Tag Archives: careers

Best careers for music lovers

Many people are passionate about music; however, not everyone is born with the ability to be a successful musician. If you don’t have the chops to be the main act, but you still want to be in the music scene, here are some careers that you should look into!

1) Talent Scout

The salary for a Talent Scout is very hit or miss considering most are paid solely in commission (if you bring in great acts you get paid). However, for those hoping to break into the music industry, talent scouting is a great entry level job. You can work for clubs, record labels, or television. The job of making an underground artist’s dreams come true while discovering terrific new music is an opportunity that every music lover should jump at.

“Many people are passionate about music, however not everyone is born with the ability to be a successful musician.”

2) Music Producer

The salary for a Music Producer can range from $25,000 to $1,000,000  depending on how successful the record label and the talent you work with are. Many Music Producers can make a big name for themselves, becoming almost as famous as their clients. In this job, you work directly with the artists, helping them find their sound, record their music, and get their work to where it needs to be to be released to the public. It’s a demanding job that can require lots of time in the studio, but when you perfect a track, it can be highly rewarding.

3) Promotion Manager

The salary for a Promotion Manager can range from $27,000 to $95,000 (or possibly more), once again depending on the success of the employer and talent. As a Promotion Manager, you would work directly for a recording label procuring gigs for the artists and directing promotional campaigns for the label and its clients. This is a terrific job if you enjoy planning and making connections.

4) Manager

Like a Talent Scout, most Managers work on commission (usually 10-20%). Managers represent artists, helping them find recording labels, deal with legal aspects such as contracts, and accompany them on tours and to gigs. Managers must be prepared to deal with crises such as blemishes on the artists’ public image or legal troubles.

5) Tour Publicist

The salary for a Tour Publicist ranges from $30,000 to $100,000. As a Tour Publicist you would spread word of tour dates and locations to fans, schedule promotional performances (i.e. on talk shows) and press conferences. If you’re interested in public relations as well as music, this is definitely a career worth looking into.

There are a lot of careers in the music business. While hard to break into, if you’re willing to put forth ample amounts of hard work, you can be extremely successful in the music industry.


Majors that allow you to be creative AND make money

We’ve all heard the story about the distant cousin who majored in Art and is now a starving painter living in a shoebox somewhere.

Choosing a major seems simple- choose something you can tolerate that will make you money. After all, how many people do you know that are truly passionate about finance? This doesn’t have to be the case, however. There are many careers out there that utilize creativity while also allowing you to live comfortably.

Here are just a few, offered here at Radford:

1. Media Studies: Advertising

Average salary for Creative Copywriters- $61,000 (with the ability to move up in the ranks and earn more)

Many people get Advertising confused with Marketing. While Marketing does require a certain amount of creativity, Advertising  works more with the nitty gritty aspects of introducing a product to the general public. While there are many jobs in the Advertising field, the most creative position is that of a Creative Copywriter (or Advertising Copywriter) . Creative Copywriters are in charge of designing the story-boards for marketing campaigns such as commercials. Every one of your favorite commercials started out as simply an idea in someone’s head. That person could be you one day!

Other careers for Advertising majors include Media Planning and Buying, Researching, and Account Managing. Senior positions in all areas can make well into the triple digits depending on the company and location.

2. Media Studies: Journalism

Average salary for Journalists: $49,000

Pinpointing the average salary for a journalist can be pretty tough considering how broad of a field journalism really is. As a journalist, you could work as an on-air reporter, a talk show host, a writer for a newspaper, or even just work freelance (sell your articles to newspapers, magazines, etc.) Because of this, pay obviously fluctuates. That being said, a career in journalism can be extremely rewarding both financially and otherwise.

3. Art: Graphic Design

Average salary for Graphic Designers: $53,000

The Graphic Design field has rapidly expanded over the past few years, causing it to become a pretty lucrative career path. Graphic Designers can work with any company from advertising agencies to magazine publications because so many businesses require their services nowadays. Graphic Designers may be asked to design logos, web page layouts, and book covers- the possibilities are endless!

4. Music: Music Business

Average salary: varied

If you love music, but don’t want to be the main act, this major may be the one for you. Careers in the music industry range from Managers to Booking Agents and Concert Promoters to Music Accountants. Depending on the success of either the record label you work for or the act you represent, you could either make peanuts or crazy good money. The job that pays the most consistently is that of an Entertainment (Music) Attorney. Entertainment Attorneys handle all the legal matters of the music business and can make anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000 a year. These jobs are pretty abundant considering the fact that every artist and record label needs lawyers. The one drawback would be that after completing the Music Business undergrad degree, law school would be a necessity. Other jobs such as Managers, who represent the musical talent, get their earnings solely from commission so they’re only as successful as their acts. Music Business Accountants handle musicians’ and labels’ financial needs and make salaries ranging from $40,370 to $113,740. While finding a job in the music industry might be a little harder than some other fields, working so close with something you love and having the opportunity to get rich doing it is something that you simply can’t pass up.

5. Design: Fashion Design

Average salary: $73,570

You may not get that dream job in Paris, however, every retail clothing store needs fashion designers. Most people shy away from this field because it seems so cut-throat. While competitive, it’s certainly not impossible to break into the fashion business as long as you’re willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. So if designing cute clothes is your passion and you’re willing to work hard to reach your goals, switch your major as soon as possible.

You should be able to wake up every day and be excited to go to work. If a creative degree draws you in, don’t push it away simply because your family thinks you’d be more successful as a business student. There are ways to make a good salary in most fields, so choose what you love and not what you can merely tolerate.


Making money with your art degree. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Making money with your art degree. Graphic by Katie Gibson

Why COMS is the Best Major

I can say wholeheartedly my major is the best major around and I wouldn’t change it for the world. And no, it’s not because I get to write for Whim (anyone can do that–hint hint)!

Coming to Radford for music therapy, I thought I was set. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and what I wanted to do when I graduated. That changed very quickly. I was calling home every day; I was homesick and I no longer wanted anything to do with Radford. In my second semester, I decided music therapy was not for me (even though I still love everything it can accomplish). I was going home and never looking back.

Communication students. Graphic from Radford University website
Communication students. Graphic from Radford University website

After taking some regular gen ed courses, I knew what I wanted to do:journalism. I always had a knack for writing,  and I have no problem talking to people. My public speaking class really drove it home for me.

After coming into the School of Communication here at RU, I have to tell you, it’s one of the best. The professors are always available, willing to help no matter what it takes, and working together to make this experience what it should be for students. I had professors who wanted to see me succeed and helped me in every way possible, even if it didn’t have to do with a COMS class.

Although journalism isn’t necessarily a major for everyone who loves to write, it fit perfectly for me. I think there are some criteria that really work if you want to be a journalism major.

  1. You have to enjoy writing
  2. You need to work well with others
  3. You need to have a moral compass
  4. You have to have a passion for helping others or getting them the information they need or want
  5. You have to be good with time management (deadlines come faster than you think)

I know, that’s not the most detailed list but it’s a start.  I’ve had days where I just wanted to quit or  change my major. People have days like that all the time, but I am going to tell you that it’s so worth it. You push through all the deadlines and see your work published in The Tartan or here on Whim and it’s a great feeling.

I  love knowing that even if people don’t read what I have to say, I have a voice — and I can be that voice for other people as well. This semester we have talked a lot about how journalism is a service to help the community and I believe that 100 percent. I wouldn’t change anything about how these last 3 years have gone and I highly suggest looking into journalism or the School of Communication if you’re still undecided on a major!

What women really want from the government

Recently, a video came out that addressed the expectations women have of our government. A Fox News anchor in the video claimed that women want to be cared for by the government, much like they want to be cared for by their husbands, No, most women don’t want a husband to care for them. In 2015, many women are pursuing college degrees and putting the idea of having a family on hold. In 1990, the average age for women to get married was 23, and now that number has climbed to 27. Considering the average age for a woman to get married was 20 in 1960, it’s obvious that women are interested in things other than settling down.

Women are no longer going to college to get an “MRS” degree and are, instead, focusing on their own success.

Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope, a driven woman in government. Graphic from IMDb
Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope, a driven woman in government. Graphic from IMDb

Many women are also becoming the breadwinners for their families. In return, that means there’s a greater numbers of stay-at-home dads. Many argue that men shouldn’t be stay-at-home dads because they’ll be emasculated. However, many stay-at-home dads have said that being home is a lot more difficult than they expected, and don’t feel inferior to their wives after their experiences

What these breadwinning, career pursuing women want from the government isn’t “to be taken care of.” In 2015, women aren’t damsels in distress who need a hero or a governing body to come swoop in and save the day. Women these days want to be respected and treated as equals.

What women want from the government is to be recognized and represented. The great thing about America is that we aren’t a country full of white, middle-aged men, as one would expect looking at the demographics of our government officials. Women outnumber men in the United States, yet aren’t as well-represented.

Many women want the government to recognize their medical rights. Although not all women agree, many women want abortion to be legal and recognized as a legitimate medical procedure. Many women also recognize that our healthcare is a huge issue in the US. Although healthcare has come a long way, there are many complications women face in receiving proper care.

More than anything, women want to be recognized as equal to men. Women are paid less than men, and are often refused positions simply because a man with equal qualifications also applied for the job. Because women are often unable to obtain a well-paying job, they’re also more likely to be uninsured or underinsured.

Women also want the ability to pursue their careers and a family — without having to choose between the two. Many women leave their jobs when they become pregnant because their employers don’t offer sufficient maternity leave or benefits.

Overall, women don’t expect to be taken care of by the government. We simply want to be seen as equal to men and have the ability to pursue a career as much as men can. Hopefully, in the near future, the government will take steps to ensure women and men all have the opportunities to pursue their dreams. The truth is, we Beyonce voters need to step up and make sure we choose candidates who are going to implement policies which will get us to more equal ground.

Advice for Rising Sophomores

Springtime at Radford University means a lot of things: studying on the grass instead of inside Young, the looming threat of final exams, and most importantly, the end of yet another fantastic school year. Many of you are part of the class of 2018, and as your freshman year comes to a rapid close, you may be blissfully unaware of the stress that comes with trading in your “freshie” status. The truth is, freshman year is a cakewalk compared to sophomore year. However, with the right group of friends and the right mindset, you can make it a terrific experience.

As a rising junior, I have a few tips that may make your year a little less overwhelming.

Your guide to being a Sophomore at Radford. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Your guide to being a Sophomore at Radford. Graphic by Katie Gibson

1) Never be afraid to change your major.

Seriously. If you’re not happy, change your major. Change your major three times, four times, five times, until you absolutely love where you are. Not everyone has the money to go back to school if they end up hating their career. Make the right decision for you. Pick a major that will get you excited to go to class everyday. Pick a career that will make you look forward to the work week. You only live once; do what makes you happy.

2) Don’t be afraid to let go of your friends from freshman year.

I hate to say it, because it’s always sad when someone you’re close to leaves your life, but some friends aren’t meant to be lifelong friends. Whether you realize it or not, many of your friends freshman year were probably only your friends out of convenience. After all, it’s way easier to keep toxic friendships with people that you met the first week of school in the dorms than it is to venture off  and make new friends. If you ever feel like you have to force a friendship, simply let it go. Life’s too short for drama. Always surround yourself with people that make you genuinely happy.

3) Say “no” to going out sometimes.

Almost everybody is a tad bit rebellious when they start college. Even I found myself out on Light Side the night before a test during freshman year. But freshman year is very different than sophomore year. The workload is lighter, the classes are easier, and the professors are a hell of a lot more understanding when you come down with a sudden case of “the flu” right before a test. IT’S OKAY to stay in on a Wednesday night to study when all of your friends are begging you to go out to a party. IT’S OKAY to choose your school work over your social life- that doesn’t make you a loser. Put school before everything, because school is first and foremost why you’re at Radford .

4) Go to class.

A wise person once told me that going to class is like going to the gym–you never want to go, but you feel so much better having gone than skipping. Once again, you’re here for school — so unless you’re skipping to study for an exam or something of that nature, just suck it up and get yourself to class.

5) Exercise.

Sophomore year is a lot of pressure. You’re expected to declare a major and, essentially, plan your whole life within a single year. On top of that, the workload is heavier, especially if you’re starting into your major classes. Take just an hour a day to go to the gorgeous new gym and sweat some of that stress out. If you don’t, then you’ll wind up eating your feelings.Trust me, if you think the infamous “Freshman Fifteen” was scary, then you don’t even want to know what you’ll look like after a semester of sobbing into cartons of ice cream because you don’t have your life figured out yet.

Like college in general, sophomore year is a weird combination of absolutely terrifying and extremely exciting experiences. You’ll make new friends, find new passions, and explore new things about yourself. Embrace it all, the good and the bad– because despite everything, these are the best four years of our lives.

Get inked…or maybe not

No teenager can possibly be expected to have his or her life mapped out. It’s nearly impossible. Eighteen years old means freedom. In some cases, the temptation to revel in the new found separation from parents also leads to new forms of self-expression. Many times, that means getting a tattoo. However, this can easily lead to Godzilla-sized regrets. On the other hand, it can be a very positive thing in your life. The choice is up to each individual how the process is gone about.

First of all, if you’d like a tattoo, keep a few things in mind. The prospect of breaking out of your shell and taking a huge risk can be very appealing. There are right ways of going about this. Save your money for the right tattoo parlor. Beware: You could easily become one of the tattoo fail cases.

Do you have any "regerts" about that  tattoo? Graphic from Cheezburger
Do you have any “regerts” about that tattoo? Graphic from Cheezburger

Tattoo fails happen a lot. Be wary of celeb tattoos and spelling errors. You might want a memorable quote on your arm and you wind up with “their,” instead of “they’re.” It also helps to be sober when getting a tattoo. Spelling errors ruin a cool tattoo idea.

Explore why you should get one too. Getting one can be to inspire your self, maybe even others. It could help you to remember an event or person or represent a personal belief. That can include culture and religion. These can even be treated as a new accessory, depending on where you’re tattooed. In the end, don’t forget that this is on your body and is your decision, so do it for yourself and not others. Its very nature is self-expression in our cultural context anyways.

Before making your inking appointment, try actually drawing the tattoo on. It’s a way to test how the tattoo would look and you may learn something new about it during this trial run. You won’t get ink poisoning. I promise. In addition to the trial run, as yourself a few pertinent questions like: “When will I have to hide this? Will I have to hide it from my family? Will this close any doors for you in the present/future? Will it open any?”

Of course there has been an increase of tattoo acceptance in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean that getting inked won’t limit your career choices. This doesn’t mean you can’t get any tattoos. Just keep professionalism in mind before making a rash decision. Don’t forget that you’re in college to plan your future. Personal image also includes hair color, clothes, and tattoos!

Take careful consideration in which tattoo you want on your body. Getting a logo on yourself makes you a walking advertisement. Not only that, but who knows what that company/product could be affiliated with in the future? Scandals happen. Also, be wary of tattoos in a foreign language! Do your research, guys. That awesome Chinese tattoo could mean anything and I mean anything.

The case for early experience

This is one of my favorite times of year, and not just because the Christmas cups are back at Starbucks and Thanksgiving break is all but here. No, I love mid-to-late fall because I get a huge kick out of listening to my high school friends’ college application updates and other upperclassmen adventures. Not only is it exciting to find out what schools everyone’s aiming for, but their tales of senior homecoming and graduation applications are something of a nostalgia trip for me. It’s funny how the same thrills (and the same problems) show up for class after class, year after year. Continue reading The case for early experience

Don’t judge a person by their career

Our culture is success-driven, capitalistic and judgmental, whether we like it or not. That’s why we’re in college, isn’t it? We all want to be able to get a job that pays well so we can brag to all of the people we went to high school with about how successful we are. But does money mean achieving success?

The job doesn’t always end up being one we love or even enjoy. I hate asking my mom’s friends how they like their jobs because the response is always something along the lines of “it pays the bills.” And while I’m not endorsing living in poverty so you can chase your every whim, I believe we need to rethink reasons for having a career.

Photo from Creative Commons.

My very dear friends Amanda and Jason work in retail. She is a bookseller at Barnes & Noble while he helps his brother run a winery. They’re both about 30 years old, have college degrees and love their jobs. But he says all of his childhood friends always give him an odd look and tell him they expected more of him. She says she gets the same reaction. OK, rude. They aren’t lazy or unable to have a conventional career, they’re simply happy with what they do. And I’m not just saying that because I’m their friend. You can ask their bosses for references.

And here I am at 21 getting the same look because I absolutely adore my job as a barista. I live, breathe and dream coffee. I love the sense of community it brings, the aroma and atmosphere of little coffee shops and the joy I bring when I make a bad-ass cup for my customers. I daydream about the ingredients I would use in drinks when I open my own coffee shop and practice making the perfect latte while I’m at work. I spend my nights baking pastries, judging them on how my future customers would enjoy them. I watch YouTube tutorials on how to make art in the latte foam. You could say I’m pretty dedicated.

I can see your face when you’re reading this article. You’re thinking, “Why would she spend four years in college if she’s just going to be a barista?” I’ll tell you why. Having a college degree can open doors in the coffee industry, just like any other. Being a journalism major, I’ve retained skills in writing, researching and communicating. Those are great skills for management, public relations, marketing and even blogging. Working for a wholesale coffee bean company, like Counter Culture, a job would demand those skills to improve the company. While I love writing, I love coffee even more.

Photo from Creative Commons.

Frankly, with the happiness of Americans in a rapid decline, I feel blessed to have a job I love. It pays the bills, I get a sense of fulfillment after a hard day’s work, and there are career opportunities in unexpected places if you work hard enough. Aren’t those characteristics of a good career choice? I’m giving these examples because we’re choosing career paths not expected of college-educated people. We’re supposed to be slaving away in cushy corporate jobs, working our way up to that Mercedes or corner office. Well, if you look around, that course of life isn’t working out very well, anyway.

So, before you look down on someone in a job different from yours, think again. We love what we do. How many people can say that?