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Regarding choosing the path for my future career


I previously made a thread like this as a start to set a path for my future career.

Now I know more in specific what I want to do, and how I would like to pursue it. But again, I have a couple concern and questions I would like answers for...

After looking at these two threads...
(Dead Link Removed) - About Marketing

(Dead Link Removed) - About A&R

I have a few questions for those 2 topics and a few questions for my own.

About the A&R one, the answer for that thread was yes and no. Yes if you don't know anyone, and No if you do. What ways are there for beginners to get to know these kind of people? These aren't the kind of jobs you can find off the newspaper right? So how do people usually apply for these kind of jobs? At a label I mean.

Another thing worrying about me is...

See I live in Canada, and in Canada... Universities are seen as something far more superior than Colleges. I know that's not true, but that's how people here see.

And with that in mind, I have two choices.

1. I can enter a University and study business
2. I can... Somehow MAYBE borrow a ... whole lot of money and goto Berklee and study business there

Which road should I take? I would like to become like a marketer or A&R or something similar to those in a record label. Like, people who... Plans out how an Artist can be "sold", working on promotions and stuff. If that's not what marketing or A&R already is.

Getting to a University is an easier path for me, since I won't have to move out of the country to a place I'm not familiar with. Since I don't have that kind of money to start with. But if I study at a University and just study a business program, will I be able to find jobs such as those I described? With Berklee or something I can probably make a few friends who can errr. Maybe have connections to something, but going to a school depending on that is kinda risky, plus the conditions I face if I goto Berklee...

Is there a way I can goto a University here in Canada and still be able to find jobs like that here in North America? How about other countries?



JoeH Mon, 01/08/2007 - 08:33
I've always believed formal "Education" is only part of the job. Yes, it's great to have, fun to through your degree around at parties and jaw-sessions, but it's only part of the story. You can be a degree'd A-hole, and no one will want to work with you anyway. There are plenty of those out there.

A degree does NOT guarantee a career in ANY line of work. A degree is merely the START of your career. What you do with it afterwards is more important. (Trust me on this; when you're 30 or 40, you'll know what I'm talking's a "given", and unless they're paranoid or braggarts, few folks toss around their alma mater unless they're feeling insecure or something.)

While you're getting your degree, start early - get work where you can, and learn to network as Tom has already told you. Learn to be a good listener and a good talker. Learn to FOLLOW UP on things, learn to be on time, to have your sh*t together as much as possible. Do your homework (research) on a client or a topic before you barge in, etc. etc. Understand that there are many out there doing what you do already, so you have to offer something different, something better, something that will make people want YOU instead.

Know that while everyone else is out having a good time or working 9 to 5 (with paid vacation and holidays off, and health plans and retirement funds), your path may be quite different.

Mainly, you'll get clients and contracts one at a time, and treat each of those as if their jobs are the most important things in the world, because they are - to your clients. Once you've begun to build up a loyal client base, things will take on a life of their own, whether it's a studio, an agency or a label or whatever. But you can never be "Safe" or "on base" for any length of time. There is no free lunch, and you will always need to be looking for the next project, the next client, the next direction to go in. This is how the biz works, and it's not for everyone, so brace yourself.

Enjoy your time in University, but prepare yourself to hit the ground running when it's over. I daresay NO ONE is going to be lining up to hand you a job - unless you're in medicine. By the time I left college (wayyyyyyy back in 1978 - the stone age!), I was already self employed doing live sound, playing in band 5-6 nights a week, and trying to run my little recording studio with a Tascam 80-8 & 3340 system. College had VERY little to do with my job hirings, mostly it was experience. Sure, it's great to swing a degree around when you're having drinks with the alumni or out on a golf tournament with a rich client, but in this line of work, it's how YOU work that's important in the long run.

Good luck, and get everything you can out of school first.

mugtastic Mon, 01/08/2007 - 13:27
if you live in canada and want to do a&r and marketing do something unheard of. help a band make money. find a group you like and make them money. gigs tours cd sales by marketing, word of mouth, getting your friends and family out to shows - whatever. instead of putting up posters with a bucket of paste all night in the middle of february for your own band (who you have no objectivity about) find a marketable group of music freaks and be the business piece of their puzzle.

now, if you succeed (even a little) some label dude will probably steal them away before you make cent - but people will notice you have it going on. the major labels in canada have a bankroll to thow at acts and very little expectation of financial success - many people make their living from bands who don't sell jack up here - be a dude who can run a cool act in the black and they'll give you a job no problem.

Member Fri, 01/05/2007 - 08:55
Ah that settles all my worries. So basically both can score me a job in a record label if I'm lucky enough right. I guess it will work out a lot better if I go to a good University and get a degree or so.

But I have one more question... How do you guys usually make your connections? Conections to the music industry, ways to get a job and stuff.


Thomas W. Bethel Tue, 01/02/2007 - 10:50
If you get a degree in Marketing from a University I think that would go a long way toward what you are seeking as a career. There have been a whole lot of post on degree vs "school of hard knocks" and you might want to do a search.

Bottom line is do what is best for you personally and what does the best for you as far as furthering your career.

Best of luck!

Member Tue, 01/02/2007 - 18:42

Well I've always been thinking that

A University + marketing degree = stable income/easier to find a job

but a music college like berklee will probably open me to the music industry alot more since it's music related, but it might not be as easy to find a job.

I was just wondering if the chances of me being able to work in a record label in the music industry CAN or WILL BE the same for going to a University and studying business and going to Berklee and studying what they call music business.

Thomas W. Bethel Wed, 01/03/2007 - 04:29
Business is business whether it is the "music" business or managing a multinational corporation making widgets.

True there are differences but if you get a degree in marketing you can combine that with real world experience in the music world and get yourself a good job.

If you look at it from the other side knowing music will not guarantee that you will be good in marketing.

All a college education really does for you is prepare you for the real world but it is up to you to take that education and do something with it. A good college education is like a key that unlocks doors but doing something with that open door is still up to you.