A growing number of universities are now offering certificate and degree programs in corporate event planning and event management. To prepare students for the demands of event planning, these programs teach courses in risk management, event entertainment, organizational skills, and best promotional practices. A student pursuing a certificate in event management will also be required to put his or her knowledge to the test in real-life scenarios and practical assignments. The skills and competencies learned through such educational programs helps prepare students for a successful career in corporate event planning, fundraising, organizing sports events, as well as wedding and concert planning among others.
Who can benefit from event management classes?
Event management is a dynamic field that is for those who are detail-oriented and thrive in a competitive, highly versatile work environment. Corporate event planning careers require professionals who can work with clients to materialize abstract ideas, manage resources and personnel, conceptualize marketing strategies, and respond to crises in real-time. Individuals with good multi-tasking skills, an eye for details, and the ability to work well in a team will benefit from higher education in event planning.
There are several requirements to enroll to get a degree or certificate in corporate event planning from a higher learning institution. First, universities require a high school diploma or equivalent. In some cases, SAT scores could determine your eligibility to enroll. Applicants must also provide proof of English proficiency to enroll in many universities. Some institutions allow students to transfer credits from other courses provided they are adequately related to courses in the university’s certificate program. To do so, you must have an official transcript from a relevant accredited university program. Finally, an application fee of may apply.
What to expect
The courses taught for a certificate program in events varies from university to university, however students can expect the following four areas to be covered in the core courses of most programs: Risk management, Best practices in event coordination, Event marketing, and Administration. Apart from these core courses, students will also be required to take electives in any of the following broad target areas: décor, entertainment, negotiating contracts, sponsoring events, and fundraising.
Many courses in events also require students to demonstrate knowledge of event management theory through practical assignments which can be particularly demanding for those who have no previous professional experience in handling events. Practical learning is designed to equip students to manage a variety of events including: fundraisers, musical events, weddings, political events, sports events, conferences, and business meetings. Additionally, students may be required to assemble a portfolio of their practical assignments as a prerequisite for graduation.
Online or classroom modules?
There are two main ways to complete a university certificate program in event management. Each has its pitfalls and advantages. First, you may attend one of the many universities that offer online learning modules to students. The main advantage to online learning is flexibility. This method can be particularly beneficial to those who already have a busy career in events and who are seeking to advance their career opportunities. New students, however, may find that classroom studies with practical assignments provide a more well-rounded educational experience. Alternately, some universities offer dual modalities for those who want to study both online and in the classroom.
How to choose what university program to apply for?
Certificate programs are the most common programs available in universities today for event management. However, some universities also offer Bachelor’s degrees in event management. Some examples include Business degrees in Conventions & Events and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Tourism & Event Management. In choosing the type of program to apply for, students should consider two factors: time and affordability.
First, students should consider the time it takes to complete a university program. Event management programs can take anywhere from four months to several years to complete. Certification programs usually have a span of less than a year with some universities advertising graduation in less than six months. A Bachelor’s degree — such as a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Event Management — will take four years to complete. Certification is usually the most preferred option for working professionals who already have experience in the events industry. Students who are new to the industry, however, may prefer to gain knowledge and experience through a longer degree program.
Affordability is the second major factor to consider when deciding which type of corporate event planning university program to pursue. Please note that in most cases financial aid does not cover certificate programs. If financial aid is a deciding factor, then as a matter of necessity, you would need to attend an accredited university offering a four year degree in business event coordination. Be sure to factor in the costs of relocating to a city with a university that offers such a program. Conversely, although certificate degrees are not covered by financial aid, they are relatively affordable.
Benefits of a pursuing a career in event management
Financing an education in event management can be challenging; however, the rewards are many.
For those who have the will to succeed, corporate event management holds rewarding career opportunities. Professionals seeking to enter this exciting field can look forward to greater job availability, competitive salaries, and a high level of job satisfaction. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the event management industry is predicted to experience the biggest job growth surge this decade than any other industry. As businesses become increasingly global, the demand for professionals to plan corporate events, meetings, and conventions will only become greater.
A University degree or certification program in event management can give you the education and experience you need to organize any event you are called upon to manage. With the growing demand for skilled event managers, the opportunities for studying and working in the event planning field are only going to increase in the future. Whether you choose a degree program or the certification route, studying online or in the classroom, choosing a higher education in corporate event planning is the first step towards accomplishing your dreams in this highly satisfying career.