hotel general manager with 1-4 years of experience averages around $49,060, as of November 2021.
Regardless of the path, professionals with education and experience tend to land positions with higher pay. According to Payscale, those with a bachelor's of science in hotel and restaurant management earn an average annual salary of $62,000, as of November 2021.
Is an associate degree in hotel and restaurant management in demand?
Some hospitality careers, such as restaurant managers, are in high demand. And the BLS projects the job growth for lodging managers to increase 9% from 2020-2030. That's around the average for all occupations.
Additionally, graduates with an online associate in hotel and restaurant management can work in tourism with airlines, cruise lines, and resorts. Years of work experience can lead to many of these entry-level management positions. However, an associate in hotel and restaurant management can open the door to opportunities for higher wages.
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