It is very easy for a smart, hard-working individual without a degree to advance in the hotel industry. I have met many general managers of nice properties that did not have a college degree.
Problem with jobs like this is you have to start at the bottom and work a lot of low paying jobs along the way to work your way up the ladder. Not many people have that kind of determination or love for their jobs.
Friend of mine has been the front office mgr (front desk) at a local hotel for 25 years and has made enough to purchase three condos in Hawaii and one in Mexico. He does well for himself but it took a
work up the ladder" mentality.
He has a degree in education, but it's worthless and not necessary for his present job.