From my comment reply from yesterday’s post:
There are two thoughts on college education: the first is that it is a pathway to greater knowledge and mastery; the second is that it is a precursor to better employment. Reading a Gallup pole blog, I quote: “No matter who you ask — whether it’s a representative sample of Americans, incoming college freshmen, or parents of 5th-12th graders — they say the most important reason for a degree beyond high school is to get a good job.” I think the economics of getting a degree (between $40K and $200K depending on what institution you choose) involve a financial risk, unless you somehow can independently afford your degree without concern for future employment. So . . . getting a job is, at the very least, in the back of students’, parents’ and teachers’ minds.
Of course, no one knows who will be successful in their chosen college career path, nor who will try a different path after college. Most will arrive at their place of success if not immediately, then after some wait, or after a long and winding road. All of that is good.
I want to reveal some of the discrepancies between music degrees and the job market as a “consumer” disclaimer so that everyone can make the best decisions. If nothing else, a trumpet student who more accurately understands the numbers, can get really motivated!!
Today I want to show some fairly accurate numbers on last year’s trumpet employment as listed on the ITG Employment Webpage (thanks to editor Dr. Jason Dovel for providing this break-down):
|Job Type||Total Jobs||Tenured (continuing prospect of employment)||Temporary Full time (visiting or 1 year appointment)||Part-time|
|American Ochestra Jobs||10||6||4|
|Foreign Orchestra listed in ITG employment Page||3||3|
|Academic Non-jazz Positionis||21||16||2||3|
|Academic Jazz Positions||4||3||1|
|Military Trumpet Jobs||5||5|
|Other trumpet jobs||4||The breakdown of “other trumpet jobs” is not known|
|Total U.S. Jobs (not counting assistantships or foreign listings)||44||at least 33||at least 2||8|
Obviously, there are many other employment opportunities than these listings. Many small performing groups do not get listed in the ITG Employment Page. Many part-time faculty jobs are unannounced, as well. There are a very few trumpeters who have unusual jobs that are never listed, such as studio trumpet jobs or Broadway musical jobs. Getting one of these jobs differs from the orchestra audition or academic interview process (the exploration of which would make a good future blog entry). Nevertheless, most of the big jobs ARE listed on the ITG site. In addition to “positions” in the trumpet employment world, many trumpet players are fully self-employed and take a variety of ad hoc jobs.
It is interesting to me that, based on this page, there are currently 42,100 music jobs in the U.S. Now, what I want to know is how many trumpeters figure into that? Based on the HEADS survey of NASM institutions that I referred to yesterday, trumpet enrollment in the fall semester last year was 1,549 compared with a total music student enrollment of 116,351 in the same semester. That means that trumpeters in general represent 1.3% of the total music population (at least in academia). If we extrapolate that figure as it relates to the 42,100 music jobs in the U.S., we come up with about 560 trumpet jobs. The traditional figure used to calculate replacement needs is 8.7%. Thus, we can guess that there are about 49 new trumpet jobs each year.
- We are teaching about 1,549 trumpet students in higher education
- We confer about 369 trumpet degrees each year
- Women, blacks and hispanics are under-represented by a large factor (a third to a tenth less than the general population)
- If the trumpet students are trying to get a job in the real world, they are seeking to replace vacancies in the approximately 560 trumpet jobs that we have in the U.S. (this is about 49 as figured above)
- They are vying (along with former graduates who are still unemployed) for 44 listed job openings, 33 of which are full-time, 2 of which are temporary, and 8 are part-time
- The remaining 5 (49 total vacancies less the listed openings) “jobs” will be cobbled together from part-time positions and ad-hoc jobs.
- If every trumpet graduate this year wanted to get a job upon graduation, this would unfortunately result in unemployment for 320 of the 369 graduates, which correlates to about 87% trumpet unemployment. But, as mentioned before, the unemployed graduates remain in the job market for some time. This creates a much higher rate of unemployment.
- Redirect trumpet students who really do not burn with a passion to play trumpet (I do not think this number is negligible)
- Use this information to motivate current students as much as possible
- Use this information to encourage students to study an alternate curriculum to maximize employability (while still pursuing trumpet studies)
- Re-focus on excellence in trumpet teaching for earlier ages (I believe that the magic trumpet “window” of learning is earlier than college)
- Encourage students to follow different paths in order to make their own unique trumpet jobs
- Encourage more diversity in trumpet programs of study
- Encourage teachers to develop their students in creative and personalized ways
What are your thoughts?
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