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Audio Education (part 3)

Once you have decided that you really have what it takes to make it in a very competitive field, you have to examine the options available. Once upon a time there were hardly any options, now there is a reasonable choice.

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Course providers

Once you have decided that you really have what it takes to make it in a very competitive field, you have to examine the options available. Once upon a time there were hardly any options, now there is a reasonable choice. One thing you will find out very early on is that getting information is very difficult. Your local library will have a shelf full of college prospectuses and course directories, but will you find any information on sound engineering or music technology? Only if you are very lucky or very persistent, but give it a go anyway, many colleges are starting up, or would like to start up, courses and you might find just the one you are looking for by accident. The course providers (a term which I use to cover colleges and private training companies) I have included here are well known and have the ability to get their message across. Some other organisations could do with marketing their wares much more effectively.

There are a number of factors which will narrow down your choice in the very early stages. The first is probably the depth of your pockets. It’s a little known fact that education should be regarded as an investment and if you invest your money then you may reap the reward later. All courses cost money, but those at colleges of further or higher education and universities are subsidised to an extent by a reduction in fees to British or European Community students. You may also be able to get a grant of some kind for certain courses, but in the end your education may limited by what you can personally afford.

The second major factor in narrowing down your choice is that for some reason the fundamental laws of supply and demand do not operate in education. For any other product there will pretty well always be a number of competitive suppliers supplying what people want at prices they are prepared to pay. But if you want an education and are prepared to pay for it you may still have to pass an entrance procedure of some kind, such as an interview or test. You may also have to have existing qualifications such as GCSEs or A levels before you will even be considered for a particular course.

Once you have arrived, through factors unrelated to your lust for knowledge, at a short list of course providers then you can actually do some of the choosing yourself. Do you want a short intensive course on a particular subject, or do you want a longer more thorough one? These things you can find out easily by looking at prospectuses, but bear in mind that you are not going to learn how to be a recording engineer in a week, or even six weeks for that matter, although every little bit of knowledge can be valuable. When you have whittled the choice down to two or three, then you can look at the establishments and see what quality of education they are offering.

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By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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