One of the questions I get asked by my readers is, "What event planning schools do you recommend?"
The event planning industry is such a dynamic field that there aren’t any specific educational requirements that you need to adhere to in order to succeed as a planner. Unlike many other industries, it doesn't matter what your degree is in, and there aren't any legitimate certifications that you can take as a beginner.
Therefore, for most people I don't recommend that you go back to school if you already have a degree. But if you are planning on going to college and are looking for event planning schools or programs, then keep reading!
As the event planning industry grows increasingly competitive, event planning education and training are becoming increasingly more important. These days, employers don't have the time to train you on how plan events; so you must take it upon yourself to learn how to plan events before you even begin your job search.
Many people believe that merely getting an "online certification" is enough to land them a job. It's very important to realize that you should take online courses for the purpose of learning events; not merely to have "resume material." It is going to be very, very difficult for you to break into the industry unless you have a solid understanding of the basics of event planning.
However, you need to be cautious which course you choose, as most online courses are full of fluff and useless information. For more on this, be sure to read about event planning training courses here.
If you have not yet finished college, however, or would like to pursue an education while working toward an event planning career, keep reading to find a list of event planning schools or universities.
A word of caution: due to the fact that the event industry is still evolving and, until recently, wasn’t considered a “real career,” very few universities and schools offer actual event planning degrees. Many universities and online programs, however, offer courses in “hospitality or restaurant management" or “travel and tourism.” Be very careful and research these programs thoroughly, ensuring that there are a fair number of classes specializing in event planning within these programs.
For example, a degree in "Hospitality" might sound like it's the right path; but if most of the courses are about restaurant management, that's not a good path for someone who wants to be an event planner (unless, of course, you are also interested in restaurant management as a potential career).
In other words, don't get so swept up in the title on the degree that you don't research what you'll actually be learning.
Basically, in my opinion, it comes down to this:
There are two ways to get an event planning education:
If you are interested in furthering your education online,
click here to read about my online course, Planning Events.
If, however, you are able to go to college and pursue a degree, then there are a few event planning schools, universities, or colleges that offer event planning and/or hospitality programs. Please note that I am not personally endorsing any of these event planning schools, as I do not have direct experience with any of them. The only universities or colleges that I am aware of that currently have event planning courses or degrees are:
Of course, more schools and universities are adding courses all the time, so do your research.
If you would like some training without committing to a two or four-year program, then perhaps an online course is best for you. I offer an online Planning Events Course that is much more affordable than any other online course out there; not to mention it teaches you the skills you truly need to know to succeed as an event planner!
If you still have questions, then perhaps my free four-part video series can offer the answers you're looking for. Read below for an outline and to sign up!
Video #1: How Do
I Get Started?
Video #2: Top Three Mistakes
Video #3: Certification & Experience
Video #4: How to Find Work