So You Want to Be a DJ, But You Don't Know Where to Start by Tim White

Got a dynamic personality, a good sense of humor and some technical ability? Can you connect with people? When you talk, can you make people listen? Ever thought about a job that would allow you combine all of these qualities together to help build a better career? Ever thought about becoming a disk jockey for a local or national radio station? If you found yourself answering yes to any of these questions, an on-air position may be just the career for you.

It's the job of radio broadcasters to entertain, engage and inform their audience with everything from sports to weather from traffic to concerts. DJs dispense information that their audience cares about, so a good DJ knows his or her audience well. The DJ knows what his audience likes and what will make the audience switch stations. DJs are required to have amusing and engaging personalities, along with the skills and expertise required to run professional radio programs.

As with all other broadcasting jobs, the position of a disc jockey requires experience - experience proves to employers that you're serious about a career in radio broadcasting. No morning or afternoon drive DJ got where they are by luck alone. It always takes years of dedication where the DJ refines his or her on-air persona and learns how to best interact with the audience.

The only problem with this is that it takes experience to gain experience. This is where career colleges and broadcasting schools can help. These schools features hands-on, in-depth training courses guaranteed to provide their students with the skills and experience needed to work in the exciting field of broadcasting.

The courses offered range in everything from vocabulary and speaking techniques to cable and satellite production and operation. All of which will help you to build a strong core of skills needed to work in your desired field, whether it be behind the camera in a production booth or in front of the camera or microphone.

When searching for a career college or broadcasting school to expand your skills and turn you into a more dynamic potential employee, be sure to look for national accreditation and strong affiliations with state boards. Committees such as the Accrediting Commission of Career School and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT) are among a list of accrediting committees that enhance the value of a school or college, by providing a stronger backbone for the institution.

A potential employee with an educational background and skill set provided by a nationally accredited career college or broadcasting school is far more likely to make a lasting impression with a station manager on a resume first glance. The skills and experiences learned at a professional institution add to the amount of worth and weight that a potential employee will carry over another applicant who is trying to break into the field right after high school.

Career colleges and broadcasting schools also offer hands-on training in real-world situations. Good broadcasting schools offer internships with radio and television stations, where students can gain personal connections to industry professionals. These experiences help students to get their foot in the door months or even years before communications students at a traditional four year university.

After graduating from a career college or broadcasting school, you will enter the workforce with the experience and skills that will make employers want you as their new station manager or on-air talent.

If you want to become a DJ, contact a college or school near you and get started today in a program that could change your life. Be on air.

Tim White is the director of admissions for the Ohio and Illinois Centers for Broadcasting, where he helps students learn to be a DJ, and has been FCC licensed since being a college radio DJ. He taught communications classes at the college level. He also authored several published articles in various trade magazines.

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