In the entertainment industry, famous actors, musicians, and athletes garner the limelight. Behind the scenes, however, entertainment managers work hard on behalf of their clients, and help them make the best decisions to further their careers. In addition to working with some of the biggest names in entertainment, skilled entertainment managers can earn upwards of $194,000/year. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of jobs in the entertainment industry grew approximately 10% since 2007.

What are the best entertainment management programs of 2020? Here are our top 5:

Rank School Location
1 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
2 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
3 The New School New York, NY
4 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
5 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH

The need for skilled, well-educated entertainment managers has never been higher. The salary potential, in combination with the entertainment industry's rapid growth, make an online master's in entertainment management an attractive option for those looking to take their careers to the next level.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN ENTERTAINMENT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

UM's MA in arts presenting and live entertainment management program features a 30-credit curriculum that most learners can complete in 18 months. Core courses include music copyright law, tour management and production, and the legal aspects of live entertainment. This master's in entertainment management program also offers over a dozen elective classes.

Over 80% of UM alumni attain a full-time job or gain admission to another academic program within 180 days of graduating. The university's career center provides online learners with essential job-hunting services, including Handshake software, internship opportunities, and professional development courses.

Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, three recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose. All U.S. residents pay the same tuition rate. New students with excellent undergraduate GPAs may qualify for institutional scholarships.

2

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

CSU's master's in communications and media management uses a hybrid delivery method, with 60% of the program's courses taking place on CSU's campus in Fort Collins. Core classes include managing communication systems, organizational media production, and strategic digital communication. Students customize their degree by selecting four electives.

CSU offers numerous online resources for media management students, including salary negotiation best practices and resume templates. The university's dedication to students' professional growth results in nearly 90% of alumni securing a job or gaining admission into another graduate program within six months of graduation.

Admission requirements include three recommendation letters and three academic writing samples. CSU does not charge out-of-state students a higher tuition rate. Active-duty service members receive an automatic 10% tuition discount.

3

The New School

New York, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

The New School's 36-credit, online master's in media management features courses in media ethics, management and leadership, and media economics. During their capstone project, students work with a professor to select a media topic and perform original research.

Over 90% of graduates find a fulfilling career within 12 months of graduation. The New School encourages positive career outcomes by connecting more than half of all learners with an internship opportunity.

Prospective students create an applicant profile before submitting undergraduate transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose. The New School also suggests that applicants provide a writing sample and a sample of their creative work. The school considers all incoming students for merit-based scholarships.

4

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 66%

Prospective learners who want the flexibility of asynchronous courses may be interested in UK's MA in arts administration program. The 36-credit curriculum includes required coursework in management and leadership in the arts, marketing research and planning, and principles of fundraising. Students also complete an internship and a comprehensive exam.

Enrollees prepare for their job hunt by creating a professional portfolio, which they can present to potential employers. Students can also access resources related to resume writing and professional etiquette.

Admission requirements include writing samples, official transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Online students all pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. The school's Braun Endowed Fund provides awards to students so that they can study abroad, attend a conference, or complete a creative project.

5

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

SNHU's online MBA in music business features courses in business structures and strategies, marketing strategies, and leadership and ethics. The program prepares graduates for careers as booking agents, artist managers, and concert promoters.

SNHU supports distance learners by providing career webinars and informational videos that explain the latest career trends and spotlight potential employers. The university also offers one-on-one career advising and practice interviews to online students.

Prospective students can choose from five annual start dates. This program does not require GMAT or GRE scores for admission. Active-duty service members and their spouses pay approximately 33% less on tution that other learners. Other financial aid opportunities include a 10% tuition discount for Phi Theta Kappa members.

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Entertainment Management Program?

Business is the foundation of entertainment management, as entertainment managers negotiate contracts and help their clients with financial planning. Additionally, an online master's in entertainment management program offers coursework in entertainment law, marketing, and publishing to further broaden one's skillbase.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Entertainment Management

The courses below represent some you may take during your program. However, each university is different, and may offer different coursework or graduation requirements. Be sure to check with your school(s) of interest for more information.

  • Project and Team Management: Students in this course learn how to plan all aspects of a large project and manage team members. The course emphasizes staying within budget and assessing team members' strengths and weaknesses.
  • Entertainment Business Finance: Helping clients make sound financial decisions is a large part of entertainment management. In this course, students gain core business knowledge that helps them best serve their clients. At some universities, this course may detail how to fundraise for an individual client or start-up.
  • Negotiation and Deal-Making: Growing a company or brand requires business savvy. Students studying negotiation and deal-making learn how to turn an individual client or company into a money-making brand. The course also covers contracts and persuasion.
  • Business Plan Development: Most universities that offer a master of entertainment industry management online have a capstone experience for students to synthesize their business knowledge. In some cases, students create a business plan throughout the quarter and present the final product.
  • Digital Marketing: Digital marketing contributes to the success of every entertainment manager. In this course, students learn digital marketing best practices so students can sell themselves to potential clients, and also use those practices to the advantage of their clients.

How Long Does it Take to get an Online Master's in Entertainment Management?

Students studying full-time can earn their online master's in entertainment management in approximately 12 months. Some universities require additional courses, which lengthens the time required to earn a degree. In many programs, students take courses at their own pace; these students may elect to study part-time, and therefore take 18 months to two years to complete their degree. In a typical program, students earn approximately 40 credits.

Some universities also offer a cohort program, in which a small group of students journeys through the program at the same pace. This learning method encourages interpersonal relationships and teamwork, two essential skills that entertainment managers need to serve their clients well. Cohort programs also provide students the chance to network -- an invaluable skill in the entertainment field.

Accreditation for Online Master's in Entertainment Management Degrees

Accreditation agencies oversee a university's academic programs to ensure they provide a high-quality education. There are three main types of accreditation agencies: The first and most prestigious is regional accreditation agencies. Six agencies, monitored by the Department of Education (ED), review academic programs in different regions across the U.S. National accreditation is the second type, and these agencies oversee specialized programs such as vocational and trade schools. Finally, there are program-specific accreditations, which certify a particular program within a school. In addition to the ED, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) set accreditation standards for academic excellence.

When researching your master's in entertainment and management programs, it is important to consider what kind of accreditation your prospective school offers. This will ensure you receive a high-quality education.

To learn more about accreditation, please visit the Department of Education or CHEA websites.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Entertainment Management Graduates

A master's in entertainment management can be preparation for a variety of careers. The program's broad education in finance, contract negotiation, and leadership provide graduates a great deal of flexibility. Most jobs accepted are full-time and some require travel. The positions below are a sample of jobs held by graduates.

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager

Managers work closely with other company managers to write contracts, research market opportunities, and plan advertising campaigns. A master's in entertainment management gives graduates an advantage both in hiring and promotion.

Advertising Sales Agent

Advertising sales agents locate potential clients that could benefit from advertising services. Besides cold-calling, advertising sales agents maintain current business partnerships through meetings and presentations. With a master's in entertainment management, graduates have strong interpersonal skills necessary to attract new clients.

Advertising Sales Agent

Analysts research market trends and conditions to determine whether their company's service or product can make an impact. Besides research, market research analysts perform surveys and make presentations to company management. A master's in entertainment management is terrific preparation, as most programs offer in-depth instruction in marketing and research.

Public Relations Specialist

These specialists maintain their company's public image. Their duties vary greatly depending on their company's needs. A public relations specialist handles a company's social media accounts, interacts with the public, and writes speeches.

Sales Manager

Sales managers oversee teams of sales agents, and analyze their team's performance to make informed decisions that benefit the company. Other duties include mentoring sales agents, making recommendations to management, and resolving disputes with clients. A master's in entertainment management, along with solid performance as a sales agent, means that graduates can rise to this position rapidly.

Master's in Entertainment Management Salary

Median Salary by Experience Level

Occupation Entry Level Mid-Level Late Career
Marketing Manager $54,965 $66,342 $78,451
Market Research Analyst $49,683 $59,227 $70,000
Public Relations Specialist $42,327 $55,924 $58,983
Public Relations Manager $53,177 $67,230 $78,202

Source: Payscale

While an online master's in education management prepares you for many different careers, these median salary projections reflect only a handful of jobs. Two trends emerge within this data: overall, jobs in this career field pay at or above the U.S. median salary for master's degree holders; and, salaries in this career field grow approximately 50% over your career. With a master's degree, you can generally expect a higher starting salary.

Financing Your Online Master's in Entertainment Management Program

Applying for financial aid begins with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines your eligibility to receive federal loans and grants to further your education, while universities offer need-based and merit-based scholarships. There are also many business management scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply. For example, the A&F Business Consultants Scholarships awards up to $1,000 to recipients.


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