Online Master’s Programs in Entertainment Management

Updated on: 12/13/2018

A master's in entertainment management online prepares you for a career in a variety of positions within the broader entertainment industry. A master's degree makes you a more attractive candidate for many positions than applicants who only hold a bachelor's. This page offers information about courses, careers, and schools with master's in entertainment management online programs.

What to Know About Online Master's in Entertainment Management Coursework

A typical master's in entertainment management requires students to complete 40 credits. If you take full-time classes, you can complete the program in as little as one year. Different programs include different requirements, and some may take longer to complete, especially if you study part time. The flexibility of some programs makes part-time study easier, while some schools offer accelerated options, letting you finish sooner by taking a larger course load each term.

Coursework covers topics like business planning, marketing clients, and negotiating contracts. Some programs allow you to specialize in order to hone your skills toward a specific aspect of the field, such as the music industry or publishing. By graduation, you will possess the skills to help your clients succeed.

What's the Difference Between a Master's in Entertainment Management and an MBA in Entertainment Management?

A master's in entertainment management differs from an MBA with a concentration in entertainment management in several ways. Most importantly, MBAs generally take longer, cost more, and are geared toward students with more career experience. A master's in entertainment management is a great way to launch a career, especially for recent bachelor's graduates. Courses cover the field's theoretical foundations and practical applications. An MBA is as a broader degree and includes more courses not directly related to entertainment management.

What Common Courses are Offered in a Master's in Entertainment Management Program?

Although every curriculum is different, most online master's in entertainment management programs offer similar courses. We've outlined five courses below that you may encounter, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

Team Management

Many entertainment managers work with a team. Ensuring this group works well together remains key to a successful business. These courses focus on making sure that the people you work with stay on task.

Entertainment Business Finance

An entertainment manager helps clients make smart financial decisions, including career-based decisions, how to negotiate a contract, and how to spend or invest their money.

Negotiation

Helping clients negotiate contracts is one of the most important parts of the job, and in this course, students learn how to negotiate properly. Students learn tactics to ensure their clients get a fair deal.

Marketing

In these classes, students learn to market their clients in order to secure them lucrative contracts. In addition to covering basic marketing concepts, students discuss the specifics of marketing individuals based on their skills and other strengths to those interested in hiring them.

Business Development

Entertainment managers interact with clients, but they also must be able to develop a business plan. These courses teach students how to handle the behind-the-scenes tasks of running a business.

What Elective Courses are Available in a Master's in Entertainment Management Program?

An online master's in entertainment management includes both required and elective courses. Electives allow you to tailor the degree to your interests. These courses also allow colleges to play to the strengths of their faculty or resources. The sample electives below provide a taste of the courses you will see when researching programs.

Film Distribution

Here, distance learners discuss how cinemas receive films across the world both technically and, more importantly, from a business standpoint. Students learn how distribution issues can impact technology, casting, and script details.

Intellectual Property

The laws regarding who owns what concept, character, or song, known as intellectual property, are complex and continue to evolve. Professors introduce intellectual property laws and cover how they apply to the entertainment industry.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

Students should expect to complete a thesis or other capstone project by the end of their degree. Details vary by program, but students typically complete a research aspect and a presentation aspect. You may have to develop a business plan or write an article about some aspect of the industry. Students often choose their own subject although faculty must also approve. A thesis or capstone allows individuals to apply the skills and knowledge they attained during the program.

How Can I Choose a Quality Online Master's in Entertainment Management Program?

Students should consider several factors as they find a program in mind. Seek out accredited programs, which ensure your degree meets standards of excellence. All the schools ranked here are accredited, but some programs may also be accredited, certified, or otherwise endorsed by professional industry organizations. Programmatic accreditation guarantees that a program's curriculum prepares students professionally.

If you have particular job goals in mind, research each school's faculty to discover any potential specializations or past professional experience that would be beneficial to helping you develop your own career. Faculty members can be valuable for connecting you to professional networks.

Career Opportunities With a Master's in Entertainment Management Degree

While no degree guarantees a job or a specific salary, a master's in entertainment management makes you a more competitive, qualified candidate. See below for descriptions of three careers you can pursue with this degree, as well as information on the median salary and projected growth of those careers. While not exhaustive, this list provides some ideas when it comes to planning your own career path.

Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager

These professionals work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff to generate interest in products or services. Within the entertainment industry, marketing managers advertise films, promote music festivals, or sell new camera technology. They work for studios, advertising firms, or a specific venue, like a cinema or concert hall.

Median Salary: $129,380 per year

Currently Employed: 249,600

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: 10%

Public Relations Specialist

These professionals ensure that an organization or client maintains a positive public image, and work to improve the public awareness of the client and their goals. In the entertainment industry, individuals work for record labels, film studios, or celebrities.

Median Salary: $59,300 per year

Currently Employed: 259,600

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: 9%

Director or Producer

These professionals create media productions such as films or live performances. They also interpret scripts and manage performers. While directors typically focus more on a production's artistic aspects, producers focus more on the administrative and managerial aspect, ensuring that projects stay on budget and obtain necessary resources. Both careers benefit from management and financial knowledge, and considerable crossover exists between the two.

Median Salary: $71,620 per year

Currently Employed: 134,700

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: 12%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

What's the Expected Job Growth for Entertainment Management Careers?

As you can see from the list of sample careers above, positions which benefit from this degree are projected to grow an average 10% by 2026. As changes in media production, development, and distribution continue, more and more people are getting involved in the entertainment industry. The field requires qualified individuals to help represent, produce, or otherwise manage projects.

Professional Organizations for Careers in Entertainment Management

Professional organizations can help you find work and further your education. These organizations offer conferences, journals, and even scholarships for student members. Consider joining one of the five groups below as you pursue your desired career.

  • International Ticketing Association

    INTIX draws members from more than 25 countries and brings them together to support and connect ticketing professionals through conferences, mentor programs, and professional development.

  • Association of Talent Agents

    ATA exists as a trade organization that promotes talent agents through networking, professional development, interorganizational negotiations, and political activity. The organization has existed since 1937.

  • North American Society for Sport Management

    NASSM, a professional organization for sport managers, offers networking, professional development, job boards, and student services through journals, conferences, and mentorship opportunities.

  • North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents

    NAPAMA is a nonprofit that advocates for performing arts agents and managers. The organization offers awards, mentorship and coaching opportunities, and networking.

  • Alliance for Women in Media

    Since 1951, the AWM has united women in entertainment and media to support one another and promote the women's roles in the industry.

How to Pay for a Master's in Entertainment Management Degree

Paying for your online master's in entertainment management often proves stressful, but you can explore many ways to ease the burden. This section provides some examples of where you might find funding for your degree.

Federal Financial Aid

Your first step should be submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid with the Department of Education. This provides access to student loans, grants, and scholarships. Many schools require you to submit this information regardless of your intention to seek federal financial aid.

Industry Groups

Looking for organizations related to your ideal career can help you find funding. Some groups, such as the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, provide scholarships for students studying specific topics. Some groups, especially professional organizations, might require membership to qualify.

Population-Focused Scholarships

Many scholarships exist for members of specific groups, such as women, Latino/a students, or LGTBQ+ students. Organizations which support such groups sometimes offer scholarships that may remain geared toward specific degree fields or more broadly applicable.

School-Specific Scholarships

Most universities and some departments offer scholarships for students. When deciding where to apply, keep the availability of such scholarships, grants, and other awards in mind, as you generally face less competition once you enroll.