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Get Into the Business of Fun!

by Monica Smith

Jun 10, 2019, 9:00 AM.

FIU Online offers fully online Hospitality Management graduate degree with five tracks that address the growing talent gap.

South Florida, known for its Latin culture, famed beaches and luxury living, is a global epicenter for the hospitality and tourism industries. With record-breaking numbers of tourists every year, 116.5 million in 2018 alone, Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, sits in one of the most strategic locations for any hospitality management school. This spring, the school launched the fully online Hospitality Management graduate degree. The degree features a general track, an executive track and three specializations, teaching students everywhere how to manage the “business of fun” during a time when the industry desperately needs more professionals.

Filling the Void

“As the world evolves and the industry with it, we need to continue to evolve our curricula, in order to maintain that delicate balance between education, industry, and students,” said Interim Dean Michael Cheng, Ph.D. “Students need to be prepared to meet industry demands. At the same time, our industry needs graduates who can lead and drive innovation and growth.”

Technology, the robust economy, the rising global consumer purchasing power, and digital innovation are all contributing to a historic burst in travel and tourism. But with this growth comes pain points. A main industry imperative is increasing the workforce—the industry lacks the talent necessary to keep up with the incredible demand. Hospitality and tourism already employ about one in 10 people in the global economy, but there is a critical need to fill even more vacancies worldwide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that travel leads all industries in open positions.

Degree Offered Online

While the Hospitality Management graduate degree is an applied business degree, the degree’s specializations impart specific knowledge to address the industry’s growing needs and trends. The degree can be completed fully online within 12 months and students who have a GPA higher than a 3.0 do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores for application. The full suite of degree tracks are as follows:

Hospitality Management - A general track that teaches a well-rounded curriculum of business courses that focus on finance, human resources, marketing, law, globalization and competitive methods for multinational companies and leadership.

Executive Hospitality Management - A track designed for professionals already working in the hospitality field, the executive version of the degree allows students to gain specific managerial mastery to deepen their knowledge and use their current work experience toward their degree.

Mega Events Specialization - The first of its kind in the nation, this track is for those who want to explore careers managing large events like the Olympics, Art Basel, the Miami Boat Show, concerts and trade shows. Students learn everything from event feasibility to security, planning and marketing.  

Real Estate Development Specialization - A track for understanding investment and construction projects, this degree concentration includes courses on hospitality real estate development, enterprise technology, asset management and investment analysis.

Revenue Management Specialization- This track offers students skills and knowledge on all things finance. The degree concentration focuses on revenue-related courses including demand management, hospitality enterprise technology, segmentation and price optimization.

Partnerships and Rankings

The Chaplin school maintains a collaboration with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits as co-producer of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival and continues to develop meaningful relationships with a long list of organizations in the industry. Partners come from all over the world and include industry giants such as Badia, Reidel, Wine Spectator, Burger King, Aramark, Disney, Walmart and Marriott, to name a few.

Because of its accolades, research and programs, the Chaplin school is ranked as No. 1 Best Online Hospitality Management Program by as well as No. 1 for Best Online Hotel Management Programs by The school is also ranked among the top hospitality schools in the world by QS World University Rankings 2019.

“For the last 45 years, the Chaplin school has been a pillar in the hospitality industry and an invaluable talent resource, as well as a beacon of hope for many aspiring students,” stated Cheng. “The Chaplin school will build upon the model that has produced so many successful alumni over the years, but our sight is set on raising the bar.”

For more information about FIU’s online courses, visit

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