Posted by Mike Ross on August 26, 1999 at 16:58:38:
In Reply to: Performance vs. Education posted by John Visel on August 25, 1999 at 21:58:47:
I'm going to jump in here with what I think might be two pertinent points from somebody who does not have a music degree (I studied Nuclear Physics and Electrical Engineering).
The first is that my experience is a twelve year career in which I have had 6 different positions within the same company, been relatively successful, and at no time have I done a job that I actually trained for in University. Point: Life will no doubt hand you a lot of twists and turns - you can't prepare for all of them, but you should expect them.
The second is that when I graduated from engineering, 80% of my class was offered jobs by graduation. Six years later my brother graduated from the same school and only 20% of the class had been offered jobs. The same companies interviewed at the school both times, but my observation was that most were "fishing" - they would make an offer to any who were qualified and pass completely if none were, whether or not they needed people. Point: I don't believe that any degree holds a guarantee of a job, although there are always some hot areas. It's also true that today's hot degree might not be by the time you graduate, or that the number of performance jobs has mushroomed for some reason.
Having said that, my general advice anytime a friend asks about degree courses for a son/daughter is this:
Decide what you like and want to do (the comments about the long hard look in the mirror were pertinent) and then go and do whatever it takes to become DAMN good at it. If this means geting very serious about performance, that's what it means.
If you're not sure what you want to do that badly, do what you like and will give you some flexibility (sounds like education in your description), but be prepared to take some sudden 180's (like changing programs or getting a certification later on) and some re-work (the old I quit music and started computer programming post) if things don't happen. It is very unlikely that the opportunities in life will work out the way they look now - expect change and adapt rapidly.
Sorry to be so long winded and I hope this makes some sense.
Gotta go play some tuba, time for band rehearsal.