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Picking the right hospitality management school that matches your career goal

Are you looking for a change in your career? Or, do you want to take a break at work? If either scenario describes you, going back to school may be a good option. Then, the question arises --- how do I pick the right hospitality management school that helps my future career? 

Advice on selecting the right bachelor’s program


Because many accredited four-year hospitality programs offer similar courses, location, career opportunities, and tuition/cost of livings become the top influential factors. First and foremost, I recommend that people enroll in a program where they want to live after graduation. They should begin building their career networks as students since many career opportunities come from the faculty and people who know the local businesses well. For example, if I want to live in New York City (NYC), I will find a program there and work part-time while going to school. If my dream job is to work in a mega-casino, I will choose a program in Las Vegas instead of NYC. 


Second, pay close attention to the career opportunities offered in a hospitality program. This factor can be assessed by researching how many hospitality companies recruit in the program, which companies come to campus for recruitment, and where the program’s graduates/alumni work. 


Third, I suggest people see tuition and fees (after scholarships and financial aids) as an investment instead of the cost associated with the degree. If a school offers ample career opportunities, it will not take long for a graduate to pay off the loans. 


Suggestions on finding the best-fit graduate program


The faculty and the focus of the program will come to the top for those looking for a graduate program. Graduate students will work more closely with the faculty than undergraduate students. It becomes critical to check (a) how well the faculty connect with the industry and (b) what types of research or publications they produce. Is their work well-received by the industry professionals (and the academia for a doctoral program)? Does their work interest you? 


Besides, the focus of the program should be able to help students advance their careers. Suppose students want to advance their careers in market analysis or revenue management. In that case, it makes no sense for them to go to a graduate program that does not offer relevant courses. Alternatively, they may also consider other programs, such as data analytics and operations management.

Note: This article was first published in Hospitality News (magazine) in November 2021; The picture was downloaded from


  1. Stacey Lee HRT 3500 SECTION 1January 31, 2022 at 3:26 PM

    I really enjoyed reading your article Dr Kwok! This article was very relevant and connected what I am in right now. After I decided my major which is hospitality management, I searched many school that has good programs of hospitality and also known for the hospitality management. As a Collins student, I do not regret selecting this school. As you mentioned, I focused on searching a school that is work well-received by the industry professionals. I agree with you that taking the relevance courses are more important and beneficial, not only achieving the bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, it is easy to access what programs are offered in schools. How can we make students for job seeking skills that relates to the major?

    1. I am glad you chose us. Thank you for raising a good question too. Want to find the answers through research? That might not be a bad idea.


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