Hospitality Degrees

An introduction to hospitality degrees

Here you will find information on:

  • The different hospitality business degrees available to you
  • Why a specialized, career-focused degree such as this can be a good option
  • An overview of the types of sectors, industries and careers you can go into with a hospitality degree

Types of hospitality degrees to study

If you are looking for a successful career in hospitality, there are two principal types of hospitality degree, which follow a natural order of progression:


A hospitality-focused Bachelor’s degree will mix business and operational content. Undergraduate students begin by building practical skills, followed by rigorous academic study led by experienced faculty. Look for professional internships to be part of your chosen program, as these will add some real-world experience to your CV/resume, while also giving you opportunities to build your professional network.


A Master’s will generally feature a year of intensive and focused study, while some professionally-focused programs also include an internship allowing the graduate student to put what they’ve learned to the test. The rationale for studying a specialized Master’s includes enhanced networking opportunities, access to a powerful alumni community and the chance to work on ‘real world’ hospitality business projects.

Online hospitality degrees

There are growing opportunities for established professionals to enhance their career prospects by earning an executive-level online degree – usually at Master’s or Executive Master’s level – which can be studied flexibly alongside their day-to-day responsibilities. The best of these will offer additional benefits, such as executive coaching and high level networking.


How to choose your specialized topic

At Master’s level especially, there is a wide choice of specialized topics to select from. How you make that choice depends on the career you want to build after you graduate.

  • Are you interested in luxury management?
  • Or revenue management?
  • Do you have entrepreneurial ambitions?

Do you see your future more in the finance, development and trading of hotel real estate, rather than in the hotels themselves?

Even at Bachelor’s level you will have the opportunity to shape your learning journey to suit your ultimate career ambitions, through features such as elective courses or specializations.

Our Bachelor’s in International Hospitality Business, for example, offers final semester specializations in

  • Luxury Brand Strategy,
  • International Event Management,
  • or International Hotel development and Finance.

Benefits of a hospitality degree

The benefits from earning a hospitality degree accumulate inside and outside the classroom.


of graduating Glion students have at least one job offer on the table


industry partners work with Glion


The combination of academic business theory and ‘soft skills’ – such as communication, problem-solving, empathy and people skills – make you highly employable within the modern workplace. Your future employability will also be enhanced by the practical work experience you gain through professional hospitality internships, as well as from direct exposure to leading brands through field trips and business projects.

Network access

Another key takeaway is your lifelong professional network. Graduate from a leading hospitality business school, such as Glion, and you immediately become part of a global alumni community, which looks after its own and provides everything from a friendly face in a new city to an inside track that leads to your dream job.

What do the top hospitality degrees offer?

By ‘top’ hospitality degrees we are limiting our scope to the top 10 schools listed in the QS World University Rankings by subject.

Any school within this grouping will deliver a high-quality degree program.

Key components of a degree in hospitality management include:

‘Practical arts’ training in hotel operations.

Direct educational experience of functions such as housekeeping and food & beverage builds a practical foundation for everything you’ll learn about business and management later in your program.

Experience through internships.

A top hospitality degree will include at least one professional internship, providing real-world experience to augment the academic qualification on your CV.

Personalized career support.

The more focused and hands-on the career support you receive, and the more opportunities you have to network with leading employers, the better your chances of meeting your career aspirations after graduation.

Access to a global alumni network.

The leading institutions all offer their graduates entry into powerful and active alumni communities, bringing benefits such as priority access to job opportunities as well as peer-to-peer support and advice.

What marketable skills will I learn?

The exact breakdown of knowledge and skills you’ll learn from a hospitality degree will vary depending on your choice of program and institution. However, expect some or all of these to feature:

  • Leadership skills and behaviors
  • Hospitality operations
  • Revenue management
  • Financial analysis and reporting
  • Talent and performance management
  • Marketing and communications
  • Events management

To these can be added the skills, experience and networking you’ll pick up through your professional internship(s). The sum total will make you highly marketable to prospective employers, putting you on the path to a successful career.

What can I do with a hospitality degree?

A hospitality degree from a leading institution is your ticket to exciting careers at the forefront of some of the world’s most dynamic industries.

You will be free to choose from a wide array of hospitality careers, as well as other pathways into events and entertainment, financial and consumer services, and luxury management.

If it’s a career in hotel management you are especially targeting, then your hospitality degree is a useful door-opener. For example, in two major hospitality growth markets, China and India, research has found that 83% of entry-level jobs offered in the former require a Bachelor’s degree, with 61% in the latter. Those two markets also demand a high level of industry specialization, with a respective 74% and 83% requirement for a hospitality related education.

As an at-a-glance checklist of potential career destinations by industry and sector, consider the following:

Hospitality & tourism industry

  • Hotels and resorts
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Night clubs and casinos
  • Tourism management
  • Cruise ships
  • Sharing economy companies
  • Online travel agencies

Events & entertainment

  • International sports events
  • Music festivals
  • Exhibitions
  • Corporate and private events
  • Fashion shows
  • Entertainment venues
  • Virtual and streaming events

Financial services & real estate

  • Financial investment
  • Private banking
  • Real estate management
  • Hotel development
  • Insurance
  • Brokerage
  • Consultancy

Luxury management

  • Luxury hotels and resorts
  • Fine dining, food and wine
  • Personal luxury goods
  • Luxury retail
  • Yachts, private jets, automobiles

How long does it take to earn a hospitality degree?

At undergraduate level, your hospitality Bachelor’s degree will take from three to four years, depending on your choice of hospitality school and program.

At graduate level, most full-time Master’s degrees will feature a year of study, with some adding an optional or compulsory six-month internship at the end of the taught period.

With part-time, distance learning hospitality programs you will find a much greater variety of study periods, but as an online student you will generally be looking at between one and two years’ duration. You can find more about online learning options in the next section.

Can I study hospitality degrees online?

For more experienced professionals, and especially those who wish to study while working, there’s a growing choice of bespoke executive education programs that feature faculty-supported distance learning with short bursts of on-campus or ‘on location’ residential experience.

With these online degrees, you take your learning with you – perhaps on a plane or train journey – and you flex your study time with your professional schedule.

The net result is an internationally-accredited degree and the specialized knowledge that can pave the way for an internal promotion or to securing a move to a more desirable company or role.

Find a hospitality degree

Glion is a Swiss hospitality school with campuses in London and Switzerland that has been launching hospitality careers for over 60 years.

Learn more

Learn more

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