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What does an Event Coordinator do?

Planning your mom’s party at the local diner is one thing. Planning an event for thousands of people is quite another. There are, however, similarities, and if you enjoy organizing, planning, work well under pressure and thrive on seeing events come together, then a career as an events coordinator or planner might be a great choice for you. Read on for educational requirements, salary outlook, and pros and cons on this exciting profession.

event coordinator

Is events planning a good fit for you?

As the job title implies, events coordinators work on events – small, large, enormous, high-profile, intimate and everything in between. While there’s no such thing as an event with no glitches, clients expect as close-to-perfect an event as possible. The stakes could be quite high: an annual meeting of CEOs at a major hotel, a corporate retreat for an international association of professionals, a long-overdue family reunion with 200 attendees from 10 countries, or a small conference for dermatological surgeons.

You will most likely work long hours leading up to and during the event. No event is ever the same, and you will have a lot of variety in your workday. You may have to deal with unexpected events, including union labor issues, unforeseen weather, travel delays, cakes that fall apart and speakers who don’t show up – but it’s all part of the job.

As an events coordinator, you can work in many industries or sectors, as meetings and events are virtually industry-independent. How about weddings, international diplomacy, conferences for court interpreters, small business meetings for movie studios or a day of workouts for the world’s top personal trainers? These events all depend on highly capable events coordinators.

Educational requirements, salary and job outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers data on meetings, convention and events planners and groups them into one category. According to the BLS, many employers prefer applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree because the work and responsibilities are becoming more and more complex. Some useful undergraduate degrees, which typically take four years to complete when studying full-time, include marketing, public relations, communications, business and hotel or hospitality management.

In terms of employment growth, it’s good news: according to the BLS, employment of meeting and convention planners is expected to grow 16 percent. This is partly due to the internationalization of business, which makes those rare in-person meetings and conventions more important than ever.

The top-paying industries for event planners are telecommunications, aerospace and the semiconductor sector. The states with the highest density of events coordinators are California (not surprising, right?), New York and Texas. Events coordinators could find career opportunities in hotels, convention centers, non-profit organizations, government entities, corporations, universities, small events businesses, etc.

What does a Game Designer do?

The gaming industry is constantly expanding, and competition is strong to produce ever better and more popular games. Game designers are needed to generate and give life to the ideas that meet the gaming industry’s demands for novelty, challenge and excitement.

game designer

What is the typical job role of a game designer?

Daily tasks depend upon many factors such as the size of the team working on the game design, the type of game, its scope and budget, and the phase of the game to which the designer is assigned. As video games become increasingly complex, more and more people are generally involved in the design and production of a game. There is often more than one designer–there may be several principal or lead designers plus a number of junior designers who may work on different aspects of a game.

Your responsibilities may include:

  • Conceiving new game ideas, or adapting existing games for a new market
  • Designing game rules, structures, levels, and means of progression
  • Designing characters
  • Designing backgrounds and environments
  • Project management–managing budgets, staff, and timescales, and liaising with colleagues in other departments such as programmers, testers, and artists
  • Programming–writing code and creating graphics

In addition to your technical knowledge and creative flair, an in-depth knowledge of the gaming market is also important in order to understand the direction in which it is going and predict what gamers want.

What training and education do game designers need?

The highly technical nature of the work makes formal training a must–a broad knowledge of computer systems and technologies is essential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes game design under the heading software engineers and reports that software engineers must be experts with a thorough understanding of computing systems and the structure of software.

A bachelor’s degree is the usual requirement, although it is sometimes possible to gain an entry-level position with a 2-year degree or certificate, while other positions call for a master’s degree. Training courses for would-be game designers are available at all levels so you should be able to find a program to suit your needs, whether you are just starting out or aiming to advance an existing career. Continuing education is important to enable game designers to keep pace with changes and developments in technology.

Job outlook for game designers

The BLS projects 32 percent job growth for computer software engineers plus a large number of new job creations, so you can expect excellent job prospects in return for the investment you make in your education.

What does a Graphic Designer do?

Graphic designers are visual communicators. They use a variety of print, video and electronic media to create designs that meet clients’ advertising or promotional needs. Many graphic designers provide layout and overall design for newspapers, magazines, publications, or corporate reports. Others produce messages and visuals for Internet pages, mobile phones and electronic devices. These professionals may also do any number of the following duties:

  • produce promotional displays and marketing brochures
  • design distinctive company logos for products and businesses
  • develop signs and signage systems–called environmental graphics
  • produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies

graphic designer

Most graphic designers use computer software for selecting and arranging design elements and for presenting their sketches or rough drafts to clients. With the increased use of interactive media for advertising and communication, it is increasingly important that career graphic designers keep up with the latest computerized graphic design programs. Some graphic artists specialize in the digital areas of animation, video game, web site or multimedia design.

What to expect in graphics design training

In this competitive field, some formal training in fine arts or graphic design is essential. An associate degree may lead to an entry-level position as an assistant, but employers generally prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree, with a portfolio demonstrating strength in conceptual design and computer graphics.

Many public and private colleges offer two and four-year degree programs in fine arts or graphic design. Look for graphic design programs that offer grounding in technical skills, like color and composition, drawing board skills and conceptual design. The curriculum should include training in the latest computer graphics and electronic imaging software.

Key graphics design courses include:

  • Drawing, Painting, Perspective
  • Color Theory
  • Fundamentals of Design
  • Illustration, Digital Illustration
  • History of Art, History of Design
  • Advertising Design
  • Web Site Design
  • Professional Development
  • Typography, Print production

Students profit by real world projects that they can turn into professional quality portfolios. The combination of technical and professional development courses in the better graphic design schools help students develop skills in critical thinking, communication, and problem solving while offering career counseling and hands-on experience.

Employment outlook for graphic designers

Most career designers are employed by specialized design firms, advertising agencies, printing and publishing firms and computer systems companies. Due to increased demand for multimedia marketing by ad agencies and computer design firms, job growth of about 13 percent is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.