Bachelor's programs in arts management will equip you to seek entry-level employment while master's programs in arts management can advance your understanding of arts management practices and boost your employment potential. Programs combine intensive coursework with practical experience to prepare you for various careers in arts management, such as public relations, fundraising coordination, grant writing or management of artistic venues. Courses and programs are available online.
Bachelor's Degree in Arts Management
While both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs cultivate appreciation for the arts and stress active involvement, a B.S. program generally approaches the field of study from fiscal, operational, marketing and business standpoints. A Bachelor of Arts program often includes more liberal arts, humanities and theoretical aspects of the major. Some schools postpone admission to the professional program until general education requirements are met, though usually only a high school diploma or GED is required to apply.
Major courses will introduce you to essential aspects of operating a financially successful and sustainable artistic venue, providing instruction in grant writing, fundraising, marketing, special event planning and volunteer solicitation. Along with formal education, you'll be encouraged to seek on-the-job experience in the form of part-time employment, study-abroad programs or internships. Course lecture topics cover arts and business management, including:
- Arts administration
- Art history
- Marketing concepts
- Music appreciation
- Theater production
Master's Degree in Arts Management
Master's degree programs continue to stress the importance and advantages of taking a business approach to the operation of artistic venues, such as galleries and theaters. Graduate programs emphasize skills and considerations that pertain to the industry, such as public relations, financial viability and community involvement. You'll divide your time between academic studies and professional experience in the form of internships and work-study programs. Enrollment in this master's program requires a bachelor's degree in arts management or related field.
You'll focus on business management topics as they relate to arts administration. Coursework and real-life practical application through internships and employment are keystones of master's degree programs. You might attend lectures on the following topics:
- Finance and accounting for nonprofit organizations
- Public relations and marketing strategies
- Public policy in the arts
- Arts and society
- Community fundraising
- Gallery exhibition coordination
Popular Career Options
Bachelor's degree programs in arts management will equip you with the business knowledge needed to succeed in a number of career fields in arts management and administration. Some career options you'd qualify for include:
- Arts marketing strategist
- Public relations associate
- Community and regional theater manager
- Fundraising and philanthropic director
- Art gallery manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 2% job growth for art directors in the decade 2014-2024. This growth is considered to be slower than the national average for all jobs. In May 2015, the BLS stated that art directors earned $89,760 as a median annual wage.
Though a bachelor's degree is often considered sufficient for entry-level employment, you can continue your education in arts management at the master's level. A master's degree is considered a terminal degree in the field and generally provides advanced studies in management designed to propel a career.
Aspiring art directors looking for entry-level employment may chose to get training from a B.A. program that focuses training on art appreciation or a B.S. program that adds a focus on the business aspects of the job. Those seeking career advancement may seek a master's degree in the field. These programs typically focus on business practices, finances and management.