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Studying for the Entertainment Biz
Working in the entertainment business is a dream of many college students. This industry is booming as more avenues of entertainment become available. Now that there are so many ways to get entertainment from movies, TV, music, the Internet and more, the number of career opportunities in this area has risen dramatically. Students can expect to find more and more entertainment undergraduate business programs at colleges across the U.S. However, it's important to cultivate great contacts and set up internships during your studies — even as the industry continues to grow, entertainment professionals can expect to see plenty of competition within their field.
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Entertainment Undergraduate Business Program Options
There are plenty of options in for entertainment business programs. Many schools are begining to offer more developed programs in these fields. While some offer a basic entertainment business bachelor's degree, others offer a more specified route into this field. Some examples of more narrowly focused entertainment undergraduate business programs are:
- Music Business
- Music Management
- Entertainment Management
- Entertainment Media
- Arts Management
- Public Relations
Each of these options provides a more in-depth look into one area of the entertainment industry. However, a general entertainment business degree program tends to be a popular option among college students.
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What You'll Study
Naturally, business is the main focus of any entertainment program. You'll cover all the basics, including finance, marketing, ethics and accounting. However, you'll also be preparing for a career that's specific to the entertainment industry. Many of these programs include classes in negotiation, film and TV distribution, copyright, royalties, media planning, music management, production and entertainment law. These classes will really set you apart from other applicants when you search for a job in the entertainment industry.
Another important learning aspect of most entertainment undergraduate business programs is an internship. Most students complete at least one internship while earning their entertainment business degree. Those who live in a major city during college will have an easy time finding an internship with local music companies, casting companies, TV studios or film crews. However, students who live in a suburban or rural area should consider setting aside one summer or semester to go live in a big city and get that internship experience. This is a great way to learn about the ins and outs of the entertainment industry that you can't learn from a class.
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Schools with Entertainment Business Programs
Though more and more colleges are adding an entertainment undergraduate business program to their offerings, these are currently some of the main schools which offer a comprehensive program in the industry:
- McNally Smith College of Music
- Institute of Production and Recording
- Ferris State University
- Oklahoma City University
- Madison Media Institute
- New York University
- USC Marshall
- Northwood University
- Los Angeles Film School
- University of South Carolina
- University of Miami
- University of Georgia
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Your Future in the Entertainment Industry
Once you've obtained your bachelor's degree in the entertainment industry, there are a wide variety of potential career options from which you can choose. Become a producer for a film, TV show or music album. Work as a publicist, manager or agent for some of the hottest acting or singing talent. Do public relations work for a major production or for a specific performer. Become a marketing professional for the entertainment industry. Each of these career options allows you to use your business savvy with a specific focus on the exciting world of entertainment.
Photos courtesy of Dora Mitsonia