Associate's degree programs in event management are typically offered through the hospitality and tourism departments of 2-year community colleges and vocational schools. Students entering into associate's degree programs must be high school graduates, but beyond that, most programs don't have any specific prerequisites.
Most associate's programs include some type of internship or practicum that provides students with hands-on experience organizing events for either external companies or college functions. Such programs are designed to propel graduates into entry-level positions overseeing events and meetings within the hospitality industry.
Associate's Degree in Event Management
The courses included in an associate's degree program in event management give students a background in the hospitality industry along with specific training in meeting planning. Some subjects explored include these:
- Hospitality and tourism
- Hospitality law
- Catering and food management
- Meetings and conferences
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Event managers work to plan, coordinate and execute meetings and events for corporations, hotel chains, private clients and tourism agencies. Around 134,100 meeting, convention and event planners were employed across the country in 2018, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In May 2018, the BLS indicated that these professionals earned a median annual wage of $49,370. The highest-paying locations for event planners at that time included the District of Columbia, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York.
Many students who earned an associate's degree in event planning are able to transfer their credits over to a bachelor's degree program in the field. Other bachelor's degree programs that might be suitable to the event planning field include those related to public relations, corporate meeting planning and advertising. Event planners in a specific sector of the industry, such as wedding planning, might also wish to pursue voluntary certification from individual associations.
For students who are interested in learning about event management, pursuing an associate's degree in the subject is a possible option. This program equips students with new skills and ideas that can improve their employability.