Music won’t make money

Concerned about finances, this letter writer is considering a career in cyber security instead. 

Do your homework, says our elder. Music might offer more options than you think.


Dear EWC

I am at arguably the biggest turning point in my life. I haven’t had any idea of what I want to do with my life, and I’ve finally hit the point where I feel that I need to do this for myself. There is a local college near me that I was attending for music, but I went without the intention to make it a career. Instead, I was there to learn and broaden my knowledge to feed into my hobby. Music has been the one thing that I’ve always been dead set on, but I’m aware that it’s not realistic to rely on it in order to make a good life for myself. I have been looking at courses recently, and I’ve decided that I need something that won’t be physically demanding, as I have some health problems that have a genuine impact on my day-to-day life. It has kept me from having entry level jobs, because the majority of them rely on my ability to be on my feet all day, and that’s just something that I simply cannot do. I’m sorry if this is unorganized. I am not used to doing this whatsoever. Anyways, I am looking into cybersecurity at a state university in California, (where I live), but I am not sure as to what I need to do in order to pursue this. I don’t even know which degrees are which. I have no idea what I need to work on in order to make things work out for me right now. I’m not dead set on working cybersecurity, but I know that it’s one of those things that would provide me with financial security, and it wouldn’t take a major toll on my body. Thank you for reading. I genuinely appreciate it.


Ketchman replies

Thank you for your message. I’ll try to offer something useful.

It can be very difficult, at different points in your life, to determine what paths to continue on, or start, or to abandon. I’ve been at that point a few times in my life and it was never easy to make a decision. The problem, I think, is that there are far more ways than one can make a living than any of us is aware of and, consequently, many people leave a lot of opportunities ‘on the table’.

It’s been my experience that using some form of career guidance can be very useful. It shouldn’t be dependent on giving a definitive answer, but it is useful for introducing you to career possibilities that you might have never heard of or even thought about. There are lots of free online tests. I don’t have a lot of faith in them and most end up trying to sell you some sort of product or service. Before I answered your message I played around with one of them,, and it came up, surprisingly, with some interesting career possibilities – had I been 50 or so years younger – and then tried to sell something. There are also professional career counseling services that can be helpful but they can be pricey.

Were I in your position I think I would use the career guidance services that state schools near you might offer. Cyber security might well be the best option, but I suspect that there are a few other choices that might suit you. Music is an enormous industry with lots of opportunities besides performing. Sound engineering, talent agents, event organizing, are some of the things that come to my mind when I think of careers related to music. What I’m trying to emphasize is that given the very wide range of real, but unknown to you, career alternatives it would pay to investigate those possibilities before investing time and money in a hasty commitment. 

Have a talk with the department head of the cyber security department at the state university to learn what degree(s) you would need to qualify you for the field. If you could also get a chance to chat with a working cyber security manager that would be even more useful to learn about what the real world of cyber secrets is like vs the academic version.

I hope that helps. I think that once you decide what path to choose and then start upon it, life can start looking good with every course completed bringing you that much closer to your goal. I wish you great luck and success.

Article #: 472184

Category: Career

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