Published on May 30, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best programs for hospitality management in Arkansas.

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What is Hospitality Management?

Arkansas, a state known for its natural beauty and warm hospitality, offers a wide range of opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in hospitality management. Whether you're a college graduate seeking employment or someone looking to switch careers, the hospitality industry in Arkansas can provide you with a rewarding and fulfilling profession.

Hospitality management encompasses overseeing various aspects of the hospitality industry such as hotels, restaurants, event planning, and tourism. To be effective at this job, strong organizational and interpersonal skills, as well as an exceptional customer service attitude are required. Arkansas has seen hospitality play an essential part in its economy through job growth and tourism from all around the globe.

Arkansas offers numerous opportunities for individuals seeking to enter the field of hospitality management. The state is home to a diverse range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and event venues, providing a multitude of employment options. Whether you aspire to manage a luxury hotel in Hot Springs or oversee a bustling restaurant in Little Rock, there are ample opportunities to pursue your career goals.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the leisure and hospitality industry in Arkansas employed approximately 113,440 individuals. This industry encompasses subsectors such as accommodation and food services, which employed approximately 94200 individuals during this same time frame.

Employment in the hospitality industry is expected to grow in the coming years as tourism continues to expand in Arkansas. The state's natural attractions - including the Ozark Mountains, numerous lakes, and vibrant cultural events - attract visitors year-round. This influx of tourists creates a demand for skilled hospitality professionals who can ensure memorable experiences for guests.


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Online Hospitality Management Education in Arkansas

A hospitality manager is a professional who oversees the operations of a hospitality establishment such as a hotel, restaurant, or resort. They are responsible for ensuring that guests have a positive experience and that all aspects of the business are running smoothly. Hospitality managers possess many varied talents. Their job demands excellent communication and leadership abilities to lead employees effectively and interact with guests regularly, while also possessing strong business acumen for budgeting and financial planning responsibilities.

One of the primary responsibilities of a hospitality manager is to provide exceptional customer service. They are responsible for ensuring that guests feel welcome and comfortable throughout their stay or visit. This includes handling guest inquiries and complaints, resolving any issues that may arise, and going above and beyond to exceed guest expectations.

In addition to customer service, a hospitality manager is also in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the establishment. This includes managing staff schedules, ensuring that all departments are adequately staffed, and overseeing the training and development of employees. They are also responsible for implementing and enforcing company policies and procedures to maintain the quality and standards of the establishment.

Hospitality managers play a vital role in marketing and promoting their establishment. They may be accountable for devising and executing marketing strategies designed to attract new customers while keeping existing ones coming back - such as conducting market research, analyzing industry trends, or recognizing new growth opportunities.

Online Associate Degree in Hospitality Management (AS)

An associate degree in hospitality management prepares students for roles in the field with a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for success in the dynamic hospitality industry. From honing customer service expertise to learning about event planning and hotel operations, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the field. These programs equip students with the ability to navigate diverse cultural nuances, adapt to changing trends, and effectively manage complex operational challenges within the hospitality sector.

Moreover, an associate degree in hospitality management provides a valuable foundation for those seeking entry-level positions or planning to transfer to a four-year institution for further education. The curriculum often includes courses on marketing, finance, and human resources management specific to the hospitality industry, offering students a well-rounded educational experience tailored to their career goals. With this degree, graduates are poised to pursue careers in hotels, restaurants, event management companies, and other related sectors - making it a versatile choice for those interested in the vibrant world of hospitality.

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Online Bachelors Degree in Hospitality Management (BS)

Embarking on a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or tourism management opens doors to a dynamic and ever-evolving industry. It's not only about learning the intricacies of managing hotels, restaurants, and events, but also understanding the nuances of delivering exceptional guest experiences. From honing leadership skills to mastering financial acumen, these programs equip students with a versatile skill set essential for success in the hospitality sector. What sets some of these degrees apart is their blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, providing students with opportunities to intern at prestigious establishments or study abroad to gain global perspectives.

Moreover, the hospitality industry thrives on innovation and adaptability, making it an exciting field for aspiring professionals. A bachelor's in this field prepares individuals not just to meet industry demands but also to anticipate and mold future trends. With an emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices, students learn how to uphold responsible business practices while optimizing customer satisfaction. As such, these degrees pave the way for graduates to make meaningful contributions within an ever-growing global market while maintaining a sharp focus on social responsibility and environmental stewardship in their roles as future leaders in hospitality management.

National Rankings - Top 25 Online Bachelors Programs

Online Masters Degree in Hospitality Management (MS)

If you're considering pursuing a master's degree in hospitality management, you're likely passionate about the art of hospitality and eager to advance your career in this dynamic industry. This advanced degree offers a deep dive into critical areas such as strategic management, financial analysis, and marketing in the context of hospitality. It equips students with the skills to tackle complex challenges facing the industry and may provide invaluable hands-on experience through internships, case studies, and real-world projects.

One of the most compelling aspects of pursuing a master's in hospitality management is the global perspective it offers. With an increasingly interconnected world, understanding diverse cultural nuances and global trends is essential for success in hospitality. Many programs focus on international business strategies, cross-cultural communications, and sustainable development practices, preparing graduates for leadership roles across borders. Graduates are equipped to navigate complexities within multinational corporations or pursue entrepreneurial ventures with a global outlook.

The multidisciplinary nature of these degrees also sets them apart from other graduate programs. Students gain expertise not only in traditional business disciplines but also develop specialized knowledge tailored to the unique demands of the hospitality industry. The curriculum may cover topics such as event planning, food service operations, revenue management, and customer experience design—all relevant skills that directly impact guest satisfaction and business success within this multifaceted field.

National Rankings - Top 25 Online Masters Programs

Online PhD Degree in Hospitality Management (PhD)

An advanced degree program in hospitality management could be your key to success. These specialized graduate degrees cover the intricacies of leading and managing within the hospitality sector, equipping you with knowledge and abilities needed for innovation and excellence in hosp. management. With its emphasis on research, strategic management, consumer behavior analysis, sustainable practices, and other areas important for innovation within hospitality businesses like hotels, resorts, restaurants, event venues, etc. - a PhD opens doors for various career opportunities, both inside academia and in senior leadership roles.

Earning a PhD in hospitality management allows one to demonstrate thought leadership that can shape the future of this industry. By engaging in relevant research and contributing to scholarly discourse, graduates can help shape best practices, policy decisions, and transformative innovations that enhance service quality while meeting contemporary challenges. With an emphasis on global perspectives and cross-cultural understanding, these programs develop leaders who are well equipped to navigate complex business landscapes while cultivating inclusive environments that prioritize guest satisfaction and employee well-being.

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Online Hospitality Management Certifications

Hospitality management certifications have become increasingly popular in the industry due to their ability to enhance skills and provide a competitive edge. These certifications, such as Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) or Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT), offer professionals the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to excellence. Beyond just adding credibility to a resume, these certifications also serve as a valuable networking tool within the hospitality community.

In addition, these certifications often cover essential topics such as revenue management, customer service, and leadership strategies that are crucial for success in the field of hosp. management. By earning these credentials, professionals not only deepen their understanding of industry best practices but also exhibit dedication to continuous learning and professional development. As the demand for skilled hospitality managers grows, obtaining relevant certifications can set individuals apart in a competitive job market while opening doors to career advancement opportunities.

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Become a Hospitality Manager in Arkansas

Working as a hospitality manager in Arkansas requires a unique set of skills, experience, and qualifications. Here are some steps to help you achieve your goal of becoming a hospitality manager.

  • Step 1: Pursue a Relevant Degree or Certification

    Though college degrees aren't always necessary for managerial positions, having one in hospitality management or a related field can greatly increase your odds of landing one. Arkansas community colleges and universities provide degree programs specifically tailored to hosp. management - these cover essential topics such as hotel and restaurant management, hospitality marketing, customer service, and customer relationship management.

  • Step 2: Gain Work Experience in the Hospitality Industry

    Working in various roles within the hospitality industry can provide invaluable experience and insights into its workings, helping you gain skills essential for becoming a successful hospitality manager. You’ll likely need to work in an entry-level position at a hotel, resort, restaurant, or event management company before moving up.

  • Step 3: Enhance your Leadership and Management Skills

    Hospitality managers need strong leadership and management abilities. So, you should aim to develop skills like effective communication, problem-solving, time management, and teamwork. Participating in leadership programs, attending management workshops or seminars, and finding mentors within the industry can all help foster this development process.

  • Step 4: Build a Professional Network

    Networking is key in the hospitality industry. You may attend industry conferences, job fairs, and local hospitality events to connect with professionals from your field. Joining professional organizations, such as Arkansas Hospitality Association, can also offer invaluable networking opportunities and access to industry resources.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Hospitality Management?

With a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, the opportunities are vast and diverse. Graduates can venture into careers such as hotel management, event planning, food and beverage management, tourism operations, and more. The degree equips students with valuable skills such as customer service, leadership, problem-solving, and strategic planning - all of which are essential in the hospitality industry.

Many graduates find success in hotel management roles within well-established chains or boutique hotels. Others may choose to pursue event planning where they can organize a wide range of events from corporate conferences to weddings. Additionally, graduates can explore opportunities in food and beverage management by working for restaurants or catering companies. With the global increase in travel and tourism activities, there is no doubt that a bachelor's in this field opens the door to an exciting range of career prospects around the world.

Potential Careers for Hospitality Management Graduates

  • Project Management Specialists:

    The role of a project management specialist is to coordinate and manage projects for an organization. They will plan the project, find vendors or contractors to complete the project, and ensure that resources are disseminated appropriately. They will also deal with issues as they arise, ensure stakeholder engagement, and close the project when it is complete, compiling a report so that mistakes can be learned from and new processes considered.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in business administration, project management, or a related field
    • Proven experience in project management or coordination
    • Strong organizational and multitasking skills
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities
    • Proficiency in project management software and tools

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for project management specialists in the US in 2022 was $95,370
    • The mean annual wage for project management specialists in Arkansas is $82,180
  • Budget Analysts:

    A budget analyst is responsible for helping organizations manage their finances by preparing budget reports, monitoring spending, and providing financial analysis to support decision-making. They play a crucial role in ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently and effectively in line with the organization's goals.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or a related field
    • Strong analytical and quantitative skills
    • Proficiency in financial software and spreadsheet applications
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Detail-oriented and able to work with complex data

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for budget analysts in the US in 2022 was $82,260
    • The mean annual wage for budget analysts in Arkansas is $55,390
  • Facilities Managers:

    Facilities managers are the unsung heroes of any organization, ensuring that the physical environment runs smoothly and efficiently. In addition to the day-to-day operations of maintaining buildings, grounds, and equipment, they must also keep abreast of technological advancements and sustainability initiatives to improve facility performance. A successful facilities manager understands the unique needs of their organization and strives to create a safe, comfortable, and sustainable environment for employees and visitors alike.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Proven experience in facility management or a related field
    • Strong leadership and communication skills
    • Knowledge of building systems, maintenance, and safety protocols
    • Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously
    • Familiarity with relevant regulations and standards in facility management

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for administrative services and facilities managers in the US in 2022 was $101,870
    • The mean annual wage for facilities managers in Arkansas is $93,740
  • Training and Development Manager:

    A training and development manager is responsible for overseeing the training and professional development programs within an organization. They work to ensure that employees receive the necessary training to develop their skills, knowledge, and competencies to meet the organization's goals and objectives.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in human resources, organizational development, education or a related field; Master’s degree preferred
    • Proven experience as a training manager or a similar role
    • Strong understanding of adult learning principles and instructional design
    • Excellent communication, leadership, and project management skills
    • Ability to create engaging, effective training materials
    • Proficiency in using learning management systems (LMS) and other training-related software

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for training and development managers in the US in 2022 was $120,000
    • The mean annual wage for training and development managers in Arkansas is $102,360
  • Lodging Managers:

    A lodging manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of lodging facilities such as hotels, motels, resorts, and bed-and-breakfasts. They ensure that guests have a pleasant and comfortable stay by managing staff, maintaining facilities, and providing excellent customer service.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Proven experience in the hospitality industry with a focus on lodging management
    • Strong leadership and communication skills with the ability to motivate and manage a diverse team
    • Excellent organizational and multitasking abilities to handle various responsibilities simultaneously
    • Knowledge of reservation systems, property management software, and other relevant technology
    • Customer-oriented mindset with a dedication to providing exceptional service to guests
    • Understanding of local regulations, health codes, and safety standards related to lodging establishments

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for lodging managers in the US in 2022 was $61,910
    • The mean annual wage for lodging managers in Arkansas is $46,330
  • Financial Risk Specialists:

    As a financial risk specialist, your responsibility will include identifying, assessing, and mitigating financial risks within an organization. Your analysis may encompass market trends, financial data, and regulatory requirements to develop risk management strategies and policies.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a related field
    • Proven experience in financial risk management or analysis
    • Strong analytical and quantitative skills
    • Knowledge of financial markets and regulatory requirements
    • Excellent communication and problem-solving abilities

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for financial risk specialists in the US in 2022 was $116,140
    • The mean annual wage for financial risk specialists in Arkansas is $85,620
  • Food Service Managers:

    Food service managers oversee daily operations of food service establishments to ensure high levels of customer service, food safety, and overall efficiency. They are accountable for overseeing staff, inventory, and customer satisfaction while managing staff quotas and inventory levels effectively.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Proven experience in a food service management role
    • Strong leadership and organizational skills
    • Knowledge of food safety regulations and best practices
    • Excellent communication and customer service skills
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and handle multiple tasks simultaneously

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for food service managers in the US in 2022 was $61,310
    • The mean annual wage for food service managers in Arkansas is $52,690
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