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What Are the Best Audio Engineering Schools to Attend?


If you’re trying to figure out the best audio engineering schools to consider attending, you might be surprised at how confusing the information can be out there. Not only are there plenty of differing reviews and opinions, but obviously each school claims to be the best one! How can you make sense of it all?

Actually, there is a way to make a quality, informed decision about where to go to audio engineering school—but you won’t find it on any review list. It starts by forgetting about trying to figure out which audio school is the best by everyone else’s standards, and starting to ask which audio school is best for you.

What is your goal, after all? Is it to attend the school everyone says is the best? Or is it to launch a successful career as a music producer or audio engineer? The best audio engineering schools are the schools that can actually help you accomplish that goal—not the school with absolute best equipment, the highest tuition, or the most mentions on the Internet.

So what do you need to accomplish that goal of becoming a music producer or audio engineer? There are three basic things that you need:

  1. You need a current, practical education (i.e., you need to learn the skills of recording).
  2. You need real-world experience. (On-campus studios don’t count—they are controlled environments that can’t duplicate the dynamics of a working recording studio.)
  3. You need industry connections. (No matter how educated you are, you won’t get a job in this industry without some type of inside connection.)

Simply put, the best audio engineering school for you is one that can provide you with all three of these elements—not just the education. You’ll probably find that most schools do okay with the first one (education) but fall short with the other two. It is for that reason exactly that many music industry professionals actually think audio engineering schools are a waste of time! It is also why an alternative learning method call the mentor-apprentice approach is gaining in popularity.

Schools that practice this approach have caught on that the best place to learn audio engineering is in a real studio, not a classroom. Thus, they place their students as apprentices in actual recording studios, where they receive one-on-one training from seasoned industry professionals. This approach has helped many students effectively land jobs in the recording industry because it covers all three of the bases mentioned above, and it does so for far less money than most schools charge in tuition. It would be worth your time to research a school that practices this approach.

Choosing an audio engineering school is a challenge, no matter how you slice it. Just remember that the best audio engineering schools are the ones who can help you get into your career, not necessarily the ones with the most hype.

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