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How Do I Choose the Best Audio Engineering Courses?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan

Audio engineering includes several programs of study. Courses typically reflect the overall career goal of that program, so there are many different types. To chose the best audio engineering courses, consider what type of career or hobby you wish to pursue and how an audio engineering course would help you. Decide how much time and money you can devote to your education in audio engineering.

Three basic types of audio engineering courses are available. In music production and technology, sometimes called music industry, students learn to create sound recordings with multiple tracks, typically in digital form. The students are often, themselves, musicians and wish to work in the music recording field.

Broadcast engineering prepares a student for the field of radio and television. Students are primarily trained to produce video and audio. Some study of circuitry and electronics is also required, however.

Man playing a guitar
Man playing a guitar

Electronic engineering technology focuses on advanced electronic theory, and students must have a firm grasp of advanced math and science concepts. They also study circuit analysis and digital electronics. Individuals who have degrees in electronic engineering typically work in design fields to create electronic devices.

When you have decided what field you wish to pursue, look for programs that offer courses in that field. If you are interested in creating and producing musical files, or if you are a musician who wants to record, music industry or music product and technology courses will be the best for you. If you are more interested in working in television and radio, recording mostly spoken word material and dealing with advertisements, news, and other broadcasting related topics, you should look for audio engineering courses in broadcast engineering. To pursue an interest in the technical aspects of electronics, such as building, designing, and troubleshooting electronic devices, you should take courses in electronic engineering.

You do not have to enroll in an audio engineering program to take individual courses. Some schools, however, limit the number of courses you can take without matriculating into their program. Check with the school's admissions department for further information.

You can take audio engineering courses in a classroom setting or online. In some cases, a course is offered as a hybrid, which means that part of it takes place online and part of it takes place in a classroom. These are often classes with a lab component, which requires hands on involvement to complete.

If you enjoy learning on your own, an online class may be right for you. This might also be a good choice if you have a limited amount of time that you can devote to your audio engineering courses because of a job or family commitments. Some students find they learn better with an instructor providing face to face lectures and being readily available for questions and feedback. If you feel that this is your learning style, you should opt for a face to face course.

Before enrolling in any course, try to find out as much about it as possible. Many instructors are happy to provide a syllabus and class schedule to help you decide if their class is right for you. If possible, talk to other students who have taken a course or have taken classes with that instructor, and get their recommendations.

Typically, if you choose a course in your local area, it will be less expensive than choosing a course in an area where you are not a resident. Community or junior colleges are usually the least expensive options, with private colleges and universities being the most expensive. Online courses vary widely in their tuition and fees, so check carefully before enrolling in a class.

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