Travel and Tourism Management Associate Degree
As a travel agent, you assist individuals in making travel arrangements. In an associate's degree program, you develop the computer and communication skills necessary to work in the field. Continue reading to see courses of study within the program and the career outlook for this line of work.
Do I Really Need a Travel and Tourism Management Associate's Degree?
While on-the-job training is required to learn about a company's operations and making travel arrangements, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that you stand a better chance of being hired in a managerial position in travel and tourism if you have received formal training in an associate's degree program (www.bls.gov).
In an associate's degree program, you develop the computer and communication skills necessary to work in the field. Even though the travel and tourism industry has become more computerized, it still relies heavily on professional contacts and personal knowledge.
|Degree Benefits||Associate's degree can boost job prospects in the field; programs teach important communication and computer skills|
|Common Courses||Customer service, cruise and resort operations, tourism sales and marketing|
|Program Formats||Some programs combine online or hybrid courses with in-person internships|
|Mean Salary (2018)||$41,730* (for travel agents)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||12% decline* (for travel agents)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Are Some Program Specifics?
Typical courses you might find in a travel and tourism management associate's degree program include marketing and sales for tourism, cruise and resort operations, customer service, microcomputer applications, communication, composition, applied psychology and destinations. Many programs require you to participate in an externship at a school-approved business.
You may be able to find schools that offer partially online programs. Although you're able to complete didactic courses entirely online, internships require in-person participation. In addition, some courses may be blended, which means some courses are delivered online and others on campus.
You can also find individual online courses offered by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), which is one of the world's largest associations for travel professionals. You can find courses for professional development, continuing education in the field or specializations within the industry.
What's the Occupational Outlook?
According to the BLS, job opportunities for travel agents are expected to drop 12% in the 2016-2026 decade. The availability of online vacation planning and booking sites has reduced the need for consumers to work with an agent. However, prospects may be better for travel agents who specialize. In 2018, the BLS determined that the mean annual wage for this line of work was $41,730.