***This page discusses the best options for those who are going to college or university.
If you're looking for online event planning classes,
then click on this link to read about my online Planning Event Course
on how to plan events.***
So you've decided you want to be an event planner. And you're either just graduating high school, or perhaps are in the first year or two of college and it's time to choose a degree program. Or, perhaps you've decided you want to back to school, or finally pursue a degree after all these years. Whatever your situation is, you want to choose the degree or program that will most benefit your future career as an event planner.
As you may have discovered, event planning classes at colleges
and universities are very rare; and event planning degrees or programs are nearly
non-existent. That is because until very recently, event planning was not viewed as a legitimate career path; therefore, there are very few colleges or universities that offer event planning classes or degrees. Click here to read about the few schools or universities that offer event planning classes, programs, or degrees).
So it is more than likely that you are not able to attend one of the very few schools that offer event planning programs. Perhaps you are attending a school or university that doesn't offer
event planning classes; and yet you know you want to pursue a career in
events. What should you do?
First of all, it's important to realize that event planning is not like many
other fields, where your degree can make or break you. It's
not like becoming a doctor,or a teacher, or an engineer; in the event planning industry, your degree is
relatively insignificant. However, it IS important to HAVE a degree; so
definitely go to school!
You will need to learn how to plan events on your own, which I will discuss in greater detail further down below; but in the meantime, what classes and/or degree should you pursue?
- If you have a "second runner up" passion or desire
for a career, then take courses that will assist with that choice. For
example, if you want to be an event planner OR a writer, then pursue a
degree in Journalism (in addition, of course, to any event planning
classes that are offered, if they are offered at all). If you want to
be an event planner OR a teacher, then pursue a degree in education.
That way, if your event planning career doesn't pan out for any reason,
then you are ready to pursue your second choice career.
- If you have your heart set on becoming an event
planner and you don't have a second career choice, then I would strongly encourage you to pursue a degree in
Business, with a minor in Marketing. I suggest this for two reasons; first of all, many people who go into event planning eventually
decide to open their own business. Therefore, a Business degree will
prove essential. Secondly, if event planning doesn't work out for
you, or if you decide after fifteen years of the business to go in
another direction, then a Business degree applies to just about any career
path you might someday choose.
- Similarly, a Communications degree would be a good
choice. Although not as widely applicable as a Business degree, a
Communications degree would create a good foundation which would prove
useful in event planning.
- And finally, many schools offer a Hospitality
degree. This is also a good choice, however research this carefully.
Many Hospitality degrees focus mostly on restaurant management and often
hotel management, in addition to offering a few event planning classes.
While the hotel side could apply toward an event planning career, it
is not ideal (unless you want to go into Convention Services, which is
the "event planner" within a hotel); and the restaurant courses are a
waste of your time (unless, of course, restaurant management is an
interesting option for you). Therefore, don't fall for a Hospitality degree off the title alone. Really research what you will be learning; you'd be better off with a Business degree than learning about restaurant management just because it's under the Hospitality program.
Remember, once you start trying to break into the event planning industry, very few employers will care what your degree is in; because we all know that there aren't many event planning degrees available. The only thing that employers care about is what you know about event planning. So, choose your degree based upon your back-up plan, and then learn about event planning on your own.