Hospitality & Travel Management Lodging Operations Certificate -- Helpful? Worth it?

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Hi Gang! I just found this forum online and this is my first post -- I didn't see a way to search all the existing posts so I hope I'm not repeating everyone else's questions on here!

I (like everyone else posting in the Aspiring Innkeepers section haha) have a dream of someday running an inn or bed and breakfast. I have run a few small Airbnb operations and worked at a couple of eco-resorts in Hawaii and Costa Rica over the years.

We are currently based in a smallish city in Oregon for a couple of years helping a friend revamp her self storage business and I'm considering enrolling in the local community college's Hotel & Tourism Management program taking online classes to earn a certificate in Lodging Operations while we are here as a way to prepare for future career opportunities.

I am wondering if any experienced B&B owner/operators and innkeepers could offer their perspective on how helpful (or not) they feel this would be?

The coursework runs three semesters and about $5K with tuition and books, so it's a fairly sizeable investment of time and money on my part.

The certificate is designed to prepare students for work in the real-world modern local tourism and hotel industry (we're an hour outside of Portland OR so there is definitely a lot of that happening here) so I am assuming it would give me some context for 21st century reservation software and the like, aside from knowing good customer service skills and how to bake muffins Eye-wink

In fact, I'll just list the required courses for the 36-hour certificate here:

HTM100 Hospitality Industry
HTM104 Tourism & Travel Industry
HTM209 Lodging Operations
HTM125 Special Event Planning
HTM127 Selling In Hotel & Tourism Management
HTM226 Meetings & Conventions
HTM131 Customer Service
HTM143 Computer Reservations Systems
HTM203 Service Marketing

Relevant? Worthwile? Unnecessary?

Thanks for any input !! Is it best to get hired on because of our excellent management/cooking skills (my husband is a chef) and learn on the ground because every operation is different?

Or do you think having recent coursework in this area would be enticing for the folks doing the hiring, not to mention helpful to me as a manager!

Thanks so much for any input Smiling Catharine

Hillbilly's picture
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Welcome! To be honest here.  No amount of books and classroom settings will prepare you for the real world of being an Innkeeper.  You would get more out of searching this site and diving in head first than you would get from a professor who thinks they know what they are talking about.

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JimBoone's picture
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Yep

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Jim & Maxine

 

Lee2014's picture
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   I went to help at a B&B for three months, assistant innkeeper quit and the head innkeeper ended up in the hospital.... I had worked one year at a retreat as a maid prior.  I kept the place going by common sense, being honest with the guests on the situation, and lots of guessing.

   I would try this.... http://www.innpartners.com/attend-a-seminar/  and/or this... https://bbteam.com/resources/need-and-want-ads/

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Have a great day!

 

Momma Smurf's picture
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I have a BS degree in Hospitality Management from the highly ranked UMass program, and a BS in Psychology... I seem to use my Psych degree more these days running the Inn!sad

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Fellow Umie!    

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TBH

 

Silverspoon's picture
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Me too...BS in Chemistry with minor in Education.  At that time they did not accept women into the School of Engineering!

But Momma and Beachie you are just kids.  Our class all saved their beanies...class of '69, Knowlton.  Our freshman year women still had curfews!  We blazed quite a trail for you into the '70's Smiling

 

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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You sure did.  When I was there, almost all the dorms were coed.      Including the bathrooms.   

Momma Smurf's picture
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We invented the co-ed bathroom.  The guys were supposed to go down and use the second floor, while we gals had the third.  Never happened.  AND we just happened to have a ton of guys tall enough to easily peer over the shower stalls!  Was all in fun though, we all got along well and there are several other couples who met on 3JFK that are still together today.  Yes, Silverspoon, the 60s must have been an amazing experience there during those years. We get lots of UMass kids who love our early 70s stories, and can't believe many of them. 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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There were pretty much no rules back then.    Remember the Blue Wall? 

Momma Smurf's picture
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Yes... drinking age turned 18 when we arrived.  Blue Wall was always a haze of grassy smoke and the floors squished with beer. Spring 73 Concert in the stadium: the 4th back-up group to It's A Beautiful Day, was some guy named Springsteensurprise!   And little Ricky Pitino in his short shorts ran up and down the bouncy wood floors of the Cage playing point guard. 

We could paint our dorm rooms a myriad of psychedelic colors and all of the doors had random artistry, if you didn't like the room door you inherited, you just switched it (along with the key) with someone else.  I inherited Spider Man who ended up across the hall.

Ever go tunneling through the storm drains?

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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No I never went through storm drains.  Lol.   My sister was the first female bouncer at the blue wall.   Because she refused to wear the Danskin uniform the waitresses had to wear.   

Its now a coffee shop.  

 

I saw saw the great full dead at spring concert.  

Momma Smurf's picture
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Amherst?  Poppa & I were there 72-77.  I moved from Coolidge onto Kennedy 3rd floor when it went co-ed Spring '73...  Did not know at the time that I'd be one of only 8 women out of 22 stories of guys...met Poppa there the next spring. Have been together over 42 years!

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Yep!   I was in Central for two years, then Puffton Village.   Graduated in1980.   Theater major.  My roommate was one of five women in the mechanical engineering department.    

She and I are still best friends.   

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Degrees are worth something.  Certificates are not as much.  If the college has an associates degree, I'd think it's a great idea.  I would thing a few of the classes would be helpful.   Like computer res systems, anything to do with marketing.

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Do agree with marketing - but hospitality as we do market a bit differently to say a physical object

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for me - a book keeping course would be well worth the money - everything else on that list less so. - as my personal opinion - for myself as someone with staff experience is worth a lot more to me, had graduates with hospitality degrees I woulnd't have touched with a barge pole - panic far too quickly and have difficulty with anything out of the ordinary.

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Catt2017 wrote:

Or do you think having recent coursework in this area would be enticing for the folks doing the hiring, not to mention helpful to me as a manager!

Morning Miss Catharine,

My two cents worth

If you're looking to be "hired" then I'd ask at some of the sort of places where you might apply and ask them if the coursework would be beneficial or if they trained or promoted folks from within their organization.

If you're looking at opening your own inn or lodging business I'd save the money towards that investment. In the past I worked in movie theatres and newspaper circulation, a mix of business and liking people. Twenty five years ago we jumped in and purchased this tiny motel, I continued to work a job  and mostly Maxine ran the day to day with me being the night and weekend staff, not like we got rich, but still here enjoying the life.

gillumhouse's picture
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I would say the event planning and meetings & convention courses would possibly be beneficial if you can "cherry pick" classes. My previous experience other than running a household & raising 6 of the 2-legged animal variety, was about 10 years as a relief night audit in a hotel as my pert-time job while full time data processing. I celebrated 21 years as a B & B this year.

Knowing how to clean (no, everyone does NOT know that) is as important as the cooking. The rest is treating people the way you would like to be treated and providing the things you would expect to find when traveling.

Other than the above mentioned courses, it is just being yourself in the front half and keeping good records in the back half behind the "curtain" known as the office.

Whatever is your believed routine when you open, you will soon modify it to what really works for you soon after having guests.

Having that certification will be most helpful if you plan to be looking for a job at a hotel the does events & conferences etc. The courses I suggested may be helpful for working your own B & B but you will not need certification for your own business.

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Catt2017 wrote:

Hi Gang! I just found this forum online and this is my first post -- I didn't see a way to search all the existing posts

Upper right corner of the screen, where you see the word "Search".

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thanks -- i did try that Search box but it seemed to be searching all of Google, not posts on this forum. Smiling 

Arks's picture
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Catt2017 wrote:

thanks -- i did try that Search box but it seemed to be searching all of Google, not posts on this forum. Smiling 

Look again. The first few results are marked as Google advertisements, but the real results, below the ads, are from this forum.

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great, super helpful, thank you !!

JimBoone's picture
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I think it searches just this forum, but true I didn't find it easy to use. I think when I first found the forum several years ago I just went to the old posts, "Innkeeping Forum" heading I think, picked a category and started reading, lots of good information.

Camge's picture
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Hi Cat, We are fairly new to the industry. We own a B and B in the Hamptons ny. My husband has a masters in business, and I have a Masters in EDU. We had no experience in hospitality prior to this. I am aristic, he can fix anything. It works in this industry. We work hard  to be people "persons." Business courses will be great for you, but so will culinary couses and food handling courses. Try and decide what you already know and what will help you. Just saying picking a place and knowing your market is so important.

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Camge's picture
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Hi Cat, We are fairly new to the industry. We own a B and B in the Hamptons ny. My husband has a masters in business, and I have a Masters in EDU. We had no experience in hospitality prior to this. I am aristic, he can fix anything. It works in this industry. We work hard  to be people "persons." Business courses will be great for you, but so will culinary couses and food handling courses. Try and decide what you already know and what will help you. Just saying picking a place and knowing your market is so important.

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09/14/2017

thank you! yea, my husband and i discussed this tonight and i think i'm going to hold off. based on the extensive culinary, management, customer service, hospitality, marketing and software experience we already have (between the two of us) as professionals in our 40s (not kids in our 20s!) we decided the investment of time and money probably won't yield equally valuable results. thank you again for sharing your experience -- and good luck with your inn in the Hamptons !! 

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