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Factors to Consider While Selecting an Event Planning School

Higher Education Articles May 13, 2014

Although a bachelor’s degree is not necessary for those who want to become event planners, it may provide a competitive advantage in the field. A certificate program in Event Planning is more common than a bachelor’s degree program. A tourism emphasis is featured in Event Planning bachelor’s degree programs.

Selecting an Event Planning School

Not many schools offer event planning bachelor’s degree programs for the benefit of individuals who want to pursue the subject. However, students might consider completing a bachelor’s degree program in hospitality management or tourism, wherein event planning is also covered. The hospitality departments of four-year universities and colleges typically offer these programs.

The important considerations are:

Program Choices

Schools usually combine event planning degree programs with studies in tourism, conventions, and leisure, thereby rendering event planning a minor component of the coursework. However, a broader choice of event planning electives is offered in some programs whereby interested students may focus on event planning.

Related Education

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Hospitality Management may also be considered by students interested in studying event planning; the same educational objectives are accomplished by this much more commonly offered degree program. There is less orientation toward tourism in the Hospitality Management BS degree program; however, the program greatly leans toward management strategies. Required courses focus on leadership, marketing, and accounting; tourism and event planning programs do not typically offer these subjects.

Hands-On Training Opportunities

Internship and practicum opportunities are afforded to undergraduate students, depending on the program chosen by the students. For instance, intensive internships are featured in some hospitality management programs that require more than 1,000 hours of real-world experience, while such experience is not mandated by other programs. Coursework in event planning majors may also cover internships, but considering that tourism has a heavy influence in such programs, the location of the internship is typically a tourism venue.

Degrees in Event Planning

Bachelor’s Degree in Event Planning

Schools offer it as a combination degree, in addition to study areas such as conventions, leisure, and tourism. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in event planning can expect to become adept at hosting, catering, and planning large scale events. The program mainly focuses on tourism knowledge and business skills. Those who successfully complete the program can seek various positions including wedding planner, tourism director, resort manager, cruise director, and festival or concert promoter. Coursework may include:

•Special event management
•Sporting event management
•Meeting planning

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Hospitality Management

Schools more commonly offer this degree program rather than an undergraduate event planning program. It is best suited to the needs of students who wish to pursue management careers within the hospitality industry, specifically in banquet facilities, casinos, restaurants, and hotels. Coursework may typically include business-oriented courses within the food and beverage field, including:

•Marketing
•Sustainability
•Accounting
•Food production management
•Employee training

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