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Readers Respond: Is A Degree Required to Work in the Music Industry?

Responses: 11


Do you need a degree to work in the music industry? This question does not have an easy answer. Colleges, especially music biz specific programs, can be very beneficial in terms of things like landing internships that turn into jobs, and many programs are taught by music biz pros who have tons of experience to share. On the other hand, I have never been asked about my degree while applying for work and the vast majority of people I know who work in music have had similar stories. So, what's the real deal? Share your music school success stories or ideas about why experience rules over education in the music biz.

Music degree is important

I believe a music degree program is very important in the industry because if u'r not musically inclined( musically educated), even if your experience is rock solid, there are some issues u can't handle. I strongly believe that in the pursuit of music, to get the excessive cash, u need education and experience. If u can get these 3Es (Education, Experience, and Excessive cash), you'r definitely a pro musician. If u want the excessive cash flow in the industry, never seperate Education from Experience. Make your passion your profession. Have fun....
—Guest GJazz

Do i also need a degree?

What make's one a profesional?, is it not the certification one obtain's? Now if you can naturally perform what others are paying to learn in school, why can't you develope yours so as to, present you formally before the society. Now' it's a vital issue atleast for one to, Bear his/her certificate....mind you, it's not a must, but atleast do so...
—Guest Dakye

Having a degree

No,you don't necessary have to have a music degree to become a singer but it also helps because the classes you take while in school for it.Help you learn how to develop your strengths of singing and reading musical notes.Because i've been doing it for so long.I decide to go ahead and get a degree in it because i wanted to.not because I had to.when you have a passion for something you will do it even more. hope this helps
—Guest Diamond

Commercial music degree '92- Yes

Those with music biz degree have an advantage. They can research any issues that may take longer to obtain with just experience. Doing things by trial and error can be a handicap many atimes. The other day, I heard a woman with experience on the radio and could not explain the share of publishing percentages, because she has been use to doing it the crude way-with many conflict of interests being committed all the time. I am a Bsc. degree holder in Commercial Music Recoding. The industry is falling because too, many hustlers who has little knowledge of music business theory. Some of the entertainment attorneys do not know what it meant to can a music product before talking about contract for the artist. I am glad that the business is decentralizing with many indies being formed everytime. You may have some exp. am the new professional; I can research for solutions without any delay. With experience, you may have to go through many people to find answers which may not be conclusive.
—Guest AD5858


in alot of cases its all about who u know, n how well u are in the field that ur tring to get in. i know at least 3 fellas in the industry n havent passed high school yet so u dont really even need a g.e.d. crrrraaazy aint it?
—Guest tone styles


I think that you should have a degree and that it matters a lot if you have a degree it allows you to use technology in different ways like as a camera man or on the radio. The Jobs and qualifications you can be a sound engineering, also electrical engineering like sorting out light and wiring.
—Guest emma

Using My Degree

I am currently studying electrical engineering in college but I have always wanted to work in the music industry. It would be nice to work on the technical side like sound engineering but I also would enjoy PR stuff like managing and promoting. I just want to be in the business in general. How can my degree in electrical engineering help me and what other activities/clubs/internships should I be doing to help get a job when I graduate?
—Guest Cara G

Just Finished My Music Business Degree

Do you need one? No. Absolutely not. Should you spend the money if you don't have it? No. If you can afford to financially and time-wise, should you? Yes. You have to know how the business works in order to work the business. If you take advantage of your time, you'll never be worse off for having the education. Will it give you everything you need to succeed? Absolutely not. It'll give you some tools, but it's ENTIRELY upon you to figure out how to use them. Out of my class of ~80 students, a couple (at best) have good music business-related jobs. The rest didn't take the initiative.
—Guest Andrew

It's how you apply that degree

No matter what kind of degree or what kind of work you want to do, make sure you're applying it from day one. Get involved with clubs, internships, or other relevant jobs when you start college, as they will help you much more once you graduate. Bringing only a degree and good GPA to an interview won't cut it. You need some sort of experience applying those skills you learned in school. You can still be involved in the music business without getting a degree in that field. If your student union and activities association puts on concerts, work there to get experience booking bands and promoting shows. College radio stations are also good places to work. Even if there aren't any paying jobs in those departments, they often have volunteer positions that will allow you to get a foot in the door.
—Guest Chris Brummund

It all comes down to what you know.

I worked at a record label even though I never finished my degree (which was in music, not music business) and I had plenty of coworkers that did not have degrees either. The job listings all required a degree, but if you're able to land an interview and can demonstrate that you're the right person for the job, you can still get hired. So the short answer: No, you don't need a degree. One reason you can get by without a degree is that much of the day to day functions come from experience you can only get on the job. However, if you don't understand anything going in, you'll be at a huge disadvantage. This is where a degree can help. Also, the networking you do at college can help you get your foot in the door. If you have no connections right now, the right college program can help change that.

do i need a degree?????

well i'm looking in on the music industry and i want to know if i do or not to become a singer.
—Guest amber dale
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