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If you’re looking to get into the hospitality, tourism and travel industry, there are two main types of degrees that can jumpstart your career. Either you’ll want a hospitality degree or a hotel management degree. Deciding which is better for you is an individual journey, but here we’ll try to guide the process by going over some key differences between the degrees and exploring some top online hospitality and hotel management degree options.

When deciding between a hospitality degree or a hotel management degree, ask yourself:

  • Where do you want to be working?
  • How high do you want to be in your organization?
  • What hours do you want to work?
  • How much do you want to earn?
  • What do you want your responsibilities to be?

The next thing to ask yourself is, “what hospitality or hotel management degree program is right for me?” To that end, we’ve ranked the 30 Best Online Hospitality Management Programs based on cost per credit hour, average early salary after graduation, student to faculty ratio, and graduation rates. All the data was pulled from the National Center for Education Statistics, payscale.com, and the school websites. On that ranking you’ll find a wide variety of hospitality and hotel management programs, both in their content and their delivery format.

Deciding between a hospitality degree or a hotel management degree is also about your goals, and your ability to meet the responsibilities in jobs the degrees would qualify you for. Hotel Management degrees will prepare you to run the operations of a hotel, resort, or other lodging business. You’ll be constantly monitoring the different areas within the hotel, setting up and running meetings with your employees, reviewing documentation, monitoring the hotel’s performance data and other key statistics (think occupancy numbers, revenues, etc.), responding to calls and emails, troubleshooting problems within the hotel, and much more.

A hospitality degree is a little more open ended. In it, you’ll gain a well-rounded education that covers:

  • Hospitality Law
  • Hospitality Leadership
  • International Experience
  • Human Resources for the Hospitality Industry
  • Finance in Hospitality
  • Hospitality Operations
  • Hospitality Marketing
  • Accounting in Hospitality
  • Field Experience
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Among many other topics

You might work directly with clients or customers to ensure the quality of their experience. You might work in operations, making sure a hospitality business is functioning smoothly with your labor and expertise. Whatever you end up doing within hospitality, hospitality degrees exist to make sure you’ll be able to excel at it.

Make sure to check out our 30 Best Online Hospitality Management Programs ranking to find the best program for you. You’ll find great information on special features, cost of attendance, scheduling and much more that will help you easily whittle down the hospitality and hotel management degree options based on your goals, desires and constrictions.