Hospitality programs around the country are expanding and with more schools moving online, the number of programs available is practically infinite. For students looking for the right school, the choices may seem overwhelming. How do you know which one of the hundreds of schools will provide the education you need to advance your career?
Here are seven things you should look for when selecting a hospitality school:
Accreditation is the number one thing you should check, whether the school you are considering is online or a brick-and-mortar institution. Accreditation means that the school meets certain quality requirements based on its curriculum, student services, student satisfaction, and other factors. In the United States, hospitality schools may be accredited in two ways: the school as a whole may be accredited by a regional accreditor or the hospitality program may be accredited by a specialized accreditor. Click here for a list of the accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
For hospitality schools, there are two main types of state licensing you should look for. First, the school itself must be licensed to operate in the state where you live. Second, many states have separate licensing requirements for travel agents and other hospitality workers, so you should make sure that the school offers programs that will enable you to obtain state licensing if necessary.
Type of diploma or certificate
Most schools do not offer general diplomas in hospitality; instead, they offer specific credentials in hospitality management, culinary arts, event planning, and more. Look for the program that is most in line with your interests.
In the hospitality industry, knowledge is important but experience is essential. Most in-person and many online schools offer internships, externships, or other practicums so students can get the necessary hands-on experience.
Course format and schedule
Hospitality programs come in many different formats, including full-time, part-time, and online. Look for the one that fits the best with your preferences and your schedule.
Career support services
One major benefit of going to a hospitality school is that they often have great relationships with local hotels and restaurants, which can be invaluable to students looking for a job after graduation. Before enrolling in any school or program, check out what career support services it offers. In particular, find out the school’s placement rate, which is the percentage of students that the school is able to place in jobs after graduation.
Cost and financial aid
The cost of a hospitality education can vary dramatically depending on the type of school and the type of program. In addition, many schools award scholarships and grants to students, and some are eligible for federal financial aid.
There are many hospitality schools out there, so you are sure to find one to fit your needs. Before enrolling in any type of program, check these seven things so you can be sure the credential you earn will help you reach your goals.