If you want a career in hospitality management, getting an education can help you climb the ladder and set you apart in interviews and job applications. Many business schools have traditional hospitality management degrees available, but recently there are also online options available. If you’re considering going to an online school for a hospitality management career, consider the pros and cons before you write the check.
Pro: Less Expensive
Cost is the most popular reason that students choose online schooling. Because online schools avoid the cost of salaries for instructors or professors, it cuts down on the overall tuition. However, most online schools don’t run on the same tuition/discount system that other schools do, so make sure you have a thorough understanding of price differences in programs by looking beyond the sticker price at traditional schools.
Con: Less Contact with People = Fewer Networking Opportunities
In this job market, finding the right job is all about who you know. The major benefit of traditional schooling is that you are able to make connections with professors, administrators, and classmates. You lose the opportunity to make those connections in an online program.
Online schools offer you much more flexibility. While traditional classes have strict class times and deadlines you have to meet, most online programs have a work-as-you-go philosophy that allows you to do your work when you have the time to do it.
Con: It’s Impossible to Recreate the Classroom Setting in an Online Course
While most online schooling marketers will tell you that online schools have all of the benefits and no disadvantages, they’re leaving out a few details. In reality, the learning experience in a traditional classroom is affected positively by classroom discussions and the instructor leading it. You may be able to get the same information in an online school, but the presentation is certainly not the same, and that does, in fact, affect your learning and understanding of the material. Sometimes, it’s just worth the investment in traditional schooling.
Pro: Hospitality Management Schools Online Are Less Hands-On
Hospitality management is, in some ways, less physically hands-on than other industries. This means that the skills you learn are more mental and attitude-based. This makes it easier to learn the curriculum online than other fields.
Con: Less Hands-On and Interactive Experience
Although hospitality management school is less physically intensive than careers in the medical field or mechanics, there are skills that you need to learn in person. A huge part of hospitality management is customer service, and those are skills that you need to practice person-to-person. Because of this, online schooling can hinder your ability to gain those skills.
Pro: Great for People Who Already Have a Job in the Hospitality Industry
If you’re seeking an education to get a pay boost or set you apart against co-workers in your current job, online schools may be the way to go, simply because you don’t necessarily need your education to get you a job. At the end of the day, an education is an education, and if you’re just looking to climb a rung on the ladder, online schooling is cheaper and more flexible than traditional schools.
Con: Little Prestige to the Online School Name
When you buy an education, you’re making an investment, so it’s worth it to really think about the kind of return you’re getting from the investment. There is a hierarchy of schools, and generally speaking, online schools tend to fall at the bottom of the hierarchy. If you want to stand out in the job search, then having a top-notch or even middle-grade school may look a lot better than a school with “online” attached. Employers want to see that you have skills, and while to some employers, an education is an education, to many other employers, the kind of education and the skills that you acquire in that education really do matter.
Pro: You Can Get Hands-On Experience Elsewhere Because You Have a More Flexible Schedule
If you don’t already have a job, the flexibility and ease of online schools allows you to get internships and job experiences while you’re in school. While traditional schools also allow you to do this, it’s usually a bit more difficult to fit it into your schedule. Online schooling allows you to create the schedule that works best for you.
Featured Image: Thinkstock/UberImages