The pressure to attend college is high.
I have written about how the “college for all” movement is misguided, and how “too many college graduates are chasing too few college-level jobs“. Yet I concede that I wholly understand most parents’ strong desire for their children to go to college. A recent want ad for what some young people might consider a dream job highlights this dilemma.
A major television network is seeking a Music Coordinator for one of its talk shows. The responsibilities include handling all the various details involved in arranging for musical guests. Specific details are described in the job posting partly reproduced below. Requirements include at least one year of related experience and a college degree. I suspect that one or two young people I know would be very interested in this job.
College degree is required.
As can be imagined, there are many young music enthusiasts with years of experience working with bands and music venues who could capably handle this job. Because they were busy devoting so much time and energy to the music business, some never completed college. It’s easy to see how a person fitting this profile could be the ideal candidate for this network position. In addition to extensive experience, this person would bring a great enthusiasm for the music business to this job.
This Music Coordinator job could be the entree to a satisfying career in the field of musical entertainment.
But with no college degree, any chances at this dream job are minuscule. The hiring manager really can’t be blamed for only considering candidates who have graduated from college. As a practical matter, it helps winnow the huge volume of applications. Plus it acts a signalling device, at the very least indicating the candidate had the discipline and intelligence needed to get through four years of college. And when so many job seekers are college graduates, the decision to hire someone who lacks a degree could be hard to justify to upper management.
So there we are. Often the best advice is to just go get that college degree, even if it means majoring in film studies, gender studies, music appreciation, or whatever. Just do it.
Here is the job that requires a college degree:
- Coordinate Guest Bands for Talk Show
- Connect with Production Managers to discuss and coordinate stage plot, backline, ordering supplemental equipment, pick up and delivery, band riders etc.
- Help set-up band equipment
- Help break down band equipment
- Secure paperwork and approvals for payment
- College Degree required
- 1+ years professional music production work experience required
- Must be proficient on Mac
- You must be willing to submit to a background investigation as part of the selection process
- Must have ability to work flexible hours due to the production schedule of the show; including weekends and evenings when necessary
- References from previous employers required
- Ability to work in a fast paced environment, multi-task and be agreeable to changes
- Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
- Knowledge and interest in music is a plus
- Technical knowledge of music production equipment a plus
Related: College graduates who majored in fine arts are not doomed to a life of poverty (Cost of College)