Skip to content
Clear all

path of education?

9 Posts
8 Users
New Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Hey everyone. Well, I dont know how many people here are already in the industry. But i'm trying to decide right now whether or not I want to go to a four year university, or attend a tech school (such as full sail, or ex'pression). Tech schools are very expensive, but always claim to offer a high percentage rate of graduates who make it in the business. Also they focus on learning the recording equipment inside and out without wasting time with the general ed stuff. On the other hand, I've been told that at a four year college you get more credibility for doing it the long way, and finish it all the way through. What do you guys think is the better/best way to get into a job in recording arts?

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 259

Tech schools will teach you what you need to know to do that job, if you are certain that's what you want to do it's probably fine.

College has it's advantages too, namely a well rounded education means you will likely be more prepared should you decide to go into a different career.

The trade school is probably faster and I suspect it's also probably cheaper than going to college, if you are say, in your 30's the tech school might be a better choice, but if you are fresh out of high school you are probably better off with college.

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 554

How about a compromise, find a 4 year or 2 year college that offers a major in some kind of music related field. In NY we have 5 towns college and probably some others. I'm a consevative kinda guy and would think that if you changed my mind somewhere down the road you'd still have the college credits to fall back on. Of course thats just my opinion, and if my wife is any kind of authority you'd know that my opinion is often (usually) wrong. Best of luck in whatever choice you make :)

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171

I think that it's a field that is collapsing at the moment as larger studios fall to home recording, and that just learning the tech part of it is a very bad long-term move.

I'd strongly suggest a 4 year college program, and I'd even go further and suggest a double-major with the second major in either music or business, with a preferrence to business. Guys with business degrees can always find jobs, as it's universally applicable.

A 4 year program has an added advantage of having a lot more opportunity for social interactions.

"Partying" isn't just about having fun. It's about forming relationships that can (and do) influence the rest of your life. The frat buddy you spend your evenings getting hammered with and lamenting the state of the music business today may be the record executive who calls you about an unlisted job opening tomorrow.

Further, larger 4 year schools will have more vibrant local music scenes. Getting involved in that community can really help you both with gaining experience and with making friendships that can further your career latter on.

Much of getting ahead in the music business (as in any other business) is not about talent so much as about personal relationships. But there is a talent aspect that is beyond the technical aspects -- and developing that artistic sense takes time. A 4 year program will give you more time to develop the artistic elements and expose you to more than a tech program will.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459


Couldn't have said that better. As someone who has been in the corporate world for sometime now it's definitely more about who you know than what you know.

Obviously you'll need to have skills but it's the relationships that'll get you in the door.

Definitely go for the 4 year degree, life changes and somewhere down the road you may too!

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736

Get your degree man. Its going to help you forever in some way or the other.

Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 14

I would suggest visiting the different schools that interest you and talking to their advisors. You are interested in a highly competitive field, so be sure to ask about job placement after you earn your degree. (I had a friend who had his 4-year degree and who completed a 2 year recording program and could not find a studio in the Northwest that would let him sweep the floors for free.)

Susan Palmer
Seattle University Guitar Instructor
Author of, "The Guitar Lesson Companion"
Free Guitar Lessons:

Susan Palmer
Guitar Instructor at Seattle University
Author of The Guitar Lesson Companion
Free Lessons and More at:

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 259

Ouch, maybe volunteer to sweep flours at the college canteen for free to get some valued experience for the music biz?

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

I'm totally with King on this.

My son has long had a dream of becoming a recording engineer... did all the right stuff to make that happen (lots of math classes, meeting people in the field, plenty of hours on the board in my home studio, research into where the best jobs are, etc). As college gets closer - he's a HS senior now - he's come to realize the job market is shrinking fast, and he'll be the new kid competing with folks already in the field who have years of experience.

Now he's looking at a double major in music composition and general business. I think it's a smart move.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL