What’s It Worth? A College Education’s Value In The Music Industry

1Many people are still raised with the belief that a college education is the best way to put you on a path to success in the workforce, but in an industry like the music business, experience is far more prized than a high GPA. So how does higher education fit into a field like music?


Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix 

In the latest episode of Music Biz 101, host James Shotwell speaks directly to those pursuing a career in music through higher education.

Most people are raised to believe that the only way to succeed in the workforce is by going to college. If you want to get ahead, people say, then you need a degree that proves you understand the work. We disagree.

As far as the music industry is concerned, degrees mean virtually nothing without experience. Aspiring professionals need to show proof of their knowledge through application rather than grades. No one will ever ask what your GPA is, but they expect to see how you apply the education you take on immense debt to earn.

To be clear: We think you should go to college. Higher education is the one path to success in entertainment that guarantees the time and freedom needed to chase your passion with the ferocity necessary to land the job of your dreams. Those who choose to focus on their interests while also balancing a traditional job often find the demands of a 40-60 hour workweek leave very little time and attention to spend on their craft. They may still find a place in the industry, of course, but the path to get there will be far more arduous than those who use their time in college wisely.

In today’s episode of Music Biz 101, host James Shotwell offers suggestions for maximizing the value of a college education. He speaks from his own experiences, as well as the lessons learned over a decade of full-time employment in the entertainment business. Check it out:

New episodes of Music Biz 101 drop every Monday. Subscribe to our official YouTube channel to ensure you never miss a lesson.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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