In the feature, I talk about the growth of the meetings and events industry and how at the same time more opportunities for continuing education and targeted degrees have become available for hospitality professionals. I talked to representatives from three programs here in the Twin Cities: at DCTC, the University of Minnesota and Saint Paul College. These three offer opportunities for working professionals to further their education in this field.
The story also highlights the many, many options for event professionals to pursue certifications (such as CMP, CSEP, CGMP, etc. See our partial list, with requirements outlined here). “[Certification is a] huge resume builder, because it’s such a valuable designation. We do see a lot of job postings that are CMP required or CMP preferred, which makes a huge difference in the work force," says Christina Buck, CMP program director with the Convention Industry Council.
However, since writing this piece, I've read a story about the elimination of the Meetings & Events major at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Looks like programs for this industry are facing some challenges in this economy.
The choices for professional development, however, don't end with the university classes and certifications mentioned in our spring issue. Event professionals can join webinars, attend association events and more. As Kent Gustafson, extension professor at the University of Minnesota, says, "Continuing education is just extremely important in whatever form that takes, whether it’s a formal course, a webinar of some kind, a good book, listening to a good presenter. Continuing education is really the name of the game in this business.”
We'd love to hear your thoughts: Do you have a hospitality related degree? Are you industry certified? If so, why? If not, why not? What efforts do you make on a continuing basis to stay on top in the hospitality industry? What do you think about the UNLV news? Lets talk continuing education/professional development in the comments.
-Ellie M. Bayrd
[PHOTO courtesy of Dakota County Technical College]