#1
Im starting university in a couple of months and im facing a bit of a dilemma. Im supposed to be doing English but im seriously considering switching to sound engineering. Ive been doing a SE course for the last year and have really enjoyed... but my worry is whether or not id be able to find employment in this area. English was always my strongest subject at school and a degree in it would give me transferable skills to work in publishing, marketing, PR, teaching, journalism etc... However, music is my passion but its obvious the industry is suffering and extremely competitive.

What do you guys think, should I play it safe or not?
"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."- Jimi Hendrix
#3
do what you like to do, because you'll be better at that than doing something halfassed that you think will get you a better job.

Also, keep in mind that you do not need a univesity degree for sound engineering, and that maybe internships and actual work experience could benefit you more.
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Jul 26, 2010,
#4
Major in english and then take SE as a minor.
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#5
If you want to go for Engineering go for a real one.


Just kidding, go for the one you think you will enjoy the most, you will be doing that for long.
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#6
Quote by Lasyk
Major in english and then take SE as a minor.


It doesnt work like that in the UK
"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."- Jimi Hendrix
#7
Whatever makes you happy. Simple dedication to wanting to do something is sometimes all it takes. If you take sound engineering and find it's not for you, then just fall back to English.
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#8
I'm taking English, but that's what I enjoy most, so it was an easy choice for me. I'd say if you like Sound Engineering more, go for it. Or at least maybe try a more advanced SE course and see if you still like it. That's what I did with Chemistry and it made me decide to go for English.
#9
You're calling English a safe degree for employment? Things must be really different in the UK....
#10
Quote by Lasyk
Major in english and then take SE as a minor.


I agree with this, but maybe I'm biased. I'm double majoring in English and Spanish :P:
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#11
Ill be realistic..take english..

Is years of work at Uni really worth the possibility of not finding a job.

You already stated you can a degree in english can give you many transferable skills meaning you are very versatile and you will be sought after by many employers.

Being a sound engineer not only means you will have to search for a job in a comparatively small market you also have to be quite skilled almost like playing an instrument for people to want you.

You will be competing with men and women who have been in that particular business for years...and are also quite skilled and sought after often by multiple companies. in other words one person can almost occupy 2 jobs in two different places. making it even harder.

tl;dr English major good....Sound engineering bad

also you can always go back to school once you have your self financially established.
#12
Quote by saint22
You're calling English a safe degree for employment? Things must be really different in the UK....

Yeah, they are. But I'm not sure they're different enough for English to be a "safe" career.
#13
A good english degree is a great base for a further career in a wide range of jobs. Same as history or law.

Unfortunatly as Sound Engineering is not traditionally entered via the degree route therefore you may struggle. Furthermore there are way more people doing the subject than there are positions in recording studios.

My friend complete a SE course at college with the highest mark they ever handed out to anyone and completed a uni degree with a first. He got nothing for 6 months and then was doing voulenteer work to keep his hand in.

So bare in mind thats with outstanding qualifications and the employment oppurtunities that they bring.

You may also want to look at more technical courses if you have relevant A-levels.

Hope this helps.

PS I recently graduated from doing a Audio Engineering course at Essex University (The course is no longer offered, unfortunatly) this is a more technical route which deals with the construction of amplifiers, speakers and digital solutions. (IE technical product design).
#14
Oh one last thing, sorry about the double post.

Joining the technical crew as a job at your universitys SU can be a great help. Not only is it a source of income they can train you in live sound (also consider uni radio and TV). I know a few people who have gone on to live sound engineering rather than what degree they studied.
#15
Do SE. English sucks anyway. No one uses it.
Oh wait...
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#16
Why not double major in English AND Sound Engineering? It would take extra work but you would be qualified for both then
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#17
^^

You cant really do that in the UK very easily. They have to offer a course in English & SE and it is not the same as a full single English degree.
#19
English. Ive heard plenty of people complaining that working in a studio has killed their passion for music
#20
Quote by randomtom
publishing, marketing, PR, teaching, journalism etc... However, music is my passion but its obvious the industry is suffering and extremely competitive.



What, and publishing, PR and journalism aren't extremely competitive? SE will actually take you straight into a career, instead of having to panic once you've finished your third year exams.

Quote by Axim Bassist

You already stated you can a degree in english can give you many transferable skills meaning you are very versatile and you will be sought after by many employers.


Bollocks. Any degree will give you transferable skills. English will give you a slightly above-average ability to bullshit. Sound engineering will give you the direct set of skills required to get into, er, sound engineering. Shocking, eh?
Last edited by webbtje at Aug 2, 2010,
#21
Quote by webbtje
What, and publishing, PR and journalism aren't extremely competitive? SE will actually take you straight into a career, instead of having to panic once you've finished your third year exams.


Bollocks. Any degree will give you transferable skills. English will give you a slightly above-average ability to bullshit. Sound engineering will give you the direct set of skills required to get into, er, sound engineering. Shocking, eh?



This.
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#22
Quote by webbtje
What, and publishing, PR and journalism aren't extremely competitive? SE will actually take you straight into a career, instead of having to panic once you've finished your third year exams.


Bollocks. Any degree will give you transferable skills. English will give you a slightly above-average ability to bullshit. Sound engineering will give you the direct set of skills required to get into, er, sound engineering. Shocking, eh?



While I partly agree, having a sound engineering degree won't mean he can walk into a job, and it does limit what jobs he can do. Atleast with an English degree he has more chance for an interim job before finding the job he wants.

Eitherway, just do what you feel you can do for 3 years without hating your life.
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#24
Quote by Lasyk
Major in english and then take SE as a minor.


England.

And it depends. Sound Engineering is more specialised, and only really gives you bragging rights in that field, whereas English has a wider area that you can use it in. However, if you really want to have a career in music then Sound Engineering all the way, English simply won't stand out in most jobs in music.
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#25
Quote by randomtom
my worry is whether or not id be able to find employment in this area.
If you want job security, forget uni and join the army. mofos always be startin some shit.
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#26
If i had that choice, i'd personally go for Sound Engineering, cause reading books and doing lots of essays for 3 years isn't my idea of fun.

But realistically there are probably better job opportunities for English, so its up to whether you want to play it safe with English or take a chance with Sound Engineering, and which you'd enjoy more

EDIT
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If you want job security, forget uni and join the army. mofos always be startin some shit.


or this
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Last edited by DegaDeth at Aug 2, 2010,
#27
Quote by DegaDeth
play it safe with English


I'm sorry, but where are people getting this idea that an English degree will walk you straight into a job?
#28
Quote by webbtje
I'm sorry, but where are people getting this idea that an English degree will walk you straight into a job?



I don't think anyone is saying he'll be able to walk into a job. But it means that he'll be considered for more types of jobs than if he has a SE degree.
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#29
Quote by webbtje
I'm sorry, but where are people getting this idea that an English degree will walk you straight into a job?


he'd have a wider range of possibilities instead of just only being employable to the music industry.
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#30
Quote by DegaDeth
he'd have a wider range of possibilities instead of just only being employable to the music industry.


Since when does that constitute 'playing it safe'? Surely playing it safe is going for a degree where you actually have a clear-cut career ahead of you after you graduate?

Quote by jambi_mantra
I don't think anyone is saying he'll be able to walk into a job. But it means that he'll be considered for more types of jobs than if he has a SE degree.


Oh yay, he'll be able to go for those office jobs with the extra edge of a degree in analysing books.
#31
Quote by webbtje


Oh yay, he'll be able to go for those office jobs with the extra edge of a degree in analysing books.



People gotta pay bills
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#32
Quote by webbtje
I'm sorry, but where are people getting this idea that an English degree will walk you straight into a job?


This is one of the best english courses in the country and has the highest graduate employment rate... I think 90% find work straight away or something... I was lucky to even get a place, 1000's of applicants and only 40 spaces :O

The thing is, with SE a lot of the work (especially as a studio engineer) is freelance which means you may go without work for a certain amount of time.... Also according to producers and other processionals I have spoken to, a lot of it is down to "luck and who you know". They say its basically about networking and building up a list of contacts.. my worry is that this takes time and an english related career would give me a more secure job with a salary... Also if i did take the english route, I could still work in the music industry for example as a music journalist, in administration for a record company, as an A&R scout ect...
"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."- Jimi Hendrix
#33
Quote by randomtom
This is one of the best english courses in the country and has the highest graduate employment rate... I think 90% find work straight away or something... I was lucky to even get a place, 1000's of applicants and only 40 spaces :O

The thing is, with SE a lot of the work (especially as a studio engineer) is freelance which means you may go without work for a certain amount of time.... Also according to producers and other processionals I have spoken to, a lot of it is down to "luck and who you know". They say its basically about networking and building up a list of contacts.. my worry is that this takes time and an english related career would give me a more secure job with a salary... Also if i did take the english route, I could still work in the music industry for example as a music journalist, in administration for a record company, as an A&R scout ect...



You'd be better off, imo, doing the English degree. Then do SE at a private place like SAE which has a great alumni and networking basis as well as top quality teaching and equipment.
No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable


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#36
I actually like reading, hence why im taking english.
"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."- Jimi Hendrix
#37
If you really want to get into sound engineering, I don't think a degree will be of that much use. Rather than spending 3 years reading books and spending £20k, use it getting some experience in a studio or PA rental company.

People don't care if you've got a degree in SE, they'll hire you if you're good at it and have experience.

Are you passionate about it? Do you have what it takes? 'cause if you do... well you know what they say, if you're good at something, don't do it for free