There are more than 800 hospitality programs currently being offered in the United States. When making their decision, prospective students must first consider their desired specialty, such as restaurant management, hotel management, tourism, marketing, or special events, and then look for programs that have particular strengths or available concentrations in that particular area.
Employers look for candidates with knowledge and skills in information technology, human resources, organizational behavior, multiculturalism, and leadership. It's important to seek out a program that fosters the development of each of these.
A very important part of a hospitality education is hands-on experience. Many schools offer internship opportunities for students to gain relevant work experience in local restaurants, hotels, and convention centers.
Some schools have on-campus facilities that serve as learning centers for hospitality students. Full-service restaurants, cafès, hotels, and convention centers open to the public provide students of many degree fields opportunities to practice what they've learned in the classroom with real clients. This hands-on experience gives students an edge over the competition when seeking a job.