Overview of an Entertainment Technology Bachelor's Degree Program
Bachelor's degree programs in entertainment technology can be found at a few colleges around the United States. This program was born out of the need for individuals with advanced abilities in lighting, robotics and sound for productions in places ranging from theaters and amusement parks. The coursework encompasses topics in digital technology, fabrication materials, modern lighting techniques and advanced multimedia methods. Below are more details on these programs, including admissions, course requirements and career options for graduates.
Admissions Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree in Entertainment Technology
First-time students applying to a entertainment technology bachelor's degree program will have to submit their transcripts and diploma from high school or their GED test scores. Admissions offices may also require essays and letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors. SAT or ACT exam scores may also be needed, and prospective students should check with the admissions office for any minimum scores requriements.
Entertainment Technology Bachelor's Degree Program Coursework
A bachelor's degree program in entertainment technology includes several courses in stagecraft, lighting, sound and production, along with the university's general education requirements. Other classes might include those in technical production, fabrication materials and electrical systems. Listed below are details on some of the more common courses:
Students take classes that give them the skills they need to understand and use electrical systems when dealing with various machines used into stage productions. They can learn about circuit boards and microprocessors that are used in both typical electrical processes and new digital technologies. Entertainment technology majors may have a required project where they must use their knowledge to design, create and test equipment in a production setting.
Sound and lighting classes may be taught together or separately depending on the program. Students learn the inner workings of sound and lighting design for live programs, stage productions and travelling shows. Students become familiar backstage terminology, audio equipment and lighting tools. Students can also find out how to setup all the equipment, arrange cords according to diagram settings and run various sound and lighting boards live during a show or by digital means.
Anyone wishing to work in entertainment technology may need to study what it takes to design scenery, build sets and set up rigging. It is important that students know how to work with typical theater materials, build certain devices and use various building tools. These classes also teach students about proper backstage etiquette, stagecraft storage and safety procedures.
Drafting classes include both conventional, technical and digital aspects of design. Students take their knowledge of stagecraft, the storyline and the directors needs to design stage sets. They could utilize rough sketches or computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs to digitally design scenery, sets, structures and lighting plans.
This course provides students with working knowledge of theater construction materials and the various processes and manufacturing techniques used to construct sets, structures, components and props. Students learn to apply their math and science skills and their knowledge of materials and economics to create and build stage flats, platforms and scenery that fit the budget but are also lightweight and sturdy for rigging or travel.
How to Choose a Degree Program in Entertainment Technology
There are several schools that offer a bachelor's degree program in entertainment technology; therefore students may want to consider the program's location to various entertainment centers when choosing a school. Jobs in this field may be easier to find if the school is located in an entertainment center, such as Las Vegas, New York or Los Angeles. Since there will be quite a bit of lab work and production time, prospective students might consider how much hands-on experience they may get at the institution of their choice. Also, there is a move toward more robotics and digital work in entertainment technology, so looking for courses that cover these topics is something to consider when choosing a school.
Career Options with an Entertainment Technology Degree
Those with a degree in entertainment technology might find work in areas that call on their expertise in film sets, theaters, stage productions or even amusement parks like Disney World. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that set and exhibitor designers, for example, will grow by 5% from 2018-2028, and the median salary for these set designers in 2019 was $54,600. Below are some career options that graduates of a degree program in entertainment technology might find worth looking at.