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Old 3rd November 2018
Gear Guru

If you have a Degree in Audio Engineering, you can intern somewhere for free and make coffee - just like the guy who walked in off the street with no degree. If you have a degree as a Radiology Assistant, you can make $60k - $80k a year. Hospitals are hiring.

If you are thinking about it in terms of a "career", I would use music as a pretty close analogy. You might learn some hip chords at music school, but when you join a band, all the band wants is to hear you play. You can get good at guitar by yourself, or with a private teacher. You don't need 4 years of college. Chops beats degrees to the point that nobody cares if you even went to school, much less graduated.

The "job prospects" are only what you make of them. There are few lists of companies "hiring". Not everybody is cut out for such uncertainty in their lives. As someone who teaches a few audio classes at a nearby college, I sometimes get students saying things like: "I want to be a rock guitarist, but my parents think I should learn engineering to have something to fall back on".

It is sometimes a struggle not to spit out my coffee, but I try to explain to them that the 'odds' are fairly equally lousy. Some talented, dedicated and lucky people get so far as to make a living at it, but it's a big crapshoot. The student's parents assumed that because one involves a computer and the other involves a Stratocaster, that one is "a job" you can "get" and the other is "dream" you can reach for. In fact both are "glamor" professions, meaning everybody wants to do it. I am not saying there are too many "applicants per opening" - I am saying there are hardly any "openings" at all - it's more like you have to make your own openings.

That, far more than any technical knowledge, love of music, ear for sound, or college degree is what you will really need.