The University of Missouri has long been home to farm-to-table scholarship. Now Mizzou’s successful hospitality management program is getting a refresh to meet growing demand for employees with college education.

MU has retooled its online bachelor of science in hospitality management to create more opportunities for students in the management of all hospitality sectors, particularly in conferences and events, food and beverage sites, lodging facilities and sports venues.

The program is currently accepting applications for students who want to begin their studies in August.     

Education makes the difference

Today’s hospitality professionals need management skills if they want to turn their passions into careers, said Eliza Tse, professor and chair of the Department of Hospitality Management within the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“Industry professionals tell me they often have a rising star with great technical skills whom they want to promote to a managerial role, but the employee doesn’t have the interpersonal or conceptual skills to move up,” she said. “That’s why a bachelor’s degree is important.”

Demand for educated workers is growing in hospitality. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the leisure and hospitality industry provides 15.8 million jobs in the United States.

More and more of those jobs are in management. The number of food service manager jobs in Missouri grew 48 percent between 2013 and 2015, according to data from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Lodging management jobs in Missouri grew 13 percent over the same period; meeting, convention and event planner jobs, 34 percent.

“The students we see enrolling in this hospitality management program are professionals who work very hard, without a doubt,” said Mizzou Online Director Kim Siegenthaler. “We’re confident that this bachelor’s degree will help them advance in their careers faster.”

Real-world solutions

MU’s online bachelor’s degree in hospitality management nurtures future leaders of this global industry with management-level skills in all areas of the industry.

Students learn human resources, marketing and other business management skills online. Working professionals can apply their new abilities immediately in their current jobs, whether they work in conferences and events, food and beverage, lodging or sports venues.

Mizzou understands that career professionals frequently have unpredictable schedules. “You may work in a hotel that’s open 24-seven. Or you’re on rotation and you don’t know when your next day off will be,” Tse said. “Our online program gives you the flexibility to study around that kind of demanding schedule.”

“At Mizzou, we take pride in programs like this that foster interdisciplinary collaboration to provide real-world solutions,” said Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain.

“Dr. Tse has put together a diverse faculty of industry professionals from around the world. With their global perspective, experience and scholarship, students are in store for a learning experience they won’t find anywhere else,” Spain said.

Tse encourages hospitality industry employees who have completed some college to apply. Those who have finished accredited, two-year college programs will find the transfer process easy to navigate with assistance from the program’s adviser and Mizzou Online staff.

Students should apply by July 1 to begin studies in fall. Learn more about the online bachelor's in hospitality management.

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