Hospitality Management MBA Online

Hospitality is a huge and growing global industry. The UN World Tourism Organization has stated that the business volume of tourism is as big or bigger than other large industries, including food products, oil exports and automobiles. Additionally, HVS London had released a report in 2013 that stated that the value of a single European hotel room was around $315,000 per year, rising to around $865,000 in the most popular locations like Paris. Additionally, the events sector is set to grow to phenomenal levels, being worth around $75 billion in the United Kingdom according to HVS London. This is impressive and shows just how diverse the hospitality sector actually is. This type of diversity requires specialized knowledge, and this is what someone with an MBA in hospitality management can offer.

What We Do

Hospitality management is far more than just making profit and making customers happy, although these are vital elements. Someone with an MBA in Hospitality Management is an innovative and strategic thinker, who comes up with out of the box ideas to meet the demands of a global market. What sets those with an MBA apart from people with a bachelor’s degree is that they will go far beyond operational methodologies, working instead on research and strategies.

Why It’s Hot

According to experts, substantial changes occur almost continuously in this sector. As a result, there is always an urgent demand for experts who understand key components of hospitality, including development, environment and marketing, and how this applies to both international and local companies.

One of the reasons why the profession is so hot at present is due to the link between hospitality and environmental management. Tourism is linked to various environmental issues, including climate change, environmental impact and sustainability. Someone with an MBA is fully qualified to ensure that the negative environmental impact of tourism is as small as possible.

Additionally, there is a significant growth in identifying new technologies in hospitality marketing. Tourism marketing has entered the online and even mobile world, which means there is a huge demand for those who understand different audiences and platforms, as well as new trends and developments in the world of technology and online communication.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are numerous career options within the industry as well. Those with undergraduate degrees are seeing lower than average salaries and even a decline in demand. Those with an MBA, however, stand out from the crowd with higher than average salaries of up to around $90,000, as well as a rising demand.

Work Environment

The work environment for someone with an MBA in Hospitality Management can be incredibly varied. Naturally, many will be employed in hotels or in other tourism attractions, destinations and products. However, while these may be the more obvious options, they are certainly not the only ones. Many work in research, policy advice or consultancy and they can do these jobs anywhere from small independent firms to huge international conglomerates or even government agencies. While a lot of work will be done behind a desk, there is also a significant amount of work to be done on your feet, attending events, checking venues and talking with people.

How to Do It

In order to earn an MBA in Hospitality Management, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree. Most people will opt for a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, but various other majors can also be applicable, including business, economics, psychology and more. Acceptance to MBA programs is highly competitive and most schools will require you to do well in the GMAT exam. It is recommended that you prepare yourself properly for this before starting the admissions process, and that you apply for a range of different universities to increase your chances of being accepted to one of them. Today, many universities do not require the GMAT for their MBA admissions process.

One on campus degree program you may want to consider is offered by Northern Arizona University, The W.A. Franke College of Business, Master of Business Administration, Hospitality Focus – This program is a hybrid program, allowing students to study and work at the same time. It takes 24 months to complete with limited residency. The entire program is 45 credit hours spread across six terms. Each term starts with a short (no more than one week) residency in Arizona.

MBA in Hospitality Management Online

Getting an Online MBA in Hospitality Management provides today’s business professionals with the convenience and access to a better career future that they need without having to put their careers on hold. The ability to learn online with some of the best business schools and programs allows students to specialize in hotel and hospitality management so that they can get specialized training for a career that will be rewarding at the highest level of executive and managerial employment, including business ownership, CEO positions, and more.

The leading online MBA programs for hospitality management include:

  1. *Online Master’s in Hospitality & Tourism Managment – Purdue University – (Editor’s Pick!) – This is a business-focused hospitality degree designed to help managers with HTM industry experience rise to new levels. It provides the executive management, leadership and analytical skills you need to advance your career within the industry.
  2. *Online MBA Hospitality Management– South University– South has a program that is focused on providing cutting-edge leadership opportunities and managerial skills to students who already hold professional designations within the hospitality industry. This management program is ideal for business professionals looking to advance their careers or their skills.
  3. Online MBA Hospitality Management– Sullivan University– This degree is for existing hospitality professionals who are looking to advance their business training and managerial skills to move forward in the industry. The skills learned include management, operations, emerging trends, 21st century business, and more.
  4. MS Hospitality Management, Gaming/Casino Management– Drexel University– A focused management degree, this program is similar to an MBA except that it is classified as an MS degree. It offers training in managerial aspects specifically related to casino management and gaming, including best practices, regulations and rules, and other relevant topics.
  5. MS Hospitality Management, Global Tourism– Drexel University– As the global economy continues to grow, global tourism topics continue to be a popular business study. These courses cover all areas of management for hotel and hospitality services, tourism topics, including advanced studies in hospitality management and tourism service.
  6. MBA in Sustainable Tourism– Arizona State University– This program not only offers a focus on hospitality management, but it provides a focus on sustainable tourism that will provide students with access to an education in eco-friendly hospitality. This is ideal for business professionals who want to move into the sustainable sector or advance their education and training.
  7. MBA in Hospitality Management– Glion Institute of Higher Education– This private university in Switzerland offers training online for students seeking advanced education in hospitality management. The focus provides advanced training in hospitality management practices and tourism administration, as well as operational management and other topics.
  8. MBA in International Hospitality and Service Industry Management– Glion Institute of Higher Education– This program is the first of its kind to focus on international tourism and hospitality as an industry, providing advanced training in management principles and administration of hospitality and service organizations on a global level.
  9. MBA Hospitality Management– Lynn University– This degree is delivered entirely online for hospitality professionals and managers who want to advance their education. The focus of the degree includes advanced management principles, executive leadership, tourism and hospitality for the global economy, and more.
  10. MBA in International Hospitality and Tourism Management– Schiller International University– This degree program provides advanced training in tourism and hospitality management for working professionals who want to further their careers. The program covers topics like leadership, management, global tourism, and others to help professionals become managers, leaders, and business owners in the hospitality industry.
  11. MBA Tourism Management– Colorado State University– This program prepares working professionals for an advanced career in tourism, including management and leadership principles as well as various roles in hospitality management. The program is offered entirely online and available as an MS, as well.
  12. MS Hospitality Industry Studies– New York University– This degree prepares working professionals for advanced careers in hospitality, including leadership and management positions. Although it is not an MBA program, it is ideal for those who already have business training and need the specialized hospitality education.
  13. Master of Tourism and Hospitality Management– Temple University– This program develops advanced managerial principles to give professionals training in all aspects of hospitality management and tourism, providing online education that can be completed while working to increase efficiency.
  14. MS in Sports Hospitality Management– Lasell College– This program is specifically designed to train professionals in advanced practices of hospitality management specifically relating to the sports management industry, including entertainment and event management, among other relevant areas of study.
  15. MS in Hospitality Management– Fairleigh Dickinson University– This program provides a unique structure for working professionals to develop skills as managers and leaders within the hospitality industry, including positions in education, entrepreneurship, and other areas of hospitality and tourism.
  16. MS in Hospitality-Tourism Management– Rochester Institute of Technology– This advanced program provides training for professionals to step into mid-level management positions and executive roles within the hospitality and tourism industry, including leadership training, hospitality training, and tourism principles and economics of the industry, as well as other relevant courses.
  17. MBA Hospitality Management– Husson University– This 36-credit program focuses on a variety of hospitality topics for advanced and mid-level management, including tourism, technology, global hospitality, management and leadership, and other courses.
  18. MBA Hospitality Management– University of Findlay– This program is offered by a leading business school that provides virtual classroom training over a 10-week period that teaches advanced management and leadership principles providing mid-level professionals with career-advancing training and education that suits their career goals and provides relevant knowledge and skills.
  19. MBA Tourism Management– Trinity Saint David- This program offers professional management and development skills to managerial business employees looking to advance in the tourism and hospitality industry. The training focuses on the future of the tourism industry and providing a comprehensive education with convenient online access for working professionals.
  20. MS in Hospitality Management– Stratford University– This MS program is ideal for those with existing business training that need more skills in hospitality management and tourism than business training. The degree prepares students to enter the economy into an industry where their skills are only going to grow in demand over time.
  21. AMTA (Accelerated Master of Tourism Administration)– George Washington University– This program has an international focus on management and leadership, providing training in various areas of tourism and hospitality for mid-career professionals who want to advance their own career future. George Washington University is featured in a 2017 report featuring the America’s Best Online MBA degrees for 2017.
  22. MBA Hospitality and Tourism Management– Florida International University– This program provides high-level training in hospitality and tourism management, including focus on leadership and global tourism skills. A top ranked program, this degree is available online for working professionals.
  23. MS Hospitality Management, Executive– Florida International University– The degree program for executives is designed for mid-career professionals who are looking to advance their career in hospitality and tourism, including training in leadership, tourism practices and principles, management, hospitality trends, and more.
  24. MBA in Hospitality and Tourism– University of Guelph– This program features advanced practices in hospitality, including food and agribusiness management as well as tourism management for professionals seeking a higher degree for advancement into managerial and executive careers within the hospitality and tourism industries.

Pros & Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages to gaining an MBA in Hospitality Management.


  • It allows you to take your career in hospitality to the next level.
  • The job is fascinating, with no two days ever being the same.
  • You have the opportunity to work all over the world and explore new destinations and cultures.
  • You could improve the world as a whole, particularly by focusing on environmental issues.


  • It can be costly, both in terms of time and money, to complete an MBA.
  • While salaries are high, they are significantly lower than with other MBA concentrations.

Financial Aid

Career Paths

Hospitality management research: looking into how tourism reduces poverty levels in developing countries, how the social capital of a community is affected by cultural festivals, and how tourism experiences need to remain “authentic”. This part of hospitality is very far reaching and includes how brands can be built, how gambling tourists behave, how business events can be seen as high quality and why sustainability is important. It also focuses on emerging markets, increasing hospitality provision in underdeveloped countries such as China and India. Furthermore, it looks at how current media affects how customers make decisions, how the ownership structure of the industry as a whole is changing and what differences there are in generations.

Some of the exciting career options that you can enjoy with this specialized MBA include:

  • Restaurant manager. A restaurant manager is responsible for the complete oversight and operations of a single restaurant location, whether it is a single, standalone restaurant or a franchise. The manager will recruit, select, orient, train, assign, schedule, coach, counsel and discipline his or her employees. In this vital role, having an MBA in hospitality management will help you to reach the operational objectives by evaluating strategic plans and reviews, coming up with and completing action plans, resolving employee and management problems, and doing audits. You also will need to mean important financial objectives as you forecast needs and requirements and sales. Further, having advanced accounting and management skills is needed so that you can prepare you budget for the year and schedule expenditures.
  • Hotel manager. This professional oversees the operations of the lodging facility, while making sure that all of the accommodations and services meet and exceed all expectations of visitors. You may be employed by a family resort, a large chain of inexpensive hotels, or even a luxury hotel. In some cases, a hotel manager will live on site. In a big hotel chain, you will probably need to supervise the managers who work under you. In a smaller hotel, you may manage staff, approve budgets and deal with guest problems. No matter how big the hotel or small, you as the hotel manager must ensure that the operation is working profitably and smoothly. It is very important to have excellent organizational skills and superb communications skills. Your accounting and managerial training in your MBA program will ensure that your hotel is profitable.
  • Gaming consultant. A gaming consultant or manager is hired by a casino or a company that operates a game room to work with customers and to manage employees of the casino. A consultant also can be brought in by management to improve the operations of the casino. A gaming consultant or manager will need to work carefully with the budget of the casino to make sure that it is being run in the most efficient manner possible. By showing the company how to hire the best workers and to schedule them effectively, your MBA skills can help the organization to boost its profit margins quickly.
  • Food and beverage director. This is a highly experienced and important position at a hotel, catering company, restaurant or school, among other possibilities. The biggest responsibility is to improve the guest experience at the facility and to maintain full compliance with company rules and government regulations. Also, you will need to come up with and maintain a high quality and profitable menu for your guests. You also will have to handle management of staff, interacting with guests, office administration, communication with vendors and costs of labor. Sanitation codes are especially critical because an unclean facility can get people sick and can lead to serious regulatory consequences.
  • Financial consultant. This type of consultant plays a vital business management role at many organizations and individuals. You will need to come up with individualized financial plans for insurance, investments, savings and retirement. In this role, you will work with the person or entity to plan a strong financial future by providing information and guidance of important business topics that may include investments, taxes, and insurance matters. You may be actually referred to as a financial advisor in some cases. You also could work on the buying and selling of stocks and bonds for clients. You also could work for a consulting firm that has a focus on the financial aspects of specific organizations and businesses. 

Indeed, many people who complete an MBA in Hospitality Management go on to work in consultancy. In so doing, they work for a variety of elements within the wider hospitality industry for short periods of time. This is seen as highly attractive by many, as it allows them to experience the full breadth of opportunities. Additionally, it often means travel across the world, which is one of the best perks of working in this industry. There is always a need for consultancy services, as the demands and requirements of the industry as a whole and individual consumers also changes on an almost continuous basis.

Further Reading

Suggested Websites

Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Hospitality Management