Those who love music can pursue different educational paths to turn their passion into a career. There are many universities, professional education institutions, operas, and conservatories that offer music degrees at various levels.
The coming years are expected to be good for most professionals associated with the world of music. For example, employment opportunities for Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians are projected to grow by 8% (an addition of more than 11,000 vacancies) from 2018 to 2028. This is according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Therefore, if you have any plans of pursuing music as a career or work in an area related to it, this comprehensive guide can help you. It contains information on the top Music Degrees in the country as well as the hottest professions in the field.
What Is a Music Major?
Students who pursue professional education in music are taught different aspects of the craft and ways to develop their skills in them. Over the course of a degree, they also learn about music history, theory, and composition. Many music majors go on to become successful professional musicians while others find work in music education, sound engineering, performing arts, etc.
What Can You Do With a Music Degree?
With a degree in music, you can work as a Music Teacher, Singer, Composer, Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician, Songwriter, Orchestra Conductor, Music Director, Choreographer, Audio Engineer, Music Therapist, Music and Entertainment Journalist, Orchestral/Choir Performer, Record Producer, etc.
Information about salary and career outlook for some of these occupations is provided in the following section. All the data has been acquired from the most up-to-date public records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Sound Engineering Technicians
Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians are responsible for installing, operating, and maintaining electrical equipment used during television shows, radio broadcasts, sound recordings, concerts, movies, etc.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$54,740|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||2%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$67,090|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||4,160|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||Connecticut||$95,030|
Music Directors and Composers
Music Directors, also known as “Music Conductors” or simply “Conductors,” lead choirs and orchestras during recording sessions and live performances. On the other hand, Composers write and create music of different kinds.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$51,670|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||1%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$64,670|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||New York||2,490|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||Hawaii||$80,470|
Choreographers make use of dancing routines to tell stories and express ideas. They also teach various kinds of dance (ballet, jazz, tango, salsa, etc.) to their pupils.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$46,330|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||-3%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$53,590|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||Texas||680|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||New York||$92,010|
What to Expect from a Music Degree?
While studying for a degree in music, you will learn about Music Theory, Composition Techniques, Classical Music, History of Music, Choir, Improvisation, Musical Physics, Ensemble Performance, Electronic Sound Creation, Baroque Music, Advanced Music Theory, Music Literature, Women in Music, Ear Training, Technical Music Analysis, Production Methods, and Techniques, etc.
How to Choose a Music Degree?
While deciding on a music degree to pursue, you need to be mindful of a few things. The most important is the “accreditation status” of a particular program. Apart from that, you should also consider the fee structure, curriculum, specialization options, career outlook, campus location, and available residential facilities (on-campus and off-campus) before enrolling in any course.
Music Degree Admission Requirements
Admission criteria tend to vary for different degree levels. Also, many schools have their requirements. However, certain things might be common too. For instance, completing a High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development) Certificate is usually needed to get into an undergraduate program. In the same way, graduate degrees may have a certain GPA and other requirements for entry.