What is an Entertainment Management Degree?

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - November 28, 2017
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Reading Time: 5 minutes

As an entertainment management professional, you will use your knowledge and skills to oversee businesses in the entertainment and arts industries. It is common for professionals who study entertainment management to work as producers and/or directors in the entertainment industry. As a producer or director with a background in entertainment management, you will be responsible for creating and producing TV shows, theater, motion pictures, commercials and other types of art productions.

As a producer, you will be in charge of the myriad financial and  business decisions for the TV show, film, theater production or commercial. You will raise money for the entertainment project and make hires for the crew and director. Some of the people that need to be hired for such productions are costume designers, set designers, video and film directors, musical director and related entertainment workers. Some producers may work additionally in selecting cast members. An entertainment management background for a producer is especially important when it comes to managing the budget and approving changes to the project.

Some professionals with an entertainment management background may have a bigger role in sales and marketing of the project than the actual production of the artistic enterprise.

What Is Entertainment Management?

Entertainment management can involve the production and oversight of entertainment programs as noted above. It also can involve being a liaison between entertainers and the business world. Entertainment managers may handle the communication between various employers, negotiate business contracts for acting professionals and programs, and tend to other entertainment business aspects. Managers in the entertainment industry have to be able to oversee all of the various business aspects that are involved in producing TV programs, films and similar productions.

Entertainment Management Degree Opportunity

Employment of producers and directors, as well as related entertainment management professionals, will rise by a solid 12% by 2026, which is faster than average. It is expected there will be some job growth in the TV and and film industries. There is growing demand for US-produced entertainment in foreign markets that could drive job growth. Consumer demand for TV reality programming is going to increase as well. Thus, more producers, directors and business management professionals in the entertainment industry will be needed to create, produce and market them. More television programs on streaming platforms such as Netflix will be created, and this will probably lead to more jobs.

For professionals who are interested in senior level roles in the entertainment field, you may wish to become a top executive for an entertainment corporation. It is expected that employment for top executives will grow by 8% by 2026, which is about as fast as average.

Entertainment Management Degree Career Paths

Producers and directors currently have 134,700 jobs in the United States. The largest employers are:

  • Video and motion picture industries; 30%
  • Radio and TV broadcasting: 20%
  • Self employed: 16%
  • Performing arts: 8%
  • Advertising: 6%

There also are job opportunities available in entertainment for top executives, multimedia artists, and film and video editors.

Entertainment Management Degree Salaries

The median salary for producers and directors in the entertainment management field was $70,900 in May 2016. The top 10% earned more than $189,000 per year. The salary breakdown by industry was as follows:

  • PR and advertising: $93,400
  • Motion pictures and videos: $83,400
  • Performing arts and spectator sports: $60,800
  • Radio and TV: $58,200

Professionals who are looking for the best entertainment, media and PR jobs may consider these cities:

  • New York NY
  • Los Angeles CA
  • Austin TX
  • Seattle WA
  • Columbus OH
  • Las Vegas NV
  • San Francisco CA
  • New Orleans LA

Entertainment Management Degree Employers

With a degree in entertainment management, you can work in a variety of fields and with many companies. Below are some of the top US entertainment and media companies to consider:

  • Walt Disney Company
  • 21st Century Fox
  • Direct Group Holdings
  • Time Warner
  • NBCUniversal
  • National Amusements
  • CBS
  • Viacom
  • News Corp
  • Tegna, Inc.

Entertainment Management Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in entertainment management will provide you with the foundational knowledge of entertainment business principles, personnel development, and how to effectively oversee entertainment businesses and projects. Many bachelor’s programs offer diverse opportunities to focus on certain types of entertainment technology. Usually, students are required to participate in a summer internship or cooperative program with industry professionals that improve skills and make valuable industry contacts. Some of the common core courses in this bachelor’s program are oral presentation skills, accounting and finance, contract law, copyright law, e-commerce technology, and marketing in the entertainment industry.

Entertainment Management Master’s Degree

A master’s degree in entertainment management provides the student with further opportunities to enhance techniques and skills in advanced entertainment business courses. Students also will be more exposed to experienced entertainment business professionals. Candidates for a master’s degree are often readying themselves for advancement to senior-level positions in large entertainment-related companies. Some programs may be limited to specific sectors of the entertainment field, such as TV, music or film. Some master’s programs may be a master of science, MBA or master of entertainment industry management. A key part of this graduate program is real-world experience obtained through practicums and internships. Some of the courses you may take could be film and TV production, negotiations, entrepreneurship, branding and marketing, and legal affairs. In the NYU Stern master’s program, there also are courses in information systems, new media, publishing, network television and music business.

Entertainment Management Degree Admission Requirements

To be admitted into a master’s program in the entertainment management field, you will usually need to have such qualifications as a 2.5 GPA or higher, GRE or GMAT scores, a portfolio of entertainment related work in some cases, a resume with related work experience, and two or three references.

Entertainment Management Degree Curriculum

Some of the courses you may take in a master’s program in entertainment management are as follows:

  • Business of Independent Film
  • Business of Music and Film
  • Business of Sports Marketing
  • Business Strategy for the Digital Economy
  • Operations in Entertainment
  • Strategy and Finance in Entertainment Management Companies
  • TV Management
  • Craft and Commerce of Cinema

Entertainment Management Degree Financial Assistance

Earning a degree in entertainment management at the undergraduate or graduate level costs money. Tuition is on the rise across the country, and you have to also pay for materials, books and fees. It also is challenging to continue to work full time when you are getting your degree. But there is a good deal of financial help available in the form of grants and scholarships. Each university will have financial aid unique to that institution, but there are also external organizations offering scholarships that can be used at most universities in a entertainment management program:

  • Marc Beaumont Scholarship Fund: This scholarship is for $2500 and is issued by the Academy of Arts and Sciences. It is provided to students who want to blend a business education with the entertainment and arts industries. This scholarship is generally made available to students who are studying business management, law or finance. Other concentrations may be considered if the student will be working in the entertainment field after graduation.
  • Cappex Business Majors Scholarship: This is a $1000 scholarship that is intended for students who are studying a variety of business-related majors. Students who are studying the entertainment business also may qualify.
  • John L. Carey Scholarship Program: This is a $5000 scholarship that is awarded to students who intend to study accounting or a business-related field.
  • CEO of Tomorrow Scholarship: This is a $2500 scholarship that is awarded every year to students who want to become business management leaders. Students are required to be enrolled in an undergraduate program in business, which can include marketing, management or entertainment management.
  • Direct Marketing/Marketing EDGE Educational Foundation Scholarship Program: This is a scholarship of various amounts that is designed for undergraduate students who are studying business management and combining it with marketing or a related field.
  • Robert J. Yourzak Scholarship Award: This is a $2000 award that is intended for students at the bachelor’s level who are focusing on business management, business administration and other business-related majors with leadership potential.

Entertainment Management Degree Associations

Students who desire a productive, long career in the entertainment management field will likely have better prospects if they belong to various groups and associations in the field. Belonging to these groups can be very beneficial in terms of further education and developing networking contacts in the entertainment management field. Below are some organizations to consider:

  • Entertainment Consumers Association
  • Motion Picture Association of America
  • Entertainment Business Association
  • International Entertainment Buyers Association
  • National Business Association
  • National Association of Broadcasters

The entertainment management field is expanding quickly as streaming services and the international audience for American entertainment continues to grow. Professionals with a proper entertainment management education, combined with the necessary real-world experience from an internship or practicum, will be presented with ample work opportunities.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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