What Can You Do With a Hotel Administration Degree?

Discover the hospitality industry through Cornell’s Degree in Hotel Administration

While hospitality management places an emphasis on ensuring guests have an enjoyable experience,  whether they are traveling for business or leisure, as well as the profitability and business operations of a hotel or resort, the field of hotel management encompasses much more. Hotel administration not only touches on hospitality, but combines aspects of marketing, real estate, and operations at a broader corporate level. A degree in hotel administration can allow you to pursue a variety of careers, ranging from hospitality management to entrepreneurial endeavors.

The Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration, allowing you to reach your hospitality management dreams. Learn more about the opportunities to lead within the field of hospitality and how earning your degree in Hotel Administration from the Cornell Nolan School can equip you with the skills needed to innovate and instill a philosophy of hospitality as a cornerstone of your career.

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What Is Hospitality Management?

Hospitality management involves applying strategic thinking, innovation, financial and transactional acumen, and a passion for service to the business of making guests or customers feel welcome. A career in hospitality management and operations can take you to places around the world and immerse you in the food and beverage service industry, travel and tourism, as well as the real estate, financial services, and technology sectors within the hospitality industry.

By using your leadership skills and education, you can contribute to shaping the industry and developing a career that is uniquely your own.

As the nation’s first school of its kind, the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University in New York is steeped in tradition and globally renowned in the business of hospitality management. With a solid grounding in business education, you’ll graduate with more than a degree in hotel administration. You’ll be equipped with unrivaled skills, a driven professional network cultivated from among your peers, and the adaptability to seize opportunities not just in the hospitality industry, but within the broader business world.

Hospitality management is dynamic, and a degree in hotel administration prepares students to capitalize on burgeoning market opportunities and seamlessly readjust to new requirements. As new technologies emerge and guest preferences evolve, the Nolan School at Cornell University prepares professionals to anticipate change — and thrive in the face of it. Hospitality is an industry that involves administrative, operational, and commercial facets that can be applied to any sphere of interest that prioritizes service. That means you can apply your hospitality knowledge from your degree and your passion to a wide range of enterprises, from property and event management and marketing, to tourism, entertainment, food and beverage management and entrepreneurship.

What Hospitality Management Careers Are There for Hotel Administration Majors? 

Hospitality management careers can focus on all aspects of business, from brand management, marketing, and human resources to finance, project management, and property development. Opportunity abounds for hospitality management students who have a passion for service and a desire for a career that allows for professional growth, creativity, and fulfillment. For example, your hotel administration degree could lead to a variety of career opportunities:

  • Attractions Management
  • Hotel and Resort Operations and Development
  • Airline and Cruise Management
  • Event Planning
  • Travel Counseling
  • Restaurant Ownership
  • Food and Beverage Service Management
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To take advantage of the world of career possibilities within hospitality management, you need training and experience that not only equips you to be a confident professional, but also gives you a competitive advantage. The hospitality industry evolves quickly to stay ahead of what people expect of their guest experiences. The Nolan School stays ahead of these expectations and leads in teaching the business of hospitality, generating new knowledge for the industry and fostering a forward-looking approach.

Hospitality Management Isn’t Just for Hotel Managers

Unique Hospitality Management Careers with a Degree in Hotel Administration

Because the hospitality industry is constantly changing, you need a degree that gives you the skills to innovate. The Nolan School delivers that and more. You’ll learn about the vast opportunities in the industry and how to hone your talent and aspirations in preparation for career success in a variety of hospitality management positions.

Hospitality management jobs of all kinds are foundational to creating the entire guest experience. Far beyond front-of-house careers that can put you in direct contact with guests, a degree in hotel administration opens a variety of doors for graduates.

The Nolan School prepares students for leadership opportunities at a corporate level, setting the pace and driving innovation for front office management of leading hotel chains. The Nolan School’s approach combines an education in not just the philosophy of hospitality, but an understanding of how to use data to stay ahead of the competition and connect with customers. This can help lead to a career in behind-the-scenes capacities in areas like analytics, data science, development, and more. If entrepreneurship is more your style, you’ll be well prepared for that, too.

Consider the success of these Nolan School alumni whose education has allowed them to take advantage of nontraditional hospitality management job opportunities.

Is Hospitality Management the Right Career for You?

With the proper preparation and skills, a career in hospitality management or hotel administration can meet your needs throughout your career lifecycle.

A degree in hotel administration not only allows you to explore the full potential of a career in a growing industry, but to expand your potential to capitalize upon broader business opportunities not directly related to hospitality. At the Nolan School, you’ll not only gain a global perspective and leadership acumen, but you’ll develop your communication and problem-solving skills to become a versatile professional.

The Nolan School’s Top Hospitality Management Skills

Nurture your passion for hospitality while sharpening important skills that distinguish hospitality management leaders. The Nolan School curriculum thoroughly prepares you to lead the hospitality industry. You’ll have opportunities to explore and can also build a network of peers and professionals to increase your reach, even long after you’ve graduated.

You’ll develop a variety of applicable skills that include:


Business Knowledge

Oversee financial and administrative management, strategize effectively, develop practical business policy, and foster entrepreneurial skills.



Impact business through persuasive communication and networking to enhance collaboration.


Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Ethically evaluate challenges and devise solutions through analysis and thoughtful decision-making.


Computer Science

Understand how to use technologies, systems, and information management to meet business goals.



Build cohesive teams through culturally aware management and motivation.

Hospitality Management Salaries

Ultimately, what makes a degree in hotel administration worth it is the acquisition of professional confidence and skills that not only help you launch your hospitality careers, but achieve earning power throughout your lifetime.

$69,394 Average base salary as reported by 2020 graduates

When comparing hospitality degree programs, understand your potential earning power and select wisely. The Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University in New York has earned the #1 ranking by CollegeChoice.net for Best Hospitality Management Degrees. Of course, salaries in hospitality management vary by industry sector and career focus. Explore your salary potential and learn more about Nolan School graduates’ average salary.

What Is the Job Outlook for Graduates with a Degree in Hotel Administration?

Significant change occurs across all industries, including hospitality management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides insight into the job market for management occupations, including hospitality management, indicating faster growth than average for all management occupations through 2029. See the even more promising statistics relevant to the Nolan School’s most recent graduates and full-time employment.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Hotel Administration Admissions Requirements 

The Nolan School is dedicated to creating an inclusive and diverse educational opportunity for all students. While each school differs in its admissions requirements, there are several requirements common to all programs for first-year applicants. Cornell hotel school admissions requirements include:

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How Your Application is Reviewed

The Nolan School applies a holistic approach to its review of applicants to the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Hotel Administration program. When reviewing applicants, we look for qualities that indicate your readiness to make the most of our program and succeed in hospitality management. Those qualities include:

  • Leadership experience
  • Strong work ethic
  • Appreciation for the challenges of running a business in the service industry


Ready to Master the Hotel Administration Degree Experience?

Gain the advantage of a hotel administration degree grounded in superior business education. Explore the Nolan School’s hospitality management courses and our extraordinary experiential learning process.

HOW TO APPLY TO The Nolan School

 Ready to Learn More? 

To pursue a rewarding and exciting career path in hospitality management, invest in an education that will set you up for success. Join the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University in New York and earn your place among the industry’s best. For more information, please contact sha_admissions@cornell.edu to pursue your career in hospitality management.