Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media Sector Team

Susanne Mata Deputy Sector Navigator for Information Communications Technology/Digital Media in the Inland Empire/Desert Region, attended an industry skills panel at Mt. San Jacinto College on September 12 to learn more about careers in the audio industry and opportunities to create pathways from community colleges to successful employment.

The event, “Careers in Audio: Career Pathways to Success” was sponsored by the department of Audio Technology at Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC), which invited professionals in the audio industry to speak to students and answer questions regarding skills, education requirements and provide insights into career pathways for success.

Together, 50 MSJC students and faculty members attended the panel event and were able to discuss different career opportunities in the audio industry. Seven experts from audio-video companies throughout Southern California, including Live Nation, Sound Image, Avid Technology and Disneyland, served as industry expert panelists. They shared their experiences working in different occupations within the industry including Audio Engineers, Design Consultants, Sound and Electronics Technician and post-production editors.

One of the questions during the panel was “What skills and experience do you recommend for someone pursuing this career path?”
Anne Slack, an audio engineer for Avid Technology encouraged students to accept opportunities that may not pertain to their desired position. She explained to individuals the importance of adapting to different jobs in the industry to network and gain soft skills.

“Be ready to zig and zag,” Slack said. “it’s hardly ever a straight path, but always identify and pursue your career path.”

Jake Hendrickson, a design consultant for Sound Image said that, while there are no specific degrees or licenses required for careers in sound, a passion for lifelong learning is essential.

“it’s an ongoing thing, you’re never going to stop learning… you need to be flexible,” Hendrickson said. 
“Take jobs. Take opportunities that come to you. Collect education degrees. Anything you can acquire on the way, go for it.”

In addition, several panelists stressed the need to have a diverse background that combines both creative and technical skills. In addition, an emphasis on cross-discipline education and knowledge was key for an individual to succeed. Someone with business management skills, knowledge of networking and cyber security combined with audio engineering ability will be sought after by employers. Although the panel was identified as “audio video” the advice provided by the industry experts was applicable to students in any career path.

Inland Empire/Desert Regional community colleges offer a variety of Digital Media pathways and programs. For more information, visit Desert Colleges Website or view the Start your Career booklet. To learn more about the Audio Technology Program at MSJC, please visit

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