Online Music/Entertainment/Sports Management Degrees

Online degrees in music, entertainment and sports management can open doors to some of the most exciting and varied careers in the world. Though the work may sound glamorous, the skills you need are very practical and lend themselves to online learning.The degrees available online tend to focus specifically on entertainment or sports management or the music business. Business is business. These programs all cover business fundamentals like finance, management, human resources, business strategy, information technology and marketing. But that is where the similarities end. Each one has its own special qualities, issues and requirements.


Because in these businesses who you know may be as important as what you know, the online option can make sense. You can build your knowledge and credentials while you network and gain hands-on experience. It helps if you choose an online program that facilitates internships and that helps you make connections that may lead to jobs. As important as your degree will be, your contacts matter just as much. Online degree programs that have been developed with the involvement of industry insiders can give you a leg up.

Advice from an Expert

Originally founded in 1955, The Talent Managers Association (TMA) was established to offer guidance and support for talent managers. Below we interview Phil Brock, President of the Talent Managers Association. In this interview, Mr. Brock discusses how he combined his multiple interests to become a talent manager, what a career as a talent manager entails as well as how the industry will evolve.

School Profiles

Minnesota School of Business: The Associate in Applied Science in the music business degree program was developed by industry professionals. In 18 months of study, you may learn music industry basics such as how to manage artists; produce live performances; copyright and publish music; handle sales, marketing and promotion; and take care of accounting, administration and business law. You can transfer your credits to other online degrees, such as the Bachelor of Science in media business. The school has an active virtual network of well-connected alumni that may help in starting your career.

University of Colorado, Denver: This online Master of Science in sports marketing begins with a solid background in marketing theory and practice, and adds in-depth expertise in the business side of sports. Though your courses are online, you will be interacting directly with faculty. You will take courses in services, sports marketing and finance and will learn about the ins and outs of contract negotiation, talent management and personality branding. One of your electives can be an internship in an approved sports marketing company or with a team marketing department in your area so you get real-world experience and some built-in connections.

Full Sail University: This online program puts the Bachelor of Science in entertainment business on the red carpet. The four-year program covers material common to any business degree in the first semesters, but quickly focuses on the business of entertainment. You’ll learn how to manage talent, understand distribution networks, particularly how technology is changing them, how to pitch ideas and how to negotiate deals. Case studies and virtual discussions are key components of this interactive program. You will cap your studies with a group project that includes creating, planning and pitching an entertainment product.

Careers in Music/Entertainment/Sports Management

Behind every big star is a hard-working manager. A music, entertainment or sports manager works with artists, celebrities and athletes to secure training options, ensure exposure, and create career opportunities. Often times, excelling at this job means working outside the lines of a nine-to-five day and being particularly attuned to the needs of the client. It often falls on entertainment managers, for example, to motivate their clients to perform at their best.

Entertainment industry managers are often confused with agents–an agent deals specifically with contracts and salaries, while a manager deals directly with clients to better improve their skills and help them succeed in every aspect of their careers, and often, personal lives.

This job is not for wallflowers. It’s often high-stress, but if you love mixing, mingling and working with celebrities, pro athletes, rockstars and artists, it can be a great career choice.

Useful Resources

Music/Entertainment/Sports Management Job Description

Music, entertainment and sports managers work at varying levels in the industry, supporting clients from college athletes to big-name musicians and actors.

Specific duties of an entertainment industry or sports manager may involve handling schedules and transportation along with creating, developing and overseeing promotional campaigns. In addition, managers need to constantly be on the look-out for their clients’ best interests, hunting down jobs and appearances and making sure that clients are in good shape and ready to perform or compete.

Music/Entertainment/Sports Management Requirements

While at least a bachelor’s degree in business management, pre-law or communications is desired and helpful to start in this field, growth is based mostly on experience. Many music, entertainment and sports managers developed their careers forged on personal knowledge and on-the-job training.

Managers need team or business management experience, as well as in-depth knowledge of their specific industry-be it sports, music or acting. In addition, they need strong leadership and people skills since this is typically a hands-on career, working directly with people. They must also be good communicators and be able to develop and maintain a strong network of colleagues and associates in their related fields.

Music/Entertainment/Sports Management Career Outlook

According to Entertainment Management Online, “the sheer volume of aspiring musicians” creates a “potentially unlimited opportunity for personal managers.” The same can be said of other entertainers and athletes. Often one “big” client, is all it takes to launch an enviable career.

Entertainment industry managers typically earn from 10 to 25 percent of the gross earnings on events, gigs or deals they secure for their clients. Managers who handle international clients, superstars and popular, professional athletes can earn significantly more.

Plus, for some, the perks of glitz and glamour and the opportunity to have a hand in a rising star’s career are more than enough motivation to choose entertainment management.

Music/Entertainment/Sports Management Trends

Factoring in the world’s obsession with sports, music and entertainment, as well as the ever-expanding number of music and television formats, the field of celebrity and team management is unsurprisingly, expected to grow.