Event Planning Degrees: Are They Worth Your Money?
Are you considering event planning as a career? Or maybe you’ve already decided that event planning is perfect for you. Either way, you’re at the point where you want to know more. For almost any career, getting educated is the first step. But, when it comes to event planning schools, it’s important to know your options. Enrolling at school requires a big time and money commitment, after all! You want to make sure your investment will pay off! Keep reading to learn whether an event planning degree is worth it!
The event planning industry is unregulated. This means that anyone can simply decide to be an event planner. However, getting an education can help, and we mean it helps a lot. That’s why so many educational institutions offer event planning courses. Event planning is not as easy as it looks. Trust us!
In the event planning industry, you’ll be competing for clients and job opportunities with other event planners. Since the industry is unregulated, anybody and everybody could be competition. While having an impressive portfolio is probably the most important thing you need to land your clients, an event planning certification can also help! It shows that you are committed and passionate about event planning. More than that, it distinguishes you as a knowledgeable professional in an industry full of amateurs.
To have a successful career as an event planner, you’ll have to keep in mind that reputation is everything! Happy clients often recommend your services to their friends. Word of mouth is one of the most important things for growing your business. So, while it can be tempting to start your career right away and just learn as you go, it’s also very risky. We’re not saying that you can’t mess up sometimes. But a disastrous event or a very unhappy client can ruin you, especially when you’re just starting out. An event planning education can save you from making major mistakes.
Event planning courses will give you the tools and connections you need to be successful. They’ll also provide you with essential business skills. You’ll learn how to build a professional portfolio and how to market your services. If you haven’t figured out where we’re going with this yet, then here’s our advice: Get educated!
Once you’ve decided to get professional training, the next question is where to get it. Since the industry is unregulated, there isn’t one specific degree you need to work as an event planner. In fact, you don’t need one at all! But as we discussed, if you’re serious about making a successful career out of event planning, then enrolling in a planning course is in your best interest! So what exactly are your options?
At the high-end of the scale, you’ll find undergraduate degrees with some focus on event planning. Sometimes, these university degrees are part of a regular business commerce degree. You’ll be specializing in event management along with a similar field like hospitality or sports management. Others only offer event management as a minor that must be added on to another full-time degree. In Canada, tuition for university programs can range between $7,000 and $15,000 per year for a 4-year program. In the US, these fees can reach as high as $45,000 per year… And that’s not including textbooks and other materials you’ll need!
College degrees or certificate programs are other options. These programs are usually more focused. You won’t have to learn anything unrelated to your direct day-to-day activities as a professional planner. Tuition for these programs can range from $4,000 to $6,000, plus materials. Since they are so specialized, students usually take 1-2 years to complete these courses when studying full-time.
Finally, you have online options. Online courses cover all the same content as your local university or college. But, they’re made specifically for those already leading busy lives! In addition, online event planning schools don’t carry the costs of a having a brick-and-mortar location. So you’ll save on tuition! Many online schools offer specialized event planning courses like wedding planning, luxury wedding planning, and destination wedding planning. You may even find courses for event décor! These courses usually cost under around $1000 in tuition. If it’s a good school, you should be given up to 3 years to complete the course, plus unlimited access to your course materials!
Is it worth it?
Now that you know your options, you probably want to know which your best choice is. And, even more importantly, what is worth your time and money. Which of these options will help you get where you want to go? Well, the answer to these questions depends on multiple factors. Firstly, what are your career goals?
If you want to work an established company, then university may be the option for you. However, university degrees are very costly and will take up at least 4 years to complete. Not to mention, you’ll have to learn other subjects that have nothing to do with event planning.
If you know that you want your career to be focused entirely on event planning, then a college program may be right for you. Again, these programs require you to be a full-time student, and while 1-2 years are shorter than 4, it’s still a full-time commitment. You won’t have time for much else.
Do these scenarios sound familiar to you?
- Do you want to start your own event planning business or become a freelance event planner but lead a busy life?
- Do you already have a full-time job or you’re already studying something else at school, but you’re still looking to follow your dream of becoming an event planner?
- Do you have kids and don’t think it’s the right time to go back to school?
If one of these profiles sounds like you, then pursuing an online education is probably your best bet! Studying online means learning from the comfort of your own home. You’ll learn at your own pace without sacrificing the quality of your education. You’ll also be given the freedom to complete at times that fit best with your already packed schedule. This means you’ll have time for all of your other priorities! But it also means you’ll achieve your long-term goals faster! You’ll enter the industry faster, build an impressive portfolio sooner, and start making money!