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Is A Degree in Music A Waste of Time?



Most of us would like to make a career out of our passion, or hobby. Who doesn’t want to go to work without feeling like they are working, but instead, doing something they love? However, reality does not always pan out according to our dreams and wishes. For those who love music, does it mean a degree in music is a waste of time? Does it get you a job?


Passion is Not Without Hardwork


One of the biggest misunderstandings most people have is that as long as they are working on something that is their passion, hard work is unnecessary. This is totally untrue. As much effort as we put into studying for, let’s say, an accounting degree, the same goes for a music degree.


The training required for a music career is rigorous. Although producing music can be an exhilarating experience according to professional musicians, it isn’t easy earning a music degree such as a bachelor’s, master's, or doctorate.


Many people don’t realise there is a need to have to practice on the musical instrument no matter what, and it requires hours and hours of work, on top of academic requirements when they are in a music degree program.


Music is Not the Only Career Path


While many students pursue a music degree because playing music is their passion, it is not the only career path. There are other skills learnt in a music degree that one can apply to a career upon graduation, You will eventually need to decide if you would like to make a living from the music knowledge gained in the degree or explore other options.


These are the soft skills you acquire from partaking in a music degree besides music knowledge: communication, teamwork, memory, concentration, ability to perform under pressure, planning, critical thinking, and IT skills.


Available Job Roles


Besides becoming a musician, a music graduate has many other options to consider. There are several ways to put your music degree to good use. Music graduates can consider the following job roles upon graduation:

  • Music researcher

  • Private music teacher

  • Secondary school teacher

  • Curriculum researcher

  • Arts administrator

  • Music content writer/editor

  • Marketing Assistant

Besides the above career choices, music school graduates can also continue with their music careers as sound technicians, music producers, or event producers. The variety of transferable skills listed here gives music graduates many options in their career paths.


Many jobs are open to graduates of different disciplines. The key here is to get yourself working experience, network with professionals in your chosen industry, be disciplined, and put consistent effort into the work you want to do - whether as a musician, a sound technician, or a marketer.


In conclusion, a music degree is not a waste of your time. Go and pursue what you love, but don’t be limited by the options you have in your mind. Whatever path we embark on, there are always various learnings and we are all students in life.


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