A Case for Higher Education

Posted by Japheth Campell | July 31st, 2011  

Because of advancements in technology and the rise of digital distribution models, the music industry is changing at a rapid pace. Pandora is old news and Spotify is just hitting the U.S. Market. “The Cloud” is the current buzzword, while industry insiders are already forecasting the imminent extinction of the digital download model.

It’s no wonder that there has been a huge turnover in the industry in recent years. How is one to navigate the digital frontier and become relevant in today’s market? Luckily, technology has given us the Internet and a plethora of information. A person can research and study the industry from the comfort of his or her home or a café.

I took the self-study approach for the past 15 years. Although I was possibly more knowledgeable on the industry than most musicians, I wasn’t taking the necessary steps to penetrate the industry. It wasn’t until I pursued a graduate degree in entertainment business that I felt equipped to excel in the music industry and the area of digital distribution.

For some reason, education seems to get a bad rap, especially with musicians. Someone recently commented on Facebook that people go to college because they are not smart enough to learn on their own. The truth is, smart people pursue higher education because they realize they are limited by their personal resources and desire to access the resources that only the academic world can provide. I’m sure if the Facebook commenter is ever in need of a medical procedure such as surgery, he will be thankful that his physician attended all the appropriate levels of education and passed all the tests, as opposed to merely spending time in the public library or on WebMD.

I believe the same holds true for the entertainment industry. It wasn’t until I enrolled at Full Sail University that I gained access to experts in practically every area of the industry today. The training helped me mold and advance the ideas I already had, while helping me develop new ideas. I feel that I am now truly proficient in various areas of the industry such as, Entertainment Business Finance, Artist Management, Entertainment Law, Digital Marketing, and Digital Distribution, to name a few.

Education not only increases knowledge and expertise, but gives a graduate an edge in the job market. According to U.S. Census data for 2009, 27.9% of Americans have completed a bachelor’s degree. Contrast that number with the 10.3% of Americans who have completed an advanced degree such as a master’s degree. A person completing a graduate degree joins a special sector of society.

Based on the degree and school attended, a person can stand out from every other applicant in a very competitive job market. That’s why I highly recommend a graduate degree from Full Sail University, a school revered by the entertainment industry. Taking the path to higher education not only provides needed knowledge for today’s digital music market, but also provides opportunities within the industry.

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