US News and Word Report recently published their list of the Top 50 Careers of 2011 based on employment outlook, growth projections and quality of life. Event Planning was one that made the top 50 list of occupations, and here's why: More Jobs The United States Labor Department projects that the number of meeting planner jobs will jump 16 percent, growing faster than the average for all professions over the next decade. The growing importance of meetings is expected to fuel growth in the employment of meeting and event planners. Professional Growth Opportunities Event planners have a host of growth opportunities given their ability to move from a small organization to a larger one or switch between full time employment or contract assignments. Given the range of online education options, gaining additional certifications or credentials through continuing education also helps with finding higher-paying work. Over time and with experience, meetings planners could open their own meeting planning companies or become independent consultants. Opportunity to Switch Careers Event Planning is one of few professions that offers a tremendous amount of opportunity to break into the profession relatively easily. Assisting or volunteering at a few events can not only provide the right experience but also create the business and personal connections to get that next assignment or job opportunity. Any type of event experience serves well for those looking to switch careers and get a more more rounded experience even as they look for job opportunities within the industry. Global Reach The increasingly global nature of business will drive the demand for event managers, not just at home but across the globe. Most organizations recognize the value of the face-to-face meetings as an imperative for them to be successful in a world where international boundaries are quickly dissolving. Better Pay And the income opportunities are amongst the best, relative to many other professions. It is estimated that the median pay in the United States for event planners is as high as $97,000 for candidates with the right experience.