College of Business > News & Events > Online MBA in Hospitality Leadership Provides Convenience and Cost Savings

Online MBA in Hospitality Leadership Provides Convenience and Cost Savings

​​Students sitting at computer
The new online MBA in Hospitality Leadership program provides flexibility, cost savings and connections to the hospitality industry. | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business is accepting applications to the MBA in Hospitality Leadership program, which is now being offered fully online. Students who enroll in the program will receive a 25% discount, an automatic scholarship from the business college’s School of Hospitality Leadership and course waivers based on work experience.

Nicholas J. Thomas, associate professor and director of the School of Hospitality Leadership, says the program’s online format is especially convenient for students who work in hospitality. “The reality is you might have somebody who is living and working here in Chicago and halfway through the degree they might be transferred to Dallas or San Francisco,” Thomas says. “We don’t want to have a program that will hinder their ability to continue their education if that happened.”

Throughout the flexible, online program, students will complete classes as part of a cohort with fellow hospitality students. The School of Hospitality Leadership also will match students​ with an industry mentor based on their career interests, such as lodging, food and beverage, meeting and events, or tourism.

Students also will be able to leverage the School of Hospitality Leadership’s close partnerships with employers through its advisory board and year-round exclusive events that expose students to the industry.

Preparing for the Future of Hospitality

In addition to the DePaul MBA business core, the program covers topics crucial to advancing students to leadership positions. Students will gain a deeper understanding of hospitality leadership and management in today's world by taking classes in revenue management, research methods, marketing and hospitality management strategies, and more.

These courses enable students to move to different segments of the hospitality industry or help individuals position themselves for r​eemployment if they have been furloughed or laid off due to the COIVD-19 pandemic.

“What we know from talking to our industry partners is that a lot of these companies are going to be looking for people who have very specialized skills,” Thomas says. “A lot of the strategic projects that they had in mind five, 10 years down the line related to areas such as sustainability, real estate, taxation, and human resource—those are now coming to the forefront, those are issues organization have to deal with right now.”

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the industry accounted for one in 10 jobs around the world and contributed $8.9 trillion to the world’s gross domestic product in​ 2019. While those numbers may look different by the end of 2020, Thomas says there is no doubt the industry will rebound.

“The thing about people who work in hospitality and tourism is we thrive on situations that are not monotonous. We thrive on challenges and we’re really good at critical thinking through problems,” he says. “This virus has caused a lo​t of us to think really critically about a lot of problems that we face – operationally, strategically, and everything from payroll to purchasing to how we deal with customers and how they’re impacted.”