2022 Guide: Online Music Management Degree Programs

Online music management programs can open up opportunities to work with a record label, manage artists, and scout talent in the music industry. From a first-time music agent to a record label CEO, there are many exciting career paths in the music industry for music management degree holders. Explore career possibilities, salary expectations, and course offerings from highly rated online programs with this Campus Explorer guide.

What Is an Online Music Management Degree Program?

A music management degree, sometimes known as a music business degree, prepares you to manage or work in a business in the music industry. Most programs include courses in business administration, finance, music theory, and entrepreneurship.

As a student of an online degree program, you may be able to take courses on an accelerated timeline. While many courses come with part-time and full-time options, some programs may require you to combine online and on-campus studies to earn your degree. You can enroll in a program to receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree in music management, depending on your qualifications and career goals.

Your goals for choosing a music management degree program can vary. Students of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in this field often find work in one of the following roles:

  • Booking agent
  • Concert promoter
  • Music publisher
  • Copyright administrator
  • Other roles

Some schools require a background in music to start a music management program. Depending on the program, you may need to audition or send in an audition as part of your application for your online music management program.

Other schools offer non-audition tracks for students interested in management aspects of the industry without interest in music performance. Non-audition tracks focus on the administrative and financial aspects of music management, helping you find a role in the industry even if you aren’t a musician yourself.

Most music management careers require at least a bachelor’s degree; as a result, you should look for a degree program with accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music. Your desired career choice might also require an accredited degree, so choose a reputable school with a compelling program that blends business and music courses.

Why Choose an Online Music Management Degree?

Managing a band, record label, or other business in the music industry can be a challenge without the proper training and resources. However, as a proud degree holder in music management, you can enjoy the resources you need to plan events, handle finances, and make entrepreneurial business decisions with minimized risk.

If you’re already working in the music industry, earning a degree can help you take the next step toward a management position. A music management degree may bring you closer to your goal of becoming a manager or CEO.

A busy career makes it hard to take time off to complete a bachelor’s degree in music management. By moving your studies online, you gain access to alternate educational opportunities; many online programs offer flexible schedules or self-paced learning opportunities. If you need to take more time to complete your course or you wish to accelerate your learning, an online program may be right for you.

How Much Does a Music Management Degree Cost?

According to the U.S. News, an online bachelor’s degree costs around $38,500 to $60,600 as of January 2020. However, the cost of an MBA in music business or management can be more affordable. The MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, for example, costs less than $19,000 total tuition in 2021.

Online programs often cost less than on-campus alternatives. For in-state tuition, an online degree has an average cost of $316 per credit. Courses from private colleges cost an average of $495 per credit.

Costs are highly variable for music management because of the number of course options. Many offer a blend of in-person and online classes, while other programs are entirely online.

Some students can reduce these costs with scholarships and grants. For example, colleges and universities offer financial aid packages for both in-person and online students, and many third-party organizations provide scholarships for students studying music, entrepreneurship, and other areas related to music management.

Consider an online program in music management to enjoy lower tuition costs, on average, and reduced hidden expenses. On-campus studies tend to cost more and may require students to pay for additional fees and on-campus services.

How Much Do Music Management Majors Make?

Career paths in the music management industry are extensive, so your salary expectations can vary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, agents and managers for artists and entertainers earn an annual mean wage of around $94,900 as of May 2017. In the sound recording industry, you can make an annual mean wage of about $77,000, while as a promoter of performing arts or other events, you can enjoy a career with an annual mean salary of around $81,000. 

According to PayScale, the base salary of a music agent was around $68,400 as of January 2021. And if you’re considering a career as a music producer, you can expect a median annual salary of around $51,000, or between $28,000 and $96,000, depending on several factors.

Factors that affect the salary of music management majors include years of experience, degree, and position. The location of your job can also affect your salary. For example, according to BLS, the annual mean wage of agents and managers of artists and performers is higher in New York or California than it is in Florida or Tennessee.

Online programs also open up new possibilities for studying at a highly rated school, wherever you are. You don’t have to leave your home or job to apply to a highly rated program in a different state or region of the United States. Once you receive a degree from a highly rated online program, you have a much more competitive application to request a higher salary, move up in your company, or apply for new music management jobs in your area.

What Is the Job Outlook for Music Management Degree Holders?

From 2019 to 2029, the employment of music directors and composers is projected to increase by approximately 2%, according to BLS. For producers, the number of jobs is expected to grow 10% in the same 10-year period.

Scholarships for Music Management

Scholarships and grants help make online programs in music management affordable. Whether you’re a high school student, college student, or professional looking for additional education, explore top scholarships for music management programs today. Make studying online even more affordable with generous local and national scholarships for your degree program.

You should review scholarship application requirements before you apply. For example, some require essays, while others only ask you to complete a short application. Plus, be sure to find the application deadlines and requirements to see if you’re eligible. Here are a few examples of scholarships you may qualify for as a prospective music management student:

  • Music Business Association Scholarship Foundation: In 2020, this scholarship awarded over $43,000 to 20 students who attended Music Biz Academic Partner schools.
  • Music Forward Foundation: Students pursuing any music industry career can apply for up to $10,000 in scholarships from this foundation.
  • Emil and Ruth Byer Composition Awards: The National Federation of Music Clubs offers between $2,000 and $4,000 to active NFMC members between 20 and 39 years old.

FAQs About Music Management Degrees

Summary Information

  • Standard online and accelerated programs available
  • Bachelor’s degree programs typically take 36-48 months to complete
  • Partially or completely online programs available
  • Full-time and part-time options available

  • Provides essential training for record label and music agent careers
  • Offers opportunities for management positions in the music industry
  • Prepares students for a wide variety of careers working closely with performers
  • Provides key skills to overcome financial and legal obstacles to starting a band or record label
  • Master’s programs can cost as little as $18,000
  • A high number of scholarships help promote the music industry
  • Program costs are highly variable from school to school and degree to degree

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