The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California Polytechnic University, Pomona (aka Cal Poly Pomona), a client of Brain Jar, has rocketed from #32 to #5 in the global rankings for hospitality schools, according to CEO Word magazine.

The colleges are judged on the quality of their programs, job placement rates, the program’s specializations, the college’s reputation, and survey responses from about 185,000 recruiters, employers and grads.

The college’s academic programs are top-notch and accredited by ACPHA, which is a big deal since only 70 programs in the world have this accreditation. The courses are taught by industry leaders who bring real-world experience and research to the classroom. Plus, the student body is diverse and reflects the cultural traditions of the region.

“The second I saw Collins I knew this is where great things happen. I know that when I go to a class the professor will know my name and be open to discussions about industry questions I have,” said Andrew Soel, a hospitality management freshman, when he was told of the ranking results. “I am just so proud, coming to Collins I knew how great the school was and I am happy that the industry can see that as well. I reached out to everyone I knew and shared the exciting news, you can just feel a sense of accomplishment on Collins.”

A Collins College staff member raises her arm as a team of hospitality professionals do the same.
Kirsten Wiesinger leads a team meeting at the bar at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch at The Collins College of Hospitality Management, April 11, 2019.

Brain Jar manages websites for the college, and recently was proud to dramatically improve accessibility on some of their sites, including the sites for their flagship Hospitality Uncorked event and the 28th Annual Graduate Education & Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality & Tourism, making them much easier to use with people with disabilities. We also do general maintenance and management on their sites so they can focus on what they do best: training the next generation of elite hospitality professionals.

What is it like to go to study hospitality at Cal Poly Pomona?

At Collins, students get hands-on experience in business operations and management through various experiential learning opportunities. For instance, they work at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, which is a must-do part of the hospitality management program. They rotate through both the back and front of the house to learn skills that will help them become leaders in any sector of the industry. They also get to participate in the Disney College Program, which pays them while they work frontline positions at Disneyland Resort and develop professional skills.

The Collins College has three areas of emphasis: food & beverage, lodging, and events. Students learn how to use real lodging market data to make business decisions and budgeting. They also learn how to design and price restaurant menus while applying team-based problem-solving and solution techniques to real operational situations.

The Collins College has been around for 50 years now, and it’s a great place to get started in the professional hospitality industry. They offer degrees for both undergrad and grad students and can help you get into areas like hotels, restaurants, private clubs, events, tourism, and sports. And if you go here, you have an 84 percent chance of landing a job or getting more education afterward. Plus, their master’s degree program is one of the best in the country, ranked in the Top 10 for hospitality and tourism.

The only schools that topped the Collins College on the list (from number one to number four) were the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, the Nolan School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, the College of Hospitality Management at Johnson & Wales University, and the School of Hospitality Business of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.

How is the hospitality industry doing?

If you’re considering getting into the hospitality industry, now is a really good time. The industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and even though it continues to face challenges, it’s on the upswing. So many restaurants (and other hospitality businesses) closed during the pandemic, that it created a vacuum once things got back to normal, so the job sector is growing,

In fact, one of the main issues that the hospitality industry is facing right now is a labor shortage. Many workers in the industry were laid off during the pandemic and have since found other jobs, while others may be hesitant to return due to concerns about their health or their fear that the industry might be unstable.

In addition to the labor shortage, the hospitality industry is also facing supply chain issues. With the pandemic disrupting global supply chains, many businesses in the industry are struggling to get the supplies and materials they need to operate. This can lead to higher costs, delayed shipments, and reduced availability of certain products. This leaves a big opportunity for any new business that’s able to solve some of these supply issues.

Another challenge that the hospitality industry is facing right now is changing consumer preferences. The pandemic has led to shifts in consumer behavior, with many people now preferring to order takeout or delivery instead of dining in, or choosing to stay in vacation rentals instead of hotels. This has forced many businesses in the industry to adapt to new customer needs and preferences, and presented new opportunities for businesses that cater to vacation rentals, take-out restaurants, and other businesses that serve this shift in consumer demand.

Overall, the hospitality industry still has a long road to recovery ahead of it, but there are reasons to be optimistic. As more people get vaccinated and restrictions continue to ease, the industry will start to see more sustained growth and success in the months and years ahead. For those who are driven and innovative, there’s a lot of room for growth in the industry.