Online Associate Degree in Hospitality Management

An online associate degree in hospitality management provides students with a blend of industry-specific and general business training. Throughout the program, students develop foundational business skills, as well as targeted skills for the travel and tourism industry. While job growth in hospitality appears slower than the average for all occupations, the degree's broad training allows students to explore several related careers. Furthermore, the median salary for lodging managers is higher than the national average.

Professionals with college-level training stand to acquire the majority of new jobs in the field. Read on to explore more details about online hospitality management associate degree programs, along with careers and related training students can pursue after graduation.

What Will You Learn in an Online Hospitality Management Associate Degree Program?

To prepare students for careers that stretch across such a broad industry, an online associate degree in hospitality management provides widely applicable training and skills. Each program features its own unique curriculum and outcomes, but commonalities exist among most programs. In addition to the standard general education courses, these programs deliver core training in business and hospitality management.

The following information highlights common courses in a hospitality management curriculum, along with typical skills students should gain from the program.

Common Courses

Lodging Management

In this course, students learn about the structure of the lodging industry by delving into its facets, including the front office, security, and housekeeping. While these skills aid students in their pursuit of lodging management positions, they also apply to general business management positions.

Business Information Systems

This course explores how contemporary businesses and organizations use information systems to improve operations and gain competitive advantages. Students learn how to use technology to improve efficiency and make better business decisions. These skills apply to hospitality careers and business professions in general.

Customer Service

Students in this course learn how customer service and professionalism improve customers' experience. Students gain the skills to design, implement, and maintain a customer service strategy and philosophy. Professionally, customer service skills apply in nearly any setting. Students can even use these soft skills to build interpersonal relationships with others in their organization.

Professional Communication

In this course, learners examine the components of successful communication. They analyze customer and audience behaviors and situations to determine how to structure communications to get the best response. While this training may feature a hospitality slant, students can transfer the skills to a number of industries and professions.

Financial Accounting

This course teaches learners how financial accounting works in businesses, as well as how smart accounting can help businesses improve. The training provides students with basic accounting knowledge that they can apply to many organizations.


Core Skills

The skills gained in an online associate degree in hospitality management vary by program, but most students acquire certain core competencies, including general business knowledge, customer service, leadership, communication, and problem-solving. Many of these competencies apply to a variety of careers, and having business skills can lead to careers in operations, accounting, marketing, or management.

In this program, students receive training applicable to a wide range of careers. For instance, customer service and communication skills help professionals work with customers, clients, coworkers, and management. Additionally, leadership skills allow managers to get the most out of their staff and run an effective organization. Problem-solving skills equip professionals with the ability to find reasonable solutions for complex situations. In addition to the hospitality industry, several different employers seek out these skills in candidates, including corporations, manufacturing businesses, and government agencies.

While hospitality management programs set the foundation for a variety of careers after graduation, the degree also sets up students to further develop their education. Students can complement their hospitality education with advanced training in business, marketing, or information technology. Their acquired skills and competencies put them in a good position to succeed in a bachelor's program.

What Can You Do With an Associate Degree in Hospitality Management?

Hospitality management degrees prepare graduates for careers in the travel and tourism industry, but through certain educational decisions and experiences, students' career prospects can widen. While each student's career path differs, the following information outlines possible job options for graduates and accompanying salaries.

Potential Careers and Salaries

While the most direct career path for individuals with an online associate degree in hospitality management is in lodging management, graduates can apply their training to various careers and industries. For example, the business and financial training graduates acquire in this program makes them candidates for some of the largest industries in the nation: organization management, government services, consulting services, accounting services, and finance. The following list highlights popular and direct options for graduates with an online associate degree in hospitality management.

Lodging Managers

Lodging managers ensure that guests enjoy the best experience possible. They also ensure the operation runs smoothly. Lodging managers often need college-level training in hospitality management.

Average Annual Salary: $53,390

Administrative Service Managers

Administrative service managers oversee the administrative and supportive services of an organization. They ensure that operations and processes move along in the best possible manner. Candidates typically need a bachelor's degree and work experience.

Average Annual Salary: $96,180

Customer Service Representative

Customer service representatives manage an organization's client and customer needs by processing orders, resolving complaints, and satisfying their requests. While these professionals only need a high school degree, some employers prefer candidates with a college education.

Average Annual Salary: $33,750

Sales Representatives

Sales representatives sell an organization's goods and services. They may also work on pricing, marketing, and delivery. Many organizations seek out professionals with college training or a degree in business.

Average Annual Salary: $61,660

Advertising Sales Agents

Advertising sales agents sell advertisements and work with clients to create an optimal marketing strategy. Professionals in this field may need college-level training in business and marketing.

Average Annual Salary: $51,740

What's Next After an Online Associate Degree in Hospitality Management?

In addition to the entry-level careers available to graduates with an online associate degree in hospitality management, the possibility for further schooling exists. While the general education training gained from an associate degree typically transfers with ease into four-year programs, so too does the business training acquired in hospitality management degrees. The information below highlights some advanced educational options available to graduates.

Transferring to a Four-Year Degree Program

Before students graduate from an online associate degree in hospitality management, they should consider if they might wish to transfer into a four-year degree. While many schools offer transfer credits for associate degrees, some bachelor's programs offer transfer agreements with associate programs to make the process even easier. Students should work with an advisor to ensure they meet the necessary requirements, such as minimum GPA and prerequisite courses.

What Degrees Can You Pursue After Earning an Associate in Hospitality Management?

Many bachelor's degrees build on the foundation gained in an online associate degree in hospitality management. Here are choices that might make the most of the student's previous training:

Bachelor's in Business Management

A bachelor's in business management delves into business operations and processes. Students can apply their foundational training to a career in a corporation, or they can channel their advanced business training into the hospitality industry.


Bachelor's in Computer Information Systems

This program teaches students how to utilize and implement the latest in computer technology. In combination with an associate degree in hospitality management, students can devise technological methods for improving business or hospitality processes and operations.


Bachelor's in Marketing

Marketing bachelor's degrees explore the purchasing process, from product design to sales. An associate degree provides students with a solid foundation for exploring marketing more in depth. Students may also apply their marketing expertise to promote the hospitality industry.