Career Outlook FAQ

What are some career opportunities for entertainment managers in the field of music management?

One of the areas we try to prepare students for is the music business. You could be a tour manager, a booking agent or personal manager for an artist, group, road show or theater.

What are some career opportunities for entertainment managers in the field of events management?

Have you ever wondered how to organize an event like the Olympics or the Super Bowl? Or have you always wanted to plan a Governor’s Ball or a fundraising event for the Red Cross? Event planners are needed for big events and small events, citywide events and company-wide events.

What are some opportunities for entertainment managers in the field of venue management?

There’s a need for professionals to manage the entertainment venues, such as the Springfield-Ozark Mountain Ducks Baseball Stadium, Busch Stadium in Saint Louis and the Juanita K. Hammons Center for the Performing Arts here in Springfield. Entertainment venues all over the country need people to manage them.

The management duties typically fall into the area of booking the live shows that come to the facility, marketing the facility or the venue and technical operations.

What are some opportunities for entertainment managers in the field of sport management?

There are opportunities for students to use their management knowledge and skills with minor and major league baseball clubs, athletic departments at the college level and a host of sports-related organizations.

What is the market like for EM majors?

Students should expect that there will be significant competition for the jobs that are out there. However, we feel an EM major who graduates from Missouri State has an opportunity to build the networks and relationships with people that will provide them with opportunities.

What kind of salary can an EM major expect?

Something all EM majors should realize is that because of the competition in the industry, students may not graduate making $50,000 a year in their first year.

Students graduating with EM degrees typically make somewhere in the high teens and twenty’s in their first job. However, the reason people typically go into the industry is not for the money, but because it matches a passion and an interest with a career. Plus there are lots of perks.

It’s common for people once they are in a particular company to move up in the organization, and as they move up they will have the opportunity to make higher salaries. Generally, the larger the organization, venue or artist, the larger the manager's salary becomes. This means that while you may begin your career in a lower salary range, as your clients become more successful, you will as well.

This rule also applies to those who manage venues. You may start in a small 600-seat venue, but over time you might end up managing a venue with a seating capacity of many thousands.

I’ve heard you stress the importance of keeping up-to-date with professional associations and trade publications. Can you clarify?

There are multiple professional associations you will want to be aware of and one or two you will want to join. Being part of an association helps to enhance the probability of you being hired and keeps you abreast of happenings in the industry. For example, there is an International Association of Assembly Managers, specifically designed to serve the needs of the venue manager.

Students in MGT 410, Venue Management, must join this professional association. In return for joining, students receive a bi-monthly magazine that talks about what is going on in the industry and a directory of all the managers and venues in the country that are members of this organization. These provide you with great contacts when it comes time to do a job search.

Several of our students have received scholarships to go to New Orleans and Reno for the IAAM annual conference and trade show. This is just one example of a trade association.

Are there any certifications that are needed to begin a career as an entertainment manager?

Many professional trade associations have associated certifications. You do not have to have one, but once you are in your field you may choose to earn a certification in that particular area to help you move up in that organization. For example, a venue manager may have a CFE designation, which means he or she is a Certified Facility Executive. The International Association of Amusement Parks Association as a specific certification designation as well.

In your view, what do people in the entertainment industry look for when hiring graduates from Missouri State?

We know from interviews we’ve conducted; entertainment professionals look for students who have performed well academically and have had some form of experience in the entertainment industry. What comes up most often in interviews however, is whether the student is able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written word, and does the student have a strong work ethic. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to work hard, to love working hard and to demonstrate that by your performance in the classroom by volunteering and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. It will definitely pay off.

What kind of placement success have you had with EM graduates?

Given the newness of our program we’ve had significant success in placing our students in the entertainment management field. However, it should be noted that this is based largely on a graduate’s ability to use their networks effectively. Our EM graduates have found employment at Walt Disney World, Wonders of Wildlife, Springfield-Ozark Mountain Ducks and TWA Dome. Other Missouri State graduates are working with the St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Cardinals and Phoenix Motor Speedway.

You’ve been stressing the importance of developing a network for future hiring opportunities. How do we do that?

Students will have multiple opportunities in their EM courses to develop a network. For example, after a class assignment where you conduct an interview, follow up with thank you cards and then follow up occasionally and let them know you are available for opportunities in the future. Also, attend EMA meetings where you may just meet your future boss. The point: keep your name in front of potential employers and assume that everyone you meet may be your employer.

How important is experience?

Experience in the entertainment field is, in some ways, as important as your college degree. The more experience you gain, the more suited you will be for the entertainment profession. Take every opportunity you can to volunteer for the student activities council or other student organizations that give you an opportunity to plan and implement events on and off campus. There are many non-profit organizations that use students to plan and implement major fundraising events. Experience is critically important for EM majors. That’s what the industry requires and that’s what the industry needs.

Are there any other recommendations for finding a great job?

The more mobile you are, the more opportunities you will have. If you want to stay in Springfield, you will have a smaller number of opportunities than those who are willing to relocate to other entertainment hubs like Nashville, Hollywood, New York or Orlando. If you are willing to relocate, you’ll have lots of opportunities to fulfill your dreams. One other word of encouragement, don’t tie yourself down with debt, a new car, or a long-term lease during your senior year. You’ll want to be able to move quickly if an opportunity becomes available.