One of the most exciting aspects of the hospitality industry is that it brings together people from many different backgrounds. Each of these people will have their unique story how they got into the business. For many, it may be a happy accident of a part-time job that turned into a lifelong passion. For many other's hospitality was a passion from the beginning and they choose to study it in school. While either scenario can lead to successful careers, studying hospitality is the best way to gain entrance into the industry and provides a strong foundation in understanding all faucets of the hotel operation.
Colleges with hospitality management programs can be found all over the world. Switzerland is known as having some of the finest hotel schools in the world, and historically set the standard for the study of hospitality. In the United States, there are many colleges and universities that offer Hospitality Management degrees, both in the form of an associate's degree and bachelor's degrees.
Institutions including Cornell University, Penn State University, Michigan State University and Purdue University are just some of the universities with highly-acclaimed programs, although there are many more. Increasingly, many colleges and universities are adding Hotel Management as a major for students.
Another option for students interested in the culinary aspect of hospitality, is to pursue a strictly culinary degree. Culinary schools can be found all over the world as well. Le Cordon Bleu is considered to be the top cooking school in the world. In the United States, some of the most highly regarded include the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales, the French Culinary Institute of New York and the Art Institutes.
Hospitality Management degrees will typically fall under the college's business school, and emphasis a business-management curriculum with a solid foundation in all core business and management functions, along with various electives. Curriculums are typically well balanced between theory and practice and usually, a hotel internship is mandatory. Curriculums typically offer specializations tailored to specific areas of study. Common concentrations include finance, accounting, real estate, revenue management, marketing and operations management.
With a culinary degree, the kitchen becomes the classroom and students are taught through hands-on kitchen work. Mastering food preparation and cooking techniques are a large part of the curriculum; however they are not the only parts. There are other components to a culinary degree that together aim to produce a well-rounded culinary professional. These include kitchen management, menu development, food inventory and cost control, as well as hygiene and sanitation.
To learn more about studying hospitality, continue reading on in our Member's Section.