Jobs are mushrooming in the multi-faceted hospitality industry in Oklahoma and across the country, and Northeastern State University in Tahlequah deserves high marks for the way it prepares students, the university headquarters reported on Monday.
The university headquarters, which promotes itself as an online resource to help people navigate higher education, recently evaluated 100 colleges and universities to determine which ones offer the best value for money for students pursuing a career path. career in fields such as hotel and restaurant management or casino, cruise or resort operations. He reported that NSU came in eighth for offering both quality and affordability.
NSU is not huge, with an enrollment of around 7,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Its tuition fees in the state, in the order of $ 6,900 per year, ranked favorably compared to other schools. NSU also has respectable retention and graduation rates, the university headquarters reported.
Students who enroll in hospitality and tourism management programs learn not only about hospitality, but also data analytics, marketing, human resources, operations management, and finance. Graduates should be able to find or work in positions as hotel administrators, attraction managers, marketing directors, or tourism program coordinators, among others. Even before the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than 1.1 million jobs in the travel and hospitality industries were waiting to be filled. Oklahoma’s travel and tourism industry generated a record $ 9.6 billion in direct spending by about 21.5 million visitors in 2018, according to a study by the Department of Tourism and Recreation of the Oklahoma. More than 100,000 jobs in the state are supported by the industry, which has grown in recent years, fueled, among other things, by investments made by tribes in casinos, hotels, restaurants and other attractions.
Joan Williams, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at NSU, said the hospitality industry is actually the world’s largest employer, but most people have no idea the scope and extent the extent of the domain. Former NSU students went to work for large companies in fields such as travel and event planning and hotel and casino management.
“When you work hard to create a quality program, it’s an honor to see it recognized,” said Williams. “We are working hard to stay relevant in today’s changing environment. We (also) have the support of a dynamic advisory board that helps bring current best practices to the classroom.
Completion of the program at NSU allows students to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Hospitality and Tourism. Williams said the students left with a solid business foundation, but also with specific knowledge in hospitality, tourism, games and recreation.
“It’s an exciting area to enter,” she said. “I think anyone who enjoys this industry can benefit from the formal training that comes with a college degree. “
NSU offers more than just training for a bachelor’s degree. It also offers certification in event management. Students who enroll in the 15-hour certificate program learn the basics of meeting management, service industry management, tourism marketing, and convention and trade show management.
“It’s a great way for the university to help provide professional development to workers without them needing to go back to college full time,” said Williams.