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MylesHuck
09-21-2011, 12:47 AM
Is anyone currently enrolled in or recently completed their MFA in Visual Effects from SCAD? I'm about to graduate from the Art Institute of CA: San Diego with a degree in Media Arts and Animation, and am exploring options for the future.

I'll be applying for a variety of jobs, but am also considering continuing my education. AI has been a positive experience but wasn't very specialized in any one area.

Is the program worth it? What's Savannah like? Is it foolish to move away from SoCal to pursue something in an industry that's based primarily in SoCal? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

b1m2x3
09-24-2011, 03:39 PM
My honest opinion as a grad from SCAD is that the MFA program is completely worthless.

If you can't get a job with a bfa, an mfa won't help. It will just put you in the can with more debt. If you want to continue your education, you'd be better off pursuing programming or a more technical aspect of graphics and computing.

Or apply for internships. An internship at a company will do much much more towards getting employment in the field of vfx, than an MFA from scad would. And you're already in California so it wouldn't be that bad.

AlreadyOver
09-26-2011, 06:17 PM
And what about the BFA program?Im considering going to Scad for visual effects but im not quite sure about what is the quality of the learning process

carson4k
09-26-2011, 09:46 PM
MFA's are best if you plan on teaching or remaining in academics. Advanced degrees still hold a lot weight in corporate America but not as much in the VFX studio system.

If your plans are to work for a studio in the VFX field... fight to get an internship. Getting your MFA right after graduation doesn't mean much unless you want to remain in the academic field.

Advanced degrees mean more if you get them 8-10 years after you BFA. Get some experience first, then one day you can go back and get your MFA if you really want, but by then you might not need to.

AlreadyOver
09-27-2011, 01:27 PM
Can you say something about the VFX program at SCAD.Is it good or?

Almaghest
09-27-2011, 03:28 PM
I graduated from the BFA VSFX program at SCAD in 2010 and the quality of the education is very good. I would venture as far as to say it's the best 4 year degree program for Visual Effects that currently exists. That said, no school is worth being 100k in debt for, but SCAD is pretty generous with scholarships, which also sets them aside from most other private art schools.

Also, I would not necessarily say that if you can't get a job with a BFA that an MFA won't help. Since you do have a foundation in digital media, the MFA in VSFX would probably help to round out your skillset and get you focused on a specialization (not sure how much AI emphasizes this.) The thought that you can't get a job with an MFA if you can't with a BFA is obviously a load of BS considering how many people I know who did the MFA program and got jobs who could not possibly have gotten those jobs with just their Bachelors dergees. I am curious whether you graduated from the VSFX program, b1m2x3, or from some other program at SCAD.

Anyway, my general thought on it is that if you can make it affordable (like through scholarships), then it's definitely a great program (both the MFA and BFA.) The biggest downside is that 2 years is not a lot of time to get really good if you have no previous experience with things like Maya, but if you do then it's not so bad.

MylesHuck
09-27-2011, 06:19 PM
Thanks for the great feedback, have a lot to consider.

b1m2x3
09-27-2011, 07:20 PM
The thought that you can't get a job with an MFA if you can't with a BFA is obviously a load of BS considering how many people I know who did the MFA program and got jobs who could not possibly have gotten those jobs with just their Bachelors dergees. I am curious whether you graduated from the VSFX program, b1m2x3, or from some other program at SCAD.


Yep, I graduated from scad. I guess I was too harsh regarding MFA's vs BFA's for job applications. I think carson4k summarized my post better than I could have, though.

Most of the kids who pursued MFA's would have been better off seeking employment or internships in the field, or using that time to focus on a specific part/technical aspect of vfx.
What it comes down to - when a reel comes to the studio I work at, we don't care if the person has a BFA, MFA, doctorate/phd, or certificate that says they're the king of the world. If they have great stuff on their reel, or a good demonstration of technical knowledge that is applicable to the projects we're about to work on, we go to the next step. There are many ways to get impressive knowledge/reel pieces, that don't come down to paying to attend school for a few more years.

As for the BFA program, there are 3 reasons I would attend SCAD (in no specific order) Joe Pasquale, Malcolm Kesson, and Ken Huff. The problem is, you have to deal with a bunch of other filler classes that could prevent you from focusing on what really matters (vfx). Most kids spend too much time focusing on their life drawing/art history classes and not enough time on their VFX. I wish I could go back in time and smack some kids around... "You're not gonna get a job in art history... you don't need a 100% A++++ in this."

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