Many 2-year colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs in event planning, while 4-year colleges may offer programs through their continuing education departments. These programs offer instruction in arranging all types of events, including meetings and weddings. Some programs may offer hands-on training through off-campus work programs.
While no specific degree is necessary for this field, many employers prefer planners who have completed at least a high school diploma, a certificate program, and hold professional certification in event planning through an association like the Convention Industry Council, or have a significant amount of experience. Programs involve 10 or fewer courses. Presentation of a capstone project and proposal to a potential client are often required for graduation.
Party Planning Certificate and Degree
Students in event planning certificate programs develop communication and negotiation skills needed to put on an event. Programs may also help students hone marketing and logistics skills related to event planning as they take courses in:
- Food and beverage fundamentals
- Event promotion and special events
- Risk management
- Legal issues
- Hotel operations and industry terminology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), party planners are categorized as types of meeting, convention and event planners. Jobs in this field were expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 7% from 2018-2028 as more businesses decide to host regional and international meetings and conventions. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for meeting, convention and event planners as of May 2018 was $49,370 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Info
Party planners who are interested in working in the hotel, restaurant or lodging industry can pursue a 4-year degree in hospitality management. A degree program in hospitality management can give applicants the skills and knowledge needed to work special events at hotels, restaurants or resorts. In order to enroll in an undergraduate program in hospitality management, most schools require candidates to have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Individuals with the required work experience and continuing education credits may be interested in the Certified Meeting Professional credential offered by the Convention Industry Council (CIC). While this type of certification is not mandatory, it may help with career advancement for those working in the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry. Certification is granted after the qualifications are met and the applicant has passed an examination.
A party planning certificate equips individuals with the different skills necessary to arrange events both local and global in scope. Generally, those who pursue further education and obtain certification in this field have better job prospects.