Travel Management Degree Program Overviews with Career Info
Travel management professionals work within the hospitality and tourism industries at hotels in a variety of roles, such as hotel, rooms, food service, human resource or sales managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (''www.bls.gov''), applicants for managerial positions are generally expected to have a baccalaureate degree, which is commonly available in the fields of business administration or hospitality. However, associate's and master's programs are also available.
Associate of Applied Science in Tourism and Travel Management
Students may start their journey toward a travel management career with a 2-year associate's degree. Such programs are often set up as transfer programs, and prepare students to complete their bachelor's degree and a different institution. Students are introduced to the theories of travel and tourism, and taught travel arrangement processes and basic business skills.
Associate's degrees are generally awarded by community colleges, which usually require a high school diploma as part of their admissions requirements. Students interested in the hospitality industry should generally have excellent customer service and communications skills.
Travel management program curricula are comprised of business and communications courses, as well as a specified number of hours of professional experience. Courses may include the following:
- Domestic travel
- International travel
- Travel arranging
- Event Management
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate degree programs are prepared for entry-level managerial or administrative positions within the travel industry. Specific roles may include:
- Travel agent
- Travel coordinator
- Hotel management trainee
Bachelor of Business Administration - Tourism and Travel Management
A bachelor's of business administration degree program with a concentration in tourism and travel management combines basic business theory with coursework that prepare graduates for managerial positions in a wide range of locations, including travel agencies, hotels, entertainment complexes and many others. Programs are generally four years in length and are popular due to the varied professional opportunities available to graduates.
Entrants to baccalaureate programs in business administration should have either a high school diploma or have completed an associate program in the field. Communications skills and the ability to work as a fast pace under pressure are key skills for travel professionals.
In addition to the following courses, students often complete a professional internship prior to graduation:
- Human resources
- Tourism geography
- Hotel and resort management
- Food and beverage management
- Transportation management
Popular Career Options
Graduates of baccalaureate programs in travel management may choose to find employment in a variety of locales, including travel agencies, airlines, convention centers, cruise lines or theme parks, among others. Specific roles may include:
- Convention manager
- Travel agency manager
- Manager trainee
- Marketing developer
Master of Science in Travel Management
A variety of graduate programs with an emphasis on travel management are available, often in locales with a strong tourism industry. Some are offered as concentrations within business administration programs, while some are independent programs. Such programs emphasize solid business management skills as they apply to airlines, hotels, cruise lines and convention centers.
Applicants to master's programs in travel management are generally preferred to have a bachelor's degree in a travel-related field. Students without such experience generally have a number of prerequisite courses. Additionally, students must also achieve minimum GPA standards and usually have satisfactory scores on the GMAT or GRE.
In addition to traditional business courses, travel industry management students complete courses on the following topics:
- Global tourism analysis
- Resort development
- Transportation management
- Travel Marketing
- Hotel and travel law
- Information systems
- Human resource management
- Sustainable tourism
Career Outlook and Salary Information
Career opportunities and salary within the hospitality industry vary widely depending upon position, employer and years of experience. Lodging managers, for example, were expected to experience slower than normal job growth between the years of 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary of a lodging manager was $45,800 in May 2008. However, according to Salary.com, the median salary of a corporate travel manager was $78,190. The range is substantial due to the varied opportunities available within a sizeable industry.
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