This has been a question that played in the mind of aspiring individuals who wants to have careers in the field of music.
Simply, the answer is NO.
It’s not a requirement. But in reality, it is not that simple and it will really depend on what music industry job you want to acquire and how far would like to pursue in this field.
Let’s have a look at it this way. There are instances that you don’t need a degree to get the job, like if you will put up your own record label, Promotions Company, management firm or other similar music related businesses. But it doesn’t necessary mean that a degree will not be useful. Definitely, it is an advantage to have business education background. These will help you in preparing essential business papers and processes to your business like creating business plan, accounting and budgeting that will help you to run your business smoothly.
For those who run music businesses experience matters over degrees when they hire people to be part of their team.
Definitely, there are also cases that require you to have a degree to be employed. A good example is if you want to work as lawyer in this industry. As usual, you have to enter law school and pass the bar, to become one. Some of the major labels require their employees to have degrees. If this are the kind of job in this field you’re trying to get, the answer is YES. You better have a degree.
If you consider going to school and you have chosen to have a music business degree, you have to bear in mind that it’s should be worth your time and money. First, you have to acquire lots of out-of-classroom learnings. Check if they are able to send their students to internship during school periods or even after graduation. If not, it’s not worth your attention. Remember that the best way to learn the industry is through experience, consider schools that offer programs that incorporate student run labels and businesses into the learning process. So after you graduated, you have a lot of experience to include in your resume.
You can also consider a business degree if you can’t have a major in music business field. Some things you can do while in it is to get active involvement in various activities that are related to music field. Be part of campus radio, promote student musicians in your school and other activities that may have help you have grasp of music industry experience. You’ll never know, these chances which gave you experiences are those that will really open the most music industry doors for you.
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Hi Wes, although I don’t know much about the music industry it’s always good to see people giving tips on getting started. Starting out can really be confusing but the info you provide on the importance on education will save time for people in the music industry. There’s so many people looking for this information I’ll definitely share it on the web, especially on social sites. Thanks!
These days I think the “college degree” is being challenged. Some vocations, like becoming a doctor, nurse, therapist a college degree is important. But even in business, marketing, etc. not so sure anymore. Music, so many people have done amazing things with music without a degree. It depends on the person and the career path. Experience however is important. It’s the experience that will make the difference.