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What skills do Music graduates develop?

Graduates have well developed technical skills and knowledge in their major subject area. During their degree studies they also develop generic, transferable skills that are sought by employers. When writing a CV and preparing for interviews, it pays new graduates to analyse the course work they did. Specific examples are useful as evidence of the skills and knowledge they are offering an employer.

Performing and Composing

  • Presentation/performance skills
  • Reading and writing music/using othxpression
  • Vocal/manual dexterity
  • Concentration and focus

Interpersonal and Communication skills

  • Leading/participating in small and large groups
  • Understanding group dynamics
  • Observing human interactions
  • Attuned and sensitive listening skills
  • Excellent verbal and written skills

Research and Analysis

  • Advanced research strategies, accessing relevant information
  • Considering historical perspectives
  • Recognising cultural differences and similarities
  • Thinking critically
  • Evaluating information
  • Recognising the school/period/composer of a work
  • Comparing interpretations

Problem Solving

  • Defining problem areas and their components
  • Taking multiple approaches to problems
  • Attending to details
  • Perceiving patterns/structures


  • Planning programmes
  • Time management
  • Meeting deadlines

Where do Music graduates work?

Graduates with degrees in music find employment in diverse fields. Careers range across all aspects of the music industry, and other industries such as film, theatre, social research, communications, arts and culture administration, events management, finance and law.

A few graduates achieve international and national recognition, becoming full time performers and composers. Others have portfolio careers that combine various professional music roles with other work.

Those who have talent and the 'X factor' can still be successful without gaining a degree, however formal study develops skills and knowledge, giving people a solid foundation from which to grow their careers and expand into other domains.

Job titles - a selection

  • Accompanist
  • Arranger
  • Artistic administrator
  • Audio/Sound Engineer
  • Background Vocalist
  • Band member
  • Business Manager (retail, recording, tour etc)
  • Choir Director
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Cruise ship band member
  • Film Scorer/Composer
  • Jingle Writer
  • Lecturer, university, conservatory
  • Luthier/Instrument repairer
  • Lyricist
  • Marketing Representative
  • MIDI Engineering
  • Music Archivist
  • Music Critic/Reviewer
  • Musical Director
  • Music Historian
  • Music Librarian
  • Music Publisher/Editor/Journalist
  • Music Sequencer
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Wholesaler/Retailer
  • Orchestrator
  • Performing Synthesist
  • Piano Tuner
  • Producer - theatre, film
  • Program Director (recording, radio, TV)
  • Programmer (music software, virtual sound environments)
  • Public Relations Advisor/Manager
  • Radio/TV announcer/programmer
  • Recording Engineer
  • Road Manager
  • Sales Representative/Manager
  • Session Musician
  • Soloist, Vocal/Instrumental
  • Songwriter
  • Sound Designer/Engineer/Technician
  • Studio Director or Manager (recording)
  • Symphony Orchestra/Group Member
  • Synthesis Specialist
  • Teacher, Secondary/Primary School/Studio
  • Tour Coordinator/Manager
  • Transcriber
  • Typesetter

Further information can be found in the Music Career View (PDF 890KB)