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Is College Really Worth It?
Is College Really Worth It?

Is College Really Worth It?

There’s no doubt about it: making a decision about attending college can be a real conundrum. On one hand, there’s a lot of pressure. Many people assume college is the only way to get a good job. There’s this assumed knowledge that a degree is the only thing keeping you from going homeless. On the other hand, it’s gotten so expensive that it’s easy to wonder whether college is really worth it. Will it really benefit you all that much to spend $100,000 or more to get a college degree?  The truth of the matter is that there’s no one right answer.  For some people, going to a traditional four-year university is the only way forward. It’s the only thing that makes sense for their specific career path. For other people? It’s just cultural momentum driving those decisions forward. Which is dangerous and unhealthy. Do you really want to take on massive amounts of debt just because it’s the fashionable thing to do right now?  Or would it be better to get some career training by another way? To get some hands-on in-the-workplace experience? To make some connections with real working professionals? Wouldn’t it be smarter to find a way to jumpstart your career by actually working in the field you aspire to be in, so you can see if you like it, prior to taking on a lifetime worth of debt? If you’re planning on a career in something like audio engineering or music production, that’s exactly what we’re talking about.  That is the exact type of career that really benefits from real world experience and a career path that ultimately doesn’t care if you have a four-year degree. A college degree is not necessary for these types of careers, and given the high cost of college, a good recording school might be a better answer for you. The Recording Connection takes up-and-coming music industry professionals and pairs them working pros. People who own their own studio. People who have been in the industry for decades. They teach the young upstarts the ropes, by actually doing. 


While a well-rounded liberal arts education will benefit almost everyone, the cost of that education held against making you employable in your chosen career is another matter. For careers in recording, audio, production, broadcasting, culinary arts, film, and other trades, college degrees don’t carry much weight.  The isolated classroom environment actually doesn’t do a good job in preparing students for what happens on the job in these professions. When you take into account the high cost for that unnecessary degree, it hardly seems worth the time and money spent. There are simply faster, smarter and cheaper ways to break into these types of professions. Specifically, if you’re considering a career in audio and music production, here are the reasons why college might not be worth the high costs of tuition:
  • Exorbitant cost (leading to lots of debt)
  • Degree means little or nothing to potential employers
  • Little or no work experience (recording studios want people with experience)
  • No real hands-on skills-oriented learning
  • Very few professional connections
  • No experience with state of the art technology
  • All the knowledge you’re accruing is theoretical, not verifiable practical 
  • Your professors will be discussion industry trends that will be at best five years out of date
  • Few connections, if any (connections are essential to finding work in the music industry)
Simply put, for music industry careers, college might give you a good basic education, but it won’t give you enough of what you need to help you launch a career.  For that matter, while audio trade schools are slightly less expensive and take less time to complete, they, too, offer little in the way of real-world experience and connections. In fact, a degree or diploma from college or trade school usually tells the recording studios that you don’t have any experience, which is what they’re really looking for.


Yes—for some people, college may still be worth the cost. It comes down to what you need. College may be right for you if:
  • Need one or more degrees to qualify for your chosen career (e.g., law, medicine, academia);
  • Simply want a good liberal arts education; and/or
  • Want a traditional college experience 
  • Aren’t too worried about jumpstarting your career immediately 
  • Plan on going into a career path that doesn’t work off of connections 
  • Aren’t someone who thrives on dictating their own pace of education 
  • Can afford the high cost without getting buried in debt.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in launching a career in the music industry for as little money as possible, college is probably not worth it to you, and you are more likely to get what you need just by getting into recording studios and learning directly from the pros. This is where the Recording Connection’s mentor-extern approach can really help. For more information, click here.

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