I'm majoring in Music Business right now, but we did a couple projects last year in Electronic Music where we had to put sound beds onto trailers, and I absolutely fell in love. It was so much fun. I figure for the lack of jobs and such, I should probably keep my Music Business major because I know Sound Design isn't stable, and is difficult to get into, but is a Recording Arts degree what would best fit for Sound Design?

  • Thanks, this is really helpful. I'm so glad I discovered this site. This is a very intimidating career. Do you guys have families and stuff? It kind of seems like in order to be successful with this it takes all your time and all your life. Not that I'm not willing to work hard, I love work, and I love this stuff. It just seems like in order to be successful at Sound Design you have to always have that as your highest priority, all the time. Is that kind of how the business works?
    – Natalie
    Commented Oct 10, 2010 at 19:19

5 Answers 5


Yes...Recording Arts would be better than a Music Business degree (which isn't that stable a path either to be honest).

Learn as much about mixing and recording as you can (mic technique, eq, compression, signal flow, Pro Tools basics etc.) while you are in school and work on some student film projects if you can. Then move to a place like Los Angeles or perhaps New York (if you're into film) and seek an apprenticeship/runner position at a post sound facility. Nothing beats real world experience and mentoring with seasoned pros in the sound design field.

Trust me though, a good attitude/work ethic is more important than a degree or sound design reel for getting a foot in the door in the film/tv world.

  • +1! I can vouch for the last part. If you do go to school, like David Farmer said in his Q&A answers, he said you have to make the teachers teach you and get as much out of it as you can. You can coast along through a school and get 25% of the skill/data set than someone who MAKES the school teach them (asking questions all the time, asking "What's that do"? or "Why are you doing that?" etc. etc.
    – Utopia
    Commented Oct 8, 2010 at 20:25

No degree will get you anywhere. Try to build as much experience as you can. A guy with a good reel and portfolio with no higher education what-so-ever would be preferred over you.

Diplomas don't get the job done, people do that.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not implying that school is unnecessary. Actually school with put you infront of thousands with the theoretical and practical knowledge you learn there. But still it all comes down to actually doing stuff.

Go out there. Help local directors, video game programmers, do it for the sake of experience, then there will be a point where people will want to pay for that experience. And never give up!


Music business is stable? That's news to me. :)

Yes, recording arts is more applicable to sound design, but you can probably expect to work for free (or near to free) at an internship to really learn the craft and get the skills to get a permanent job.

+1 with Justin - a good attitude/work ethic is the true key.


There's no easy answer to your question. But definitely Recording Arts will pay off more so than Music Business. Sound Design involved a lot of technical knowledge, and you will get that in RA, not so much in MB.

When it all is said and done though, the only way you can make a job work is just by putting everything you've got into it. Be prepared for anything and be flexible with your schedule (and your opinions). It's not a silver platter. It's more like an old war relic that you have to polish for years until it's actually worth anything lucrative.

Best of luck!



This is very subjective, no degree is better or valuable than the other; it all depends on you and what you feel can meet your goal. If you're interested in sound design and more technical, then Recording Arts is better for your situation. If you want to learn the administrative and business of life where you're more executive and entrepreneur, then music business is great as well. Stop listening to people who diminishes the value in something they don't see applicable for them, do whats best for you. I will say one more thing that someone said earlier, A degree unfortunately does only open the door for you, its on you to perform work ethics, networking, respect, and professionalism. A degree doesn't teach that, that's on you. Good luck.

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