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.