Update 8/15/2017: In the year and a half since this article was originally posted, we’ve found three more great hotel management courses to add to the list.
I love learning. Maybe almost as much as pizza and traveling to someplace new.
While I graduated college years ago, I constantly find myself seeking out ways to further my education. I can be at Barnes & Noble for hours, and don’t even get me started on TED Talks.
For aspiring hoteliers, however, sometimes you want a course that is specifically tailored to your industry. Because while learning about leadership is great, you need to learn how to kick start your hospitality career and carve out a space for yourself in the hotel industry.
This is where online learning comes in.
Not only does the online world offer unimaginable possibilities to get your name out there, but there are also tons of online courses you can access to give you that extra edge in the industry.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of sites out there promising quality online courses, only to deliver content you could have found online for free, without paying the hefty enrollment fee.
This is where I come in.
Below, I’ve gathered some of the best online hospitality courses, which can teach you everything from hotel management fundamentals to boosting your TripAdvisor listing. They’re listed in alphabetical order.
Want to know how to begin your career in hotel management without dedicating hours of your time?
This one–hour course contains 14 lectures, ranging from how to build your personal brand to the core traits you need for success and how to handle complaints and guest recovery. Other lessons touch on building a career plan, understanding customer service, and how to stay productive.
This course is taught by Andrea Kjellin, a former assistant director of housekeeping at the Peninsula Hong Kong. She has been involved in the hospitality industry since she was 16-years-old 16 years old.
As with many other Udemy courses, this one is available on iOS and Android with a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a certificate upon completion of the course.
Sometimes you can’t beat a free opportunity at an elite university. And Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration is one of the top-rated schools in the world.
Through this six–week course, students can expect to learn about the various career opportunities available in the hotel industry, gain valuable insight and advice from international hospitality experts, explore pricing strategies, and learn how to hire stellar employees.
Students should expect to dedicate between two to three hours per week over the course of six weeks.
Unfortunately, the verified certificate option is now closed, but you can still enroll in the class and access the material.
This three course specialization can teach you the fundamentals of beginning your own hospitality powerhouse, focusing on hotel demand management, distribution, and revenue management.
Divided into four segments and culminating with a capstone project, students can earn a certificate to showcase their achievement.Each segment requires a commitment of two to four hours per week over the course of four weeks.
Each course is broken up into a collection of video presentations, readings, peer reviews, and practices quizzes to help review what you’ve learned in each lesson.
Financial aid is also available for qualified learners.
Cost: $302 (total); $79/course
Starting your own bed and breakfast is one thing, but launching your own independent hotel can be a whole other beast. I mean, where do you even begin?
With Gerry MacPherson’s “How to Open an Independent Hotel,” expect to learn about organizational strategy, management strategy, and even outsourcing in this one hour, seven part course.
By the end of the course, expect to know the basics of owning and operating your own independent hotel, with your own organizational strategy and operations manual.
Participants have lifetime access to the course, which is also available on iOS and Android devices for professionals on the go. And if you’re not completely satisfied with the course, you’re eligible for a 30–day money-back guarantee.
Navigating the world of online marketing for hotels can be tough, especially when it comes to social media.
It seems everywhere you turn, there’s another article on how to best utilize social media tools and social media strategies. But with so much noise out there, how can you really get down to the nitty gritty?
With this hospitality-focused crash course on social media, you’ll learn how to monetize these social platforms, how to make your hotel more social media-friendly, generate positive feedback and reviews, and create a loyal customer base through these outlets.
This course consist of 21 lectures, lasting 3.5 hours, and is led by Brian Cliette, who has taught more than 23,000 students on Udemy.
I’ve written a bit about my love for TripAdvisor, but you can never be too educated on a topic. Everyone always brings something new to the table, and this course is no different.
With this course, you’ll learn the power of email marketing and organic search that comes with a TripAdvisor listing, as well as how to use this site to grow your credibility and reputation, and even how to use competitor reviews to improve your hotel’s customer satisfaction.
The course is comprised of 47 quick lectures that total to 2.5 hours.
Just in case the point hasn’t come across already, you really should be using TripAdvisor, especially if there are multiple courses that teach you how conquer the most popular travel and hotel site in the world.
So what else is there to learn?
After you’ve polished up your listing and redirected guest traffic to your page, there are still other strategies you can employ to get your hotel listed as one of the top hotspots in your area.
With this course, you can expect to learn how reviews correlate to revenue and how to respond to and alleviate negative reviews on your listing, all within 33 minutes.
If you’re looking to jump into hotel management but want something more in-depth than a free course, this 100-hour course from ACS Distance Education should provide you with a solid head start in the industry.
The course is “suitable for anyone who wants to work in hotels, run their own hotel or manage a hotel,” according to the course website.
The course involves learning about all aspects of managing a hotel and the many sections within it. It will teach you how to organize your staff to work effectively as a team, and how to manage areas such as food service, front desk, maintenance, activities, and staff.
Cost: £325.00 (about $420)
Looking to learn the basics of hotel management? This free course from Brentwood Open Learning College is for entry-level aspiring hotel managers who want to familiarize themselves with the basics of the trade.
“With a firm focus on the fundamentals, this high-quality program introduces candidates to the hotel management profession, along with the primary duties of key hotel departments,” the course description states. “It is therefore ideally suited to existing hospitality workers, along with those interested in joining this dynamic and rewarding industry.”
The course will cover three topics: introduction to hotel management, introduction to front office operations, and introduction to housekeeping. After the course, you’re awarded with a BOLC certificate issued by the college.
This free course from Alison is meant for those who want to learn more about the food and beverage side of hospitality. It will introduce you to the functions, operations, and organization of the food and beverage department.
“The course begins by introducing the food and beverage operations within a hotel,” the course description states. “You will learn about the relationship between the food and beverage department and other hotel departments, such as room service and the stewarding department. The course describes the organisation and key duties of restaurant staff, including floor staff and kitchen staff, from apprentice to managerial levels. You will also learn how to implement best practices to restaurant staffing and procedures.”
The course takes two to three hours, and you can earn a certificate by scoring higher than 80% on course assessments. If you want to purchase a copy of the certificate, the digital version is $20, and a framed version if $40.
Can you recommend any online hospitality courses?
Do you know any other essential online hospitality courses? Let me know in the comments below.
Looking for Hospitality Property Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Hospitality Property Management software solutions.