Music Marketing Degrees: Bachelor's, Associate & Online Class Info

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What kind of job can you get with a degree in music marketing? Find out program requirements, online options and info on courses for music marketing degree programs.
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Studying Music Marketing: Degrees at a Glance

Music marketing professionals use advertisements, merchandising and distribution to spread the word about musical acts or products. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all marketing managers, including those in the music industry, tend to have at least a bachelor's degree in marketing, sales or a similar field. An associate degree in these areas can prepare you for entry-level positions in marketing. According to the BLS, marketing managers in general were expected to see a 13% increase in employment over the 2010-2020 decade, which is about average for all occupations during this period.

If you want to focus your marketing skills and education on musical products specifically, you should have an understanding of the music industry, including online music distribution and music retail outlets. You can gain these skills through internships and professional experience, but you might also consider enrolling in a degree program that focuses on the business side of the music industry.

Associate Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want to learn basic marketing skills to gain an entry-level job in the business side of the music industry Individuals who want upper-level or management positions in music marketing
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Product promoter ($28,000)*
- Retail sales supervisor ($41,000)
Marketing manager ($126,000)*
Time to Completion About two years About four years
Common Graduation Requirements - Core business courses
- General education courses
- Potential requirement of a 'C' or higher
- Business and marketing courses
- Internship
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED - High school diploma or GED
- ACT or SAT scores
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2011 figures.

Associate in Music Marketing

If you are interested in gaining the most basic skills necessary to work in music marketing, you might consider enrolling in an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) program in music business or music industry studies. These programs are often broad-based, providing you with an understanding of music marketing and promotions while also potentially preparing you for careers in music merchandising, music recording and tour scheduling. Many of these programs prepare you to enter a 4-year degree program or begin an internship in the music industry. You might also consider enrolling in a 2-year A.S. or A.A.S. program in marketing, which covers more basic principles of marketing and sales without focusing specifically on the music industry.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Programs often cover various aspects of the music industry, preparing you for more than one possible career.
  • Credits can often be transferred to 4-year programs.
  • Programs often contain hands-on training.

Cons

  • You will be competing with bachelor's degree holders for upper-level positions.
  • You may need several years of professional experience in addition to an associate degree in order to secure a position in the music industry.
  • The positions available to associate degree holders tend to be lower-paying than those available to bachelor's degree holders.

Courses and Requirements

Associate degree programs covering the music business require you to complete core and general education courses. You will likely learn basic business and marketing principles and then learn how to apply those principles to the music industry. Some examples of courses include:

  • Introduction to music marketing
  • Music promotion
  • Entrepreneurship and music
  • Music copyright and publishing
  • Music business
  • Accounting

Online Degree Options

While associate's degree programs covering the music business are rarely provided online, many regular associate degree programs in marketing are. Some programs are offered via a hybrid format, combining both distance-learning and on-campus courses. In these programs, you can learn the basics of marketing, sales and business in preparation to transfer to a 4-year program or earn an entry-level marketing position.

Stand Out with This Degree

If you are interested in working on the business side of the music industry with only an associate degree, you should enroll in a program that offers internship opportunities or that fosters connections with companies in the music industry. Many of these programs allow you to gain experience with music publishers, music distributors, record labels and advertising firms. If you only have an associate degree, gaining hands-on experience and networking with professionals in the music industry can give you an edge over competition when seeking jobs.

Bachelor's in Music Marketing

Several different undergraduate programs can prepare you for a career in music marketing. You might consider enrolling in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Music Business or a B.S. in Music Industry Management. Much like associate degree programs in these areas, baccalaureate degree programs that focus on the business side of the music industry can prepare you for a wide variety of careers. You might also decide to complete a bachelor's degree program in marketing and gain a more overall understanding of sales, management and business principles. These programs may not provide you with as thorough an insight into the music industry specifically, but they are more widely available.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • If you have a bachelor's degree, you are more likely to be considered for marketing management positions.
  • Marketing managers make a much higher-than-average salary.*
  • You may be able to enroll in music marketing courses to further your own career as a musician.

Cons

  • You will still likely need professional experience on top of a bachelor's degree in order to be considered for upper-level positions.
  • You may be required to put in long hours; 19% of marketing managers worked 50+ hours per week in 2010.*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Many music business bachelor's degree programs include core business courses as well as music business major courses. Some examples of available courses include:

  • Public relations
  • Marketing research
  • Introduction to the music industry
  • Consumer behavior
  • Retailing
  • Financial management
  • Law and the music industry
  • Music marketing and promotion

Online Degree Options

As with associate degree programs, you are more likely to find online B.S. in Marketing programs than B.S. in Music Business programs. Online marketing degree programs can prepare you for entry-level positions in the marketing field, but might not necessarily prepare you to work in the music industry.

Stand Out with This Degree

You should look for a baccalaureate program that can provide you with some measure of professional experience or training, either through an internship, a co-operative experience or a student-run organization. While enrolled in your degree program, you should consider completing an internship with a record label, music studio or similar business. Some schools even allow you the opportunity to create and market your own musical products through student-run companies.

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