In the entertainment industry, celebrities attract the spotlight while advertising agents, public relations specialists, and managers oversee business-related responsibilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), agents and business managers for performers, athletes, and artists yielded six-figure salaries at the 75th percentile as of May 2017, which could make a master’s in entertainment management online a solid return on investment. This guide includes useful descriptions of program types, career opportunities, and professional organizations you will find at the graduate level.
To be accepted into a master’s in entertainment management online program, candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree. On average, students can complete this degree in two years of full-time study. Motivated students can explore accelerated tracks, which can be completed in as few as 18 months. Semester structures tend to vary, which can also impact your program length. Many universities use eight-week semesters (instead of 16 weeks) and continue classes through the summer.
An online master’s in entertainment management requires completion of 30-36 credits. Students considering a concentration may need to factor in additional credits to determine accurate graduation dates.
Entertainment management curricula at the graduate level focus on core business principles that provide students with pertinent skills required for identifying client needs and developing strategies for brand marketing or distribution. Students also explore finance, industry ethics, and legal matters.
A master’s in entertainment management differs from an MBA with a concentration in entertainment management. MBA programs develop general skills for business and management positions, and the curriculum includes core subjects such as accounting, economics, operations, and marketing. An online master’s in entertainment management offers similar core coursework as an MBA, but it centers on entertainment; what’s more, this degree’s electives explore fields in the entertainment industry.
Programs may include these sample courses:
This course surveys techniques, strategies, and modes of communication media needed to market entertainment efficiently to target audiences. Students also examine stakeholders who develop and distribute film, print, video, and developing technology within the promotional landscape framework.
Students gain foundational knowledge in the process of developing and producing original concepts for feature outlets such as internet distribution or television. At the end of this course, students should feel confident assuming an executive role in production and post-production.
In this course, students examine legal aspects of the entertainment industry with emphasis on copyright protection and contract law. Students analyze case law and contracts, and they learn procedures regarding privacy, free speech protection, defamation, and moral rights.
This course considers the challenges of the ever-changing entertainment industry. Students explore activities, concepts, and analyses that contribute to global entertainment enterprises. Through case studies, students learn about various management functions, and they investigate the importance of a value-added perspective of user experience and entertainment products.
Students explore pertinent entertainment terminology and a fundamental knowledge of project management concepts and behavioral skills needed for effective communication. They also learn how to manage schedules and resources, and determine risk and scope to reach desirable outcomes.
Many online master’s in entertainment management programs require students to complete a cumulative exit exam. Other programs include a capstone course or senior thesis seminar. Select programs may require a small internship, which can be completed locally.
Programs may include these specializations:
This elective offers a framework for how the music industry operates. Students learn to identify opportunity and assess risks. This course uses current case studies and successful artists to provide a better understanding of methods and strategy. Students are challenged to identify their own strengths and weaknesses to identify what role might best suit them.The Social Impact of Media
Through empirical research and case studies, students explore how media technology and content impact audiences. This course examines theoretical mechanisms that control an audience. Students discuss social and behavioral approaches that contribute to the advancement of media theory. By the end of this course, students should be able to draw connections between policy issues and current media effects research.Video Production
By examining theory and multiple editing styles, students learn core media functions for filmmaking. This course relies on demonstrations and problem based learning through video shooting, short films, and commercial production to engage in the material. Students also engage in media analysis projects. This course requires students to develop a personal critique process.
Earning a master’s in entertainment management online provides graduates with leadership skills required for career paths at the senior management and executive levels. Depending on the role, professionals may select viable scripts for television, hire cast or crew members, negotiate large contracts, or manage royalties. Listed below are five occupations for professionals with a master’s in entertainment management.
Executive producers represent the interests of a studio or financiers. The executive producer oversees the work of other producers. This role requires professionals to keep strict timelines and stay within budgets. If the executive producer has raised significant capital, she may have more flexibility in her daily duties. At this level, professionals must be expert negotiators and project managers. Historically, producers have bachelor’s degrees and work to increase their credibility. A master’s could provide a competitive advantage.
Marketing managers manage how a business or product is promoted or sold. This role requires planning and market research to gain the attention of target audiences. These managers generally possess gregarious and outgoing personalities, along with a keen sense of budgeting, attention to detail, and ability to manage large teams. A master’s in entertainment management could increase earning potential.
Film directors control artistic and narrative aspects of screenplays and scripts. Professionals in this role must communicate effectively to guide actors and technical crews. Directors hire crew and cast members within the boundaries of a predetermined budget. A bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience are required. Advanced degrees may offset experience requirements.
Advertising managers direct promotional campaigns to generate interest or revenue for their client or organization. These managers work closely with directors, financial staff members, and sales managers to develop effective strategies for a successful campaign run. Advertising managers often initiate market research and inspect advertisement action plans. At times, these managers may act as a liaison between their client and promotion agencies that place ads.
Celebrities and professional athletes often require an expert public relations manager to help them project a specific public image. Job duties include writing press release statements, serving as a liaison between the client and journalists, and maintaining damage control. While some positions require only a bachelor’s degree, many employers prefer a master’s.
Relevant professional memberships benefit professionals who are continuing their education. Many organizations provide tuition assistance to members in the form of grants, scholarships, or fellowships. Additionally, professional organizations boast vast networks that create opportunities for mentorship and career assistance through webinars, forums, and conferences. Most organizations also list job opportunities.
IEBA offers a professional and young professional membership, a vast network, annual conferences, and digital resources.
Professionals may access career guidance, webinars, and online resources.
The National Association of Broadcasters serves members through education and advocacy, provides cutting-edge research and policy updates, and offers leadership development.
NASSM supports professionals in the sport and leisure fields of entertainment, serves as a hub for research and professional development in the U.S., and offers annual conferences and online resources.
This organization supports female professionals in media. Member benefits include career advice, training, and discussion forums.
By earning a master’s in entertainment management online, graduates qualify for career opportunities in multiple thriving industries. This credential can qualify professionals for increased salaries. Additionally, an entertainment management master’s provides students with an advanced degree and in-demand leadership skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, multiple entertainment management related occupations will grow faster than average through 2026. The table below includes details regarding job market and salary data.
|Job Title||Lowest 10% Earned Annually||Median Annual Salary||Highest 10% Earned Annually||Job Growth 2016-2026|
|Executive Producer||Less than $33,730||$71,620||$164,290||+12%|
|Marketing Manager||Less than $48,150||$129,380||$208,000||+10%|
|Film Director||Less than $33,730||$71,620||$164,290||+12%|
|Advertising Manager||Less than $48,150||$129,380||$208,000||+10%|
|Public Relations Manager||Less than $61,130||$111,280||$208,000||+10%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2018
According to the BLS, demand for entertainment management roles should increase faster than other occupations through 2026. Producers and directors working in video or motion picture fields of entertainment can anticipate consumer demand, which should secure more opportunities. Similarly, organizations necessitate marketing campaigns and advertising, making skilled professionals highly sought after. As social media usage and dependence increase, professionals with an advanced degree should experience professional opportunities from high-profile individuals and organizations.
In 2013, the median annual salary for marketing professionals with a graduate degree reached $81,000, while bachelor’s degree holders earned $61,000 on average. Similarly, professionals in public relations with a master’s degree earned $65,000 on average, nearly $10,000 more than bachelor’s degree holders in their field.
Accreditation validates individual programs at universities or the school as a whole. Reputable accreditations indicate coursework meets standards of employers and experts in the field. Two types of accreditation serve the U.S.: national and regional. National accrediting agencies work with schools across the country. Students should note that transferring credits from universities with national accreditation can be difficult because they only transfer to other nationally accredited universities.
About 85% of all colleges and universities in the U.S. are regionally accredited, which makes credit transfers easy. The six regional accrediting agencies also represent the gold standard for accreditation because there are more regulations in place for educational quality.
A master’s in entertainment management online requires investment, so seek out financial assistance options that do not require you to pay tuition entirely out of pocket. Consider the four potential sources listed below:
Students enrolling in a master’s in entertainment management online may qualify for student aid through FAFSA. Government funding at the graduate level includes Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS loans, which are not based off financial need. Another program is Federal Work-Study, which places students in a part-time position related to their degree.
Graduates earning a master’s in entertainment management online can access money set aside by supporting organizations like the Barbara Caras Memorial Scholarship for Film Students. Generally, scholarships require students to submit an essay or personal statement. Students should spend time reviewing requirements since expectations vary.
Fellowships allow students to gain guidance from experts. Upon successful completion of the fellowship, students are awarded funds to offset tuition costs. Fellowships are often available through professional organizations. However, there are foundations that offer fellowships to all students. For instance, HBO provides an HBO Access writing or directing fellowship to all graduate students.
Many students considering a degree in entertainment management online need flexibility, which may qualify them for tuition reimbursement from their employer. The maximum amount an employer can cover is $5,250 per year.