Study Entertainment Business: Associate, Bachelor's & Online Degree Info

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What kind of job can you get with an associate or bachelor's degree in entertainment business? Find out degree program requirements, online options and info on courses and entertainment business training programs.
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Entertainment Business Associate and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

The entertainment industry has experienced significant growth and employs people in the gaming, movies and film, sports, theater and music sectors. Breaking into the entertainment business requires persistence, perseverance, talent and a solid education. Professionals in the entertainment business industry work behind the scenes, using negotiation, administration and presentation skills to manage the daily operations of the business and leverage social networking and marketing techniques to push business forward. Degree programs in entertainment business may train students in topics like talent management, finances, media production and media marketing.

An associate degree in entertainment business can prepare you for a number of entry-level jobs in theater, sports, television and film, music and the gaming industry. A bachelor's degree will take your education a step further through advanced courses and collaborative and networking opportunities.

Associate Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in working in many fields in the private or public sector People who want to academic preparation for a career in the business of entertainment
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Musician or singer (n/a)*
- Music composer or arranger ($47,000)**
- Music director or composer ($54,000)*
- Producer or director ($92,000)*
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Around 60 credits
- Internship
- Roughly 120 credits
- Internship
- Portfolio
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Uncommon, but available Rare, but available

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures), **O*NET OnLine (May 2011 figures).

Associate in Entertainment Business

The associate degree provides a basic education in the ethics, copyright, negotiation and economics issues of the entertainment business. The diversity of the entertainment field requires that you specialize early in your education to gain skills relevant to your selected niche. Associate degrees offer the ability to test a specialization through electives or commit to a career path through major coursework.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Programs offer a focused study of relevant concepts, issues and topics in the industry
  • Some programs offer an internship, which can boost your marketability in a competitive market
  • This is a flexible degree that will provide a foundation for higher education

Cons

  • You may not find a program that offers specialization
  • Competition with bachelor's degree holders may be keen for some jobs
  • Some occupations, such as music composition, require that artists take on additional work during rough periods*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

You will learn design concepts, small business development, artist management and contract law. Associate degree programs will teach you how marketing activities in the entertainment business function as well as what steps are required to launch new media ventures. The programs require the completion of roughly 60 credits in general education and core courses. In addition, participation in internship or meet-and-greet functions are essential to establishing industry contacts. Some common courses include:

  • Tour management
  • Theatrical production
  • Artist management
  • Desktop production
  • Marketing and branding
  • Record label administration
  • Digital cinema production

Online Course Info

Finding an online entertainment business program may prove difficult. Some schools offer distance-education music business programs. Music business programs offer an education in artist management, copyright law and ethics. Despite this, the music business program is not as broad as an entertainment management education. Checking the accreditation of online programs is important to ensure you receive an education based on standards set by an accrediting organization.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

Building relationships in the industry is a key component of getting off to a good start. There are multiple associations you can join during your studies to begin networking and making contacts. For example, the Music Video Production Association and the Association of Talent Agents can provide multiple opportunities to build your contacts.

Taking advantage of internships will provide experience and a deeper understanding of how the industry works. Participating in collaborative projects with your instructors and fellow students can also build skill and industry connections. Sharpening your skills with the appropriate technologies will also enhance your marketability.

Bachelor's Degree in Entertainment Business

The bachelor's degree program offers a wider range of topics and may focus coursework on the technologies used in the industry. Programs establish an understanding of finance and marketing as they relate to entertainment management. You will learn to evaluate the best practices and standards of the industry and develop an understanding of ethical concerns. Universities design the bachelor's degree to provide a well-rounded education that sculpts your analytical skills and provides a strong business curriculum.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Programs offer internships and seminars, which help you prepare for entry into the field
  • Some higher paying careers require a bachelor's degree to be competitive
  • Opportunities to develop a portfolio and industry contacts increase your ability to locate work

Cons

  • New technologies, such as online television, have created some uncertainty in production techniques, which may affect future job growth
  • Competition for production and directing careers will be keen
  • There are limited online training options in general entertainment business

Courses and Requirements

In addition to general education courses, the bachelor's degree provides a strong business foundation coupled with training in current issues, management principles and negotiation skills. You will also learn about the technologies used in contemporary entertainment settings through coursework in computer and information literacy. The bachelor's degree requires roughly 120 credits of coursework, which includes classes in venue management, mass media, entertainment law, event and artist management, fine arts, financial accounting, music industry marketing and concert management.

During your undergraduate career, you may take an internship seminar to prepare you for marketing your skills and researching suitable positions. Some programs provide internships that allow you to polish your skills and develop a portfolio that chronicles your experiences. In addition, you may be required to complete a professional resume and cover letter to assist you with finding employment.

Online Course Info

Similar to the associate degree, locating an online entertainment business program may be difficult. Some schools offer both the associate and bachelor's degree in music business online. You may also find a sport management degree offered as a full distance-education program. Choosing the appropriate program requires research and diligence when it comes to accreditation.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

Similar to the associate degree, taking advantage of opportunities that provide experience is essential to your success. Employers look for candidates who have solid business skills and talent. Taking the appropriate business courses, or selecting business electives, will increase your business knowledge. In addition, working with your instructors and fellow students on research or collaborative projects will help build your hands-on skills. Internship programs will provide the experience necessary to gain entry-level opportunities or provide a platform for networking.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Ashford University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Business Admin
      • B.A. - International Business
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BSBA in Sales Management
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
      • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media
      • BS - Internet Marketing - Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Trident University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor's - Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Regent University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business
      • Bachelor of Applied Science in Management and Leadership
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - General Management
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Business Administration - Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organizational Behavior
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business Development
      • BS - Business Administration - General
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Applied Management
      • BS in Business Admin.
  • Online Programs Available
    9. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
  • Stanford, CA

    Stanford University

Featured Schools

Ashford University

  • B.A. - Business Admin
  • B.A. - International Business

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • BSBA in Sales Management
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • BSBA - Investment

Which subject are you interested in?

Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media
  • BS - Internet Marketing - Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration

What is your highest level of education?

Trident University

  • Bachelor's - Business Administration

What is your highest level of education completed?

Regent University

  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Management and Leadership

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Colorado Technical University

  • BS - Business Administration - Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organizational Behavior
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business Development

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Grand Canyon University

  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • BS in Applied Management
  • BS in Business Admin.

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