Universities highlight value of event management degrees

University lecturers highlight value of event management degrees
University lecturers highlight value of event management degrees

Course leaders from UK universities have come forward to highlight the value of event management degrees, saying those with the qualification have the management, leadership and industry-relevant skills that event companies need.

It comes in light of a panel discussion last week at International Confex, which saw industry experts question the value of such three and four-year undergraduate degree-level courses in events management.

Miguel Moital, senior lecturer in events management at Bournemouth University, said event management degrees focus on higher-level management skills, such as strategic level thinking, as much as the operational level. "Graduates will not necessarily enter the industry at a higher level than a non-graduate, though many do, but evidence suggests that they tend to progress further, faster, than non-graduates.

"Many of our graduates have gone on to gain high level roles in under a couple of years. This is unlikely to happen if you don’t have a degree in events management, as you’ll have to develop these strategic management skills purely based on your experience and ongoing learning, which takes time."

Sehar Graham, deputy programme leader in events management at Manchester Metropolitan University, said the university's events management course has been revalidated so that individual units have been written in conjunction with industry. "The industry had an opportunity to feedback and tell us what was relevant and what was not relevant. We have introduced new units, such as events and multimedia technology, to reflect the changing environment of the events industry. This is just one of the current challenges event professionals face."

Glenn Bowdin, head of the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University, said: "Events management degrees are applied management courses - they provide a clear understanding of key aspects of management in context, alongside event specific content including areas such as event planning, event production, managing clients, creative event design and health and safety. 

"There is clear evidence nationally and internationally that graduates earn more over their career than non-graduates.  Event degrees are one sign that our events industry is undergoing the process of professionalising. Although still a relatively new subject at university, there are many talented graduates already working at various levels within our events industry."

Your views on the value of event management degrees

Event has picked a selection of comments from online and social media

Laura McNamara ‏(@reddressevents)

"As a final year #EventManagement student getting ready to graduate this is very worrying!"

Christopher Stead ‏(@chris_stead)

"@Eventmagazine Like any degree subject, Experience will outshine theory. A good degree course like mine has to give good overall content."

Jade Harrison

"In this industry passion for the job is vital, especially when we all work such long hours and you still have to be dedicated after an arduous week. By studying events management passion is clearly there from the offset and thus makes for more dedicated employee."

Kate Kelly

"I personally questioned the advantage of having my own events management degree and stand by the fact that it's not a guarantee that you are good at managing events and whilst I now value the experience and knowledge gained, all degrees must be underpinned by strong industry experience."

Caitlin Kobrak

"For this debate to more forward the next obvious step is making sure event academics and event professionals communicate and work together, and when panels and discussions like this happen to hear from university students/graduates to understand their opinions and concerns."

Dr Jane Ali-Knight

"This article sparked a healthy debate amongst the Association for Event Management Educators, which was ten years old last year. The clear feeling amongst the members, the majority of the 78 event management programmes in UK universities, is that we work incredibly hard to produce work-ready graduates with an excellent theoretical and practical understanding of the industry and transferable business skills including presentation, communication, analytical and problem solving skills."

What are your thoughts on the value of event management degrees? Comment below to let us know what you think.

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