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How A Uni Degree Can Help You Land A Career In The Music Industry

Written by Emmy Mack on July 6, 2017

The music industry is one tough CD case to crack open.

Actually, the fact that CD cases are on their way out and streaming services have taken over as our #1 method of music consumption (meanwhile vinyl has made a surprise comeback) should give you a bit of an insight into what an unpredictable and ever-changing beast the music industry can be.

Sadly, for this reason, there’s no secret formula for landing your dream job within it. Unlike becoming a lawyer or a teacher or a physiotherapist or a zookeeper or whatever, there’s no set path to follow. In fact, you can get a degree in basically any of those disciplines and end up working in the music industry!

Studying law can qualify you to become an entertainment lawyer who represents record labels or works closely with major artists. Studying education can qualify you to become a music teacher who shapes the next generation of rockstars and super-producers. A friend of mine recently graduated after studying exercise science and ended up getting a job on the road with Cirque du Soleil. While I myself (a media & comms grad), enjoyed an ace tenure in the media department at Taronga Zoo where I ended up meeting a bunch of well-known touring musos as well as getting to help out on the PR side of things for the Zoo’s annual Twilights concert series. And now here I am at Music Feeds, getting paid to write about the thing I love most.

The point is, getting a job in the music industry can be like trying to get around Hogwarts with all of those changing staircases and whatnot. You might end up there by total accident, or it may take you a long, long time to successfully find your way.

Moving_stairs

…Or you could end up being eaten alive by a ravenous three-headed dog in the process (unfavourable).

The point is, passion, hard work, networking skills and sheer dumb luck can all play a part in helping you land that mythical dream job, but there‘s one surefire thing you can do to give yourself a leg-up on all the competition.

Getting yourself a relevant uni degree not only arms you with the know-how and skills required to kick serious ass at whatever branch of the music biz most appeals to you, it can also open doors that may have been closed to you otherwise, while giving your CV the extra punch it needs to stand out from the other hundreds on the pile.

With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with our mates at Swinburne University of Technology to put together a nifty guide to some of the most relevant degrees that could put you in the fast lane for a career in this glamorous but notoriously cut-throat industry.

Bachelor Of Media and Communication

For all you creatives looking to break into the wonderful world of music journalism, public relations or radio, then a media and communication degree will turbo-boost you in the right direction. This three-year bachelor course will prep you with a broad range of transferable skills that can be applied to all kinds of roles within this dynamic and multifaceted industry while allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in the area that most interests you. There are majors available in everything from advertising to film to journalism to gaming to PR to social media and more. Meanwhile, because this course is very broad, it’s also a tip-top choice for anyone who’s still a bit unsure about what area of the music industry they’d most like to work in (i.e. it gives you the chance to dip your toe in a few pools before you choose which one to dive headfirst into).

Find out more, here

Diploma of Event Management

From festivals and tours to launches and listening parties, the music industry revolves around live performance events. Hooking yourself up with a Diploma of Event Management is the perfect way to learn the kind of management and planning skills that will shape you into a successful promoter or tour manager. This course also offers you plenty of hands-on experience, with opportunities to work on real-life events and even create your own in a safe, supportive environment where you won’t get fired if you accidentally screw up the headlining band’s tour rider.

Find out more, here

Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business

One of the central paradoxes at the heart of the music industry is its merging of creativity with business, so what better way to prime yourself for your future career than with a double degree that covers the fundamentals of both. This is a designer degree that allows you to cherry pick units of study that are most relevant to your professional aspirations, so whether you’re looking at becoming an artist manager, a booking agent, a publisher, an A&R coordinator, getting a job at a record label or starting your own music-based company, this degree will give you a solid framework of skills and know-how in everything from IT, marketing, finance, management and innovation to advertising, creative writing and film.

Find out more, here

Bachelor of Business in Marketing

Believe it or not, sales and marketing are a HUGE part of the music industry at almost every level. Record labels, festival promoters and even music websites like this one all have sales departments tasked with the crucial role of selling ad campaigns to artists and brands, or else marketing departments whose job it is to push artists, music and other products to consumers. A marketing degree is a quickfire way to nab a competitive qualification in this field while learning how to effectively formulate, direct and coordinate marketing activities to successfully promote products and services.

Find out more, here

Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging

If you’re looking to become a professional music photographer then this one’s pretty much a gimme. Any jackass with a smartphone can take and upload live music snaps these days, which is why a thorough knowledge of the art of photography and digital editing is essential. This course could help give your work the added wow factor it needs to separate you from the pack and help you pick up paid work freelancing for music websites, magazines and even artists themselves. Not only does this course teach you the finer points of photography as an art form, you’ll also learn important info about the commercial and business aspects of the craft.

Find out more, here.

Bachelor of Film and Television (Honours)

The thing about audiovisual mediums like film and TV is that they all rely on music to exist. Whether you’re interested in directing music videos, working in music licensing and synchronisation or maybe even becoming a music director for a major TV show or motion picture, then a proven understanding of the relationship between music and the moving image is essential. This bachelor degree — which comes packing honours — will teach you how to make narrative movies, docos, animations, experimental films, music videos and TV commercials with a focus on creative skills, technical know-how and critical theory. With units of study focusing on things like sound design and cinematography with the added option of six- or 12-month professional placements, internships and industry-linked projects, this comprehensive course aims to ensure you have what it takes to land a job in your field by the time you graduate and allows you to network with other passionate content-creators who can help you get there.

Find out more, here

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