Closeup on ukulele in the sun with tiny graduation cap on top

5 Major Career Benefits to Earning Your Music Degree

Skipping college to pursue a music career might seem enticing, but here are a few benefits to getting your degree first before stepping into the spotlight.

People considering getting their degree in the arts often worry it will slow down their career trajectory or cost too much money. Even though some famous artists—like Taylor Swift—didn’t go to college, plenty of them—like Lana Del Ray—did, and it has helped them with their careers tremendously. College could play an important role in your musical development. Learn more about the types of programs available to you and the benefits of pursuing a Music degree to help further your career.

Types of Music degrees

While you could get just a general degree in Music, you’re not stuck on a single path. There are many myths about pursuing a degree in the arts, and this is one of them! You can specialize in your passion based on which school or program you choose. You can enroll in a traditional Music program at a liberal arts college or university or pursue courses through a program like 1500 Sound Academy, a professional music school in Los Angeles. The path you choose is totally up to you depending on your preferences and goals. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Music, here are a few other music-related degrees you’ll find at many traditional colleges that may interest you:

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Science in Music Education

Related: Colleges for Specialized Music Interests

5 benefits to studying Music in college

You might start out your university career thinking you’re interested in singing and songwriting only to later find out you actually love conducting therapy through music or prefer sound engineering behind the scenes. Pursuing any one of these kinds of programs has many benefits, including the following.

1. Studying what you love

Are you ready to study music day in and day out? Earning your Music degree will allow you to learn your craft while developing your education and expanding your knowledge. You’ll have the chance to improve your techniques and skills while also learning about the theory behind the notes. If you feel like you’re lacking in any aspect of music performance, receiving music education at an organized school can provide you with a stronger background in your chosen art form.

2. Learning about more than just your instrument

Whether your instrument is your voice, a guitar, or something else entirely, enrolling in a Music program will provide you the opportunity to practice and perfect your skills—that’s obvious. However, that’s not all you’ll get with a music education. There’s a lot of breadth to programs at a traditional university, including music history, music theory, software engineering, and an overview of the modern music industry that often layers in business learning. Some courses even teach you how to write music and how to write about music so you can pursue other careers as well. The more skills you build through higher education, the more career paths you can explore.

Related: Get Real! Myths and Advice About Arts Majors and Careers

3. Opening up more career opportunities

Not everyone who’s passionate about music wants to be a performer. Some people just want to compose, produce, or write for others, while others want to advise about music for movies and video games. Whether you want to compose music for traditional music boxes, DJ at clubs around the world, conduct a philharmonic orchestra or write about music as a journalist, a solid first step is a degree from a university that offers Music majors and programs.

4. Building your confidence

Some people desperately want to pursue their passions, but they don’t have the confidence to get up on stage or even share their work with others. When you attend college for Music, you’ll surround yourself with like-minded students and teachers who are all there to support you and encourage you to thrive. Leave the nonbelievers and negativity behind; college is a space that encourages passion, self-expression, and risk-taking. You’ll find yourself on stage, singing or playing your heart out in no time! (If that’s what you want—building confidence is important for behind-the-scenes work too!)

5. Expanding your network

College is a great place to learn and grow on an individual level, but it’s also the perfect place to meet people and build your network for the future. You might be attending classes with the next big music producer or conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic! Going to college and attending the same classes offers you the opportunity to bond with people who may be important to your life and future career. You should also take time to participate in clubs and activities to further help you meet people in the music world both on and off campus.

Related: How to Use Your College Network to Land a Job

Is a Music degree worth it?

There are always those who believe getting out and doing the thing is more valuable than expanding your education first, but this list shows you that getting your Music degree can be incredibly beneficial to your personal development and professional ambitions. Finding the right program can help you meet others on the same path and show you a whole new world of opportunity. So take a minute to explore your options and see if this has changed your tune about college.

Find great programs to take your music career to the next level with our College Search tool

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Tess DiNapoli

Tess DiNapoli

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Caio Matos

Caio Matos

High School Class of 2022

Starting the college admissions process as an international student was daunting. Thankfully, CollegeXpress was the first website I used for that cause and it helped me so much, from knowing where to start to deciding what my next move would be. I'll take a gap year, but I’m certainly using the website again when applying for fall 2023.

Sierra Carranza

Sierra Carranza

High School Class of 2022

I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to go to school; I was considering colleges in almost every state. CollegeXpress was an amazing resource and helped me compare all of my top schools. Without the help of CollegeXpress, I probably wouldn't have made such an informed and confident decision.

Maurice Whan

Maurice Whan

$2,000 Spring Scholarship Contest Winner, 2021

This year has been tough for my family and myself, so receiving this scholarship has been a blessing in disguise! CollegeXpress has been an excellent resource in helping me prepare financially for college. Thank you again for this amazing opportunity!

Leah Maciel

Leah Maciel

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me with all aspects of applying for college. The website is extremely easy to navigate and gives access to so many resources. I was able to research all of the colleges I was interested in, find out any information I wished to know about, and keep them organized in a list. I've also been able to research scholarships and save them as resources for later. I've used many websites in my college and scholarship search, and CollegeXpress has by far been my favorite one to use.

Victoria Fuss

Victoria Fuss

March Madness Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me dramatically. Moving on to the next level has been a dream of my mine since I was just a young kid, and the support and help CollegeXpress has given me will help me further my education. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at CollegeXpress!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

New York University

New York, NY

Pace University

New York, NY

Millikin University

Decatur, IL