With more and more students turning to music degrees, many are left wondering, now that I have this degree, what do I do with it? Often students manage to complete their necessary years of schooling but find themselves launched into a vast world with no direction of where they are going or what to do now. Whispers of “good luck finding a real job” might swarm and buzz around a young musician’s ear, possibly even discouraging them from seeking opportunities. Luckily, society seems to gravitate towards entertainment, such as music, during stress and uncertainty. Regardless of their age or time or the specific type of music degree, you can always find a “real job” in the music industry.
Most people would think a musician with a degree would move on to becoming a professional musician or a conductor for an orchestra. In the music world, though, there are a lot of roles that make up the industry. Anything with music is a possibility. This could range from writing jingles for a commercialized market to working musical gigs for churches or bars. Even understanding music is beneficial for degree-holders to seek a job in sound design or a recording artist.
Commonly forgotten careers for those with musical degrees include curators, critics, licensers, publishers, and composers. It’s also essential to remember professional tuners and movers (for instruments such as the piano and harp) and educators. Being able to teach what was taught is rewarding and being able to maintain instruments is gratifying.
For those seeking a more significant income at the post-collegiate level, a career in directing and composing can be the most rewarding, especially if they are talented and become well known. Nearly every musician alive today would recognize John Williams’s name, who is considered the greatest modern-day composer alive. While not everyone can be a John Williams, plenty of companies and individuals need music composed.
For a degree-holder that wants a unique experience, music therapy is an unusual yet exciting career choice. Music has properties that can be therapeutic, and therapists have found ways to use music to help their patients. Even working as a music salesperson can incorporate that musical passion into a fulfilling career.
Regardless of what you choose to do with your music degree, there are many jobs out there worth looking into; it just takes finding the right one to spark your interest.