Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

| OnlineMBA.com Staff Modified on May 3, 2022

Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

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The hospitality industry includes lodging, restaurants, resorts, and other destination-based and service-providing areas of work. Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an increase in employment for several hospitality-related jobs, including food service manager (15%), lodging manager (9%), and meeting, convention, and event planner (18%). However, other jobs, such as travel agent, are projected to decrease.

Earning a top online MBA sets you apart from other candidates in the competitive world of hospitality management. However, choosing the best hospitality management MBA can be a daunting endeavor.

This guide ranks the country's best MBA programs. Read on for more information regarding MBA careers and how to choose the best online MBA in hospitality management.

What Is an MBA in Hospitality Management?

MBA in hospitality management programs focus on the hospitality industry, featuring coursework in general business, as well as hospitality management and operations. Students develop their hospitality skills while gaining abilities in finance, operations, and leadership. Graduates of master's in hospitality management programs earn positions in administration and management. They also become entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, operating their own lodging and travel businesses.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Hospitality Management?

Master’s in hospitality management online programs offer the kind of flexibility working professionals need. Classes typically follow an asynchronous format, meaning learners don't have to attend scheduled classes. Some programs require internships but allow students to complete them with their current employers.

An MBA in hospitality management provides an education that uniquely addresses challenges in the hospitality industry. Students learn to analyze and prepare for the cyclical financial nature of tourism, provide thorough training in a high-turnover industry, and market to diverse audiences in a rapidly shifting landscape. Skilled hospitality planners enjoy increasing demand as companies shift to remote employment with regular in-person corporate events. Innovative MBA graduates also benefit from opportunities in sustainable tourism.

The top MBA programs help graduates to secure competitive positions and improve their salary prospects. Salaries vary depending on employer and location. Luxury hotels and full-service resorts, for instance, offer lucrative job opportunities.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Hospitality Management?

Hotel Manager

Hotel managers oversee day-to-day hotel operations, including staff supervision and customer satisfaction. They manage maintenance and conduct inspections of rooms and grounds. Hotel managers must typically meet financial goals and review bookkeeping and cash flow predictions. They should possess customer service, operations management, and accounting skills. Salaries for hotel managers typically range from $35,000-$60,000 per year, depending on experience, location, and employer.

Director of Sales, Hotels/Hospitality

Sales directors plan, organize, and manage hotel sales activities. They must meet sales goals, obtain new business, and maintain ongoing client relationships. Directors of sales oversee room and facility rentals and may provide event management. They focus on maximizing profits and sales volume for their hotels. Sales directors benefit from skills in sales management, customer relationship management, and contract negotiation. Directors earn an average annual salary around $63,000.

Travel Coordinator

Commonly known as travel agents, travel coordinators schedule and plan vacations and business trips for individuals, families, and organizations. They work with clients to assess their needs and make arrangements for transportation, lodging, and experiences at their destination. Coordinators develop familiarity with foreign travel requirements to simplify the process for travelers. They may maintain financial records and perform data entry, as well. As such, they should boast organizational skills and experience with spreadsheet software. Travel coordinators earn an average annual salary of $41,000.

Lodging Manager

Lodging managers work in a variety of settings, including independent establishments and national hotel chains. They may serve as general managers, overseeing all operations, or specialize as revenue managers or convention services managers. These professionals ensure a positive experience for guests, and they may provide registration services. Managers engage in marketing to help their businesses meet revenue goals. Business, customer service, and leadership skills prove crucial for successful lodging managers. They earn a median salary of $53,390 annually.

Hospitality Manager

Hospitality managers oversee the customer service or front-of-house staff at hotels, restaurants, and resorts. They ensure customers and guests enjoy their experience, developing ongoing clientele for their establishments. Managers may hire employees and train staff to follow all corporate guidelines. They also take care of bookkeeping. Hospitality managers earn an average salary of $49,000. Individuals with operations, training, and people management skills may earn above-average wages.

Online MBA in Hospitality Management Curriculum

Top online MBA in hospitality management programs offer curricula in business and hospitality management. These classes cover finance, marketing, and leadership. Curricula vary, however, so check with prospective schools to make sure their offerings align with your educational goals.

These classes examine the unique challenges of hospitality leadership, including risk mitigation, industry corporatization, and high turnover rates. Students learn to analyze, evaluate, assess, and implement leadership strategies. Students develop general and specific marketing skills for the hospitality industry. Topics include positioning travel destinations in a global market, assessing supply and demand, and marketing service quality. Online MBA in hospitality management students complete projects specific to the hospitality field. Topics include accounting procedures, financial analysis and planning, and budgetary and cash flow projections.

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Hospitality Management Program

Applicants should consider a variety of factors when choosing the best master’s in hospitality management degree. While similar, different degrees cover slightly different material. An MBA in hospitality management provides an education in business administration with a focus on hospitality-oriented enterprises. A master’s in hospitality and tourism, by contrast, offers a generalist curriculum in the tourism industry. Degrees in parks and recreation management focus on recreational facilities, parks, and resorts.

Prospective students must also consider whether they can attend full time or part time. Some programs best suit part-time attendance, offering flexible curricula, while others require learners to attend full-time. Enrollment status may impact cost, as well. Many schools offer discounted tuition for full-time students.

Tuition rates vary widely, so applicants should research their prospective schools' tuition rates, student fees, and scholarship options. They should also check for regional and programmatic accreditation.

Location plays an important role, as well, particularly regarding local business partnerships. Students aiming to work at a specific company should attend a school that partners with that business, helping to get their foot in the door. They should also consider any extracurricular graduation requirements, such as an internship or thesis, and whether these requirements suit their schedule and priorities.

Scholarships for Hospitality Management MBA Programs

Most students need financial aid to attend college. Universities, private foundations, professional associations, and businesses offer a variety of scholarship opportunities. See below a list of five scholarships for students earning master’s degrees in hospitality management.

Banks Brown Graduate Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students enrolled full time or part time in graduate hospitality programs may apply. The scholarship also accepts graduate applicants who possess an undergraduate hospitality degree or four years of employment in the hospitality industry. Candidates must demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Amount: $5,000

Apply for Scholarship

HSMAI Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Current students in hospitality management programs with hospitality work experience may apply. Applicants must have an interest in hospitality sales and marketing and be involved with the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must attend university full time and major in business administration. They should hold a 3.25 minimum GPA. The Daughters of the American Revolution awards this scholarship; membership is not required.

Amount: $2,000

Apply for Scholarship

Rama Scholarship for the American Dream

Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in participating schools may receive nomination for this award. Candidates must major in hospitality management and hold a minimum 2.5 GPA. Asian-Indian and other minority students receive preference.

Amount: $500-3,000

Apply for Scholarship

Forté MBA Fellowship

Who Can Apply: Women applying to MBA programs at participating universities qualify for this fellowship. Selected fellows boast an average 3.6 GPA, 695 GMAT score, and five years of work experience.

Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Professional Organizations for Hospitality Management

Professional associations serve as a hub for networking opportunities and professional development. They may serve the broad hospitality industry or certain fields. These organizations provide resources for students to learn about current trends and issues in the field. Students pursuing careers in hospitality management benefit from mentorship opportunities and specialized education, as well. Many associations offer private scholarships to student members.

American Hotel and Lodging Association

AHLA serves, supports, and advocates for the hospitality industry. It represents over 27,000 members and 80% of all franchise hotels. Student members receive discounts from the educational institute, access to scholarships, and placement in AHLA’s resume database.

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals

HFTP provides solutions for financial and technology professionals through peer support, professional development, and a unique search engine. The association offers free membership to students, who can also take advantage of certification programs.

Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International

A worldwide network of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals, HSMAI focuses on education and advocacy. Student members may access mentoring, scholarship opportunities, and an expanded curriculum.

Professional Convention Management Association

PCMA serves event managers and suppliers, focusing on social and economic transformation. Students may join for free to access educational and networking opportunities and scholarships.

Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education

CHRIE, an international collegiate association, works to improve hospitality and tourism education. Membership is open to graduate students, educators, and executives. Benefits include professional development, journals, and research opportunities.

The Top 5 Online MBAs in Hospitality Management

Our ranking highlights five of the top online MBAs in hospitality management for 2022. The link below provides information about how we rank schools.

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