In terms of popularity, event management courses are always in high demand. Especially at university level, they have become increasingly popular over the last ten years. For students who previously enrolled in closely related areas, like tourism or hospitality, some are now switching to event management instead.
Over the years, the industry has acknowledged the importance of highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals, who are well trained. Event management courses are now in high demand and looked upon as highly desirable. This also shows from the high expectations from attending students in terms of where the results of the courses will take them employment wise in the very near future.
Meanwhile, meeting the different needs of all involved presents challenges, mainly in the area of industrial capacity in order to employ the increasing number of students graduating from the event-management courses.
As opposed to areas like tourism and hospitality who have been around the block a much longer period of time, event management courses are still relatively new and this shows in terms of literature on the subject and also terms of expectations and perception on the students part on what skills are deemed important in order to be employable within the industry.
Recent research is very much geared towards gaining insight into the skills and capabilities, students taking the event management courses consider it to be associated with employment in this area of expertise. This insight is a fine balance between views of employers currently active in the events industry and the performance of the students in those areas.
The first batch of data for this study was provided by students at Victoria University in Melbourne, since this particular university has always been considered to be one of the pioneers in event-management courses in Australia, and one of the few who offers a Bachelor of Business in Event Management to its students. Optionally this Bachelor can be combined with one or more disciplinary areas.
The students taking these courses are presented with approximately seven specialized event-management topics. including an introductory units, operations focused units, marketing-based units, and units devoted to the business events industry, event evaluation and legacy, event creation, design and live performance management.
Additionally, students must complete a mandatory module of so called “work integrated learning”. This can be achieved through a form of cooperative education (co-op), which means students will be placed within the events industry for the period of one year. This concerns a fully paid employment. It can also be in the shape of so called “Business Integrated Learning” (BIL), which consists of 150 working hours within the industry which can be a paid position or a volunteer one.
The second batch of data was provided by employers within the industry and consists out of official appraisals of students who have been placed on a Co-op or BIL basis.
While research on the subject of event-management continues, the main question that will have to be answered still is whether or not the stream of graduates from event courses will be larger than industry demand.
Suzanne Middleton is guidance counselor who blogs about education and it’s importance in society. On top of her Diploma in Psychology, she has a Diploma of Management and has worked in the HR department of various institutions.