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How helpful good an academic degree be?
Old 1st May 2018
Here for the gear

How helpful good an academic degree be?

Hey there, I'm from Iran and I`m planning to emigrate. I`ve been working in music industry for about 10 years and I want to pursue my career there (preferably Canada).

I`ve learned music on my own, using supplementary such as
I`ve been playing electric guitar for about 10 years and I also am somehow professional at composing. audio engineering and ...(no degree but I`m pretty goood at them since I`ve massively self-studied)
Considering what I`ve mentioned, I need to know how helpful could an academic DEGREE in music be to get through this industry there. Is it a MUST? Or just preferable? Can I get through it by the knowledge and experience I`ve got?

If it is a MUST, since I`m not able to attend courses in person, would it be a good idea to pass online courses at Berklee? How effective would that be?

I really need a thorough answer as I have searched upon it but got no reliable source.

Thank you in advance
Old 2nd May 2018
Lives for gear
Cardinal_SINE's Avatar

It's depends. In most cases it won't hurt to get degree in relevant topics. Physics, Electrical engineering or acoustics or similar.
Old 2nd May 2018
Lives for gear

A music degree, or audio engineering, or? Not sure you have a focus? Either way no. Networking is the key, but most would wisely advise you that there is no sure path as its not an easy field to find good, steady income in. Having a degree is probably not going to elevate you much (if at all) over your peers.

I work as a film composer as well as an audio engineer. I have a degree, in audio engineering...and I have some formal music education but nothing prestigious... but no one cares or even asks. All that matters is meeting the people that will bring you gigs (film makers or bands or whatever), and being able to do those jobs when they do come up. I wouldn't even say going to school gives you good networking opportunities...most everyone that I went to school with did not become audio engineers...many ended up at Guitar Center/Sweetwater...probably my most successful peer is an internationally touring guitar player in a kind of popular (not household name though) band....which seems like a gig you wouldn't need to go to audio engineering school for...

If getting paid is a higher priority than being an artist, then yeah second the above post and get a good degree that you can apply to something else. You can always try to be the artist on the side, which is what most people end up doing because at the end of the day people need to make a livable wage.
Old 2nd May 2018
a music degree is pretty useless, trust me, unless you really are academically gifted or have a serious interest in research, forget going, when you leave uni, you'll still have to persue work, so do it now, and avoid the debt.
Old 24th May 2018
The question is - what do you want to DO aim the music industry?

The basic issue with studio work is massive over subscription. An electronics degree would be helpful when something breaks but it’d be another 3-4 years of low income in an expensive place - and for what purpose? If you’ve got 10 years of experience already, you’d then be at least close to 30 before finishing any further study right? Which isn’t “getting on” but is possibly too old to want to be working 24/7 on menial jobs hoping to get a foot in the door.

So the question is - what do you want to do?
Old 26th May 2018
Here for the gear

Originally Posted by kslight View Post
If getting paid is a higher priority than being an artist, then yeah second the above post and get a good degree that you can apply to something else. You can always try to be the artist on the side, which is what most people end up doing because at the end of the day people need to make a livable wage.
Physics and electrical engineering, sure, but is acoustics a solid degree in terms of job prospects?
This also makes you wonder if there aren’t any dual degree programs (or other things of that nature) with electrical engineering and audio. You’d want a straight physics or elec. engineering degree, I’d think, with an audio concentration or dual degree.

EDIT: I also just found this thread which seems to be highly relevant.
Old 12th June 2019
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voodoo4u's Avatar
I've received a formal education from one of Canada's best music industry schools years ago. For personal reasons, I'm very glad I did. Professionally, it hasn't helped me at all. When I graduated, I applied to over two hundred recording studios all across the country, I would have gone anywhere. I received only three replies, all negative. I knew then I'd have to make my own job.

In the music industry in Canada, there is only one city that has the resources to allow for a good full time, life time career in music and that's Toronto (I'm not saying it couldn't happen elsewhere, it's just much more difficult). I've had the chance to work with hundreds if not thousands of Canadian musicians and almost every one of them has built a career that is completely self directed and has little, if anything to do with obtaining a degree directly in music or music industry arts (with a few exceptions that come to mind). As someone else has already mentioned, a long, profitable career in music is mostly about the connections you make with people along the way.

If you're serious about a move to Canada, I would strongly suggest you consider a formal degree in a STEM subject. One that's related to music (electrical engineering, physics etc.) and use that as a building block to a self directed career in music. If you have the work ethic you claim, I'm certain you could do very well in Canada. Aside from just a career, It's also a great place to live and have a family.
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