At what point do we hold the schools accountable?

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Old 02 February 2013   #46
Originally Posted by mingbling: Now with the recent explosion of for-profit schools flooding the market with artists who probably aren't qualified to be working in this industry coupled with a lack of accreditation and standards to differentiate the truly great artists from the button pushers


This. There's nothing quite like graduating with a degree that you're not quite sure if you earned and that no real employer actually cares about.

The trouble is - how *do* you quantify this field? Button pushing skills? We know that won't work. There's an X-factor to it all.

And even if you could get a certification stating that a group of masters thought you had the X-factor, that's not really going to help an industry in which breaking the status quo and thinking outside the box of "normal" is standard. Van Gogh would have failed such a test.

Quite a few comparisons can be made to the field of sports. How many kids did you know who *knew* they we're going to be in the NBA, NFL, or MLB - and for that reason slacked off of studies? There needs to be a reality check in there somewhere.

By all means, try your hardest and enjoy playing sports in high school or learning art in college, but be honest with your own skills, and get a plan B in the ready. I mean, wasn't there a thread today...
 
Old 02 February 2013   #47
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Oh yeah.

I have posted a lot over the education forums about the scam these schools are running.

There is a FANTASTIC documentary about this called
College inc from the PBS tv show Frontline:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/front...AwAABwAAAML4CwA=



and a long and complicated read, but do try read it, you might need an mba, because a significant portion of the "education" business is not about education it's about money.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david..._b_1909449.html

Sad to say, that anyone (and that includes c.c's) has access to the finaid system, is falling or being forced to some degree into the same equity trap.

from AWN
http://www.awn.com/blogs/casually-u...co-too-big-fail

Students need to consider who is backing the institution as important as the course content. Thats a hard burden, but unfortunately is nowadays a necessary one.

Europe, dont think your immune, some of those establishments are now being urged to divest into Europe to realize the growth levels that the business demands. Rather like banks divesting derivatives in local government markets in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, a few years back, to again sustain the levels of growth and profitability for them.

I apologize in having this come off as a hard-core lesson in economics, but that's whats underpinning the whole system, that's the way it is today.

And students should know that --before-- getting in such high levels of debt.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #48
This is true, to a degree, but I would also add to the comments already submitted that sometimes a stroke of luck and life circumstance can really change your career direction (for better or worse). That is, those with the skill, drive and passion sometimes don't get the job or stay in the industry and I am not necessarily talking about my good self here

From my experience with school, I went to a cheap school (when there weren't many in Australia) for the reason that it was in town, cheap and had equipment. I resolved to do most of my learning on my own and with a couple of other students. The classes were okay, but definitely not industry level (at the time).

Out of the class, our group all had jobs before we graduated or very soon after. Not coincidentally, were were all older than average, having already been to Uni or having worked. We were there for a very focused reason and we took it seriously. We had also dealt with job-seeking, interviews and negotiating wages/hours etc before, which schools can try and teach you, but you mostly have to learn from experience.

Later when I was working on a feature, I taught at an art-college for a semester, associated with an major Australian University. I was teaching an elective on compositing for animators so I resolved to make my class as useful as possible to them, focusing on how they could take their major animation projects to the next level with a few simple tips and tricks. Basically I taught them the stuff I *wish* I had been taught.

A couple of the students said it was they best course they had in 3 years with another few mentioning that their Maya course consisted of the lecturer going through the manual. Money well spent there.

I worked in the industry for several years on mid-range and a couple of top level projects but eventually gave it away because of the inconsistency of work, pay and conditions. Being honest, I would also say that I don't think I truly had the drive to go on with it. I mean, I could have worked part time jobs or slept on friends floors to save money, but I was 32 and didn't want to do that shit any more. I certainly don't blame my school for not getting me the jobs.

Some of my friends are now working at big studios on hollywood blockbusters because they stuck with it. They are *very* talented guys who are great to work with (this last part is vastly underrated) and they had to take a lot of setbacks in the Aussie industry to get where they are, which is still not a stable position. However, alluding back to my first point, one factor which may have helped them was they both had partners who were working, so even if they had no CG work, they could still pay rent and buy food. I didn't have that luxury so had to make a big call whether to stick with it or not. For me, it wasn't worth it. I was also looking at how poorly the industry as a whole was/is being run and decided to get out with having worked in my dream job for a couple of years.

That's not sour grapes, it's just the way it is. It is a tough industry, and it is a glamour industry so you are always going to have WAAAAAAYY more people wanting in than there are jobs. Why do you think there are so many actors waiting tables or aspiring writers getting you coffee? Being good enough isn't enough. Sometimes you have to be lucky, but you CAN do things to increase your luck.

Originally Posted by XLNT-3d: That's also the rub. Sometimes it takes time to realize you may not be as passionate about something as much as is necessary to succeed at it. Unfortunately, the creative field is a talent based business (and even that doesn't always apply). A talent based business is extremely tough and requires not only a thick skin, but a real passion to move forward and continue when others say you can't and there is always someone better than you, possibly competing with you as well.

Those with "intestinal fortitude" will have what it takes or will have the strength to adapt and move forward or move on. Occasionally I see a fraction of creative talent with this attribute. They are the ones worth fostering and nurturing their confidence and abilities. The others should be burned through as quickly as possible, so they can move on and find their true passion quicker.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #49
Originally Posted by mingbling
Now with the recent explosion of for-profit schools flooding the market with artists who probably aren't qualified to be working in this industry coupled with a lack of accreditation and standards to differentiate the truly great artists from the button pushers


This. There's nothing quite like graduating with a degree that you're not quite sure if you earned and that no real employer actually cares about.
Quote: The trouble is - how *do* you quantify this field? Button pushing skills? We know that won't work. There's an X-factor to it all.

And even if you could get a certification stating that a group of masters thought you had the X-factor, that's not really going to help an industry in which breaking the status quo and thinking outside the box of "normal" is standard. Van Gogh would have failed such a test.

Quite a few comparisons can be made to the field of sports. How many kids did you know who *knew* they we're going to be in the NBA, NFL, or MLB - and for that reason slacked off of studies? There needs to be a reality check in there somewhere.

By all means, try your hardest and enjoy playing sports in high school or learning art in college, but be honest with your own skills, and get a plan B in the ready. I mean, wasn't there a thread today...



Honestly, if you don't actually know whether or not you earned your degree, chances are the issue is with YOU and not the school you attended. This sort of ties in with Leigh's thread about mediocrity, but really, if you can't properly evaluate your own work on an honest level, then you have issues that no school can help you with. This applies whether you're incompetent, or even if you're an outright, honest to god genius.

As to your point about "button pushing skills" - that's a frequent generalization that we as a community probably need to move away from imo. Yes, there is a HUGE difference between a designer and a tech, but THAT is where we need to make the distinction (as opposed to "button pusher" vs "artist/prodigy/genius, etc etc.). Someone here a while ago made a post about how (for example), the games industry does NOT need hordes of artistic geniuses. They are nice when you find them, but they are the exception that a lot of people seem to think should be the rule. Truth is, the CG world (as well as numerous other design and art related industries) needs techs every bit as much as it needs those gifted with exceptional artistic/design talent. Suggesting to everyone that they need to be at a super high level (artistically speaking) in order to have any success is something that could be potentially damaging. I know a lot of people who are employed because, while they cannot draw to save their lives, cannot paint worth a damn and have little "artistic merit" can match-move, color correct a large format digital print, set up printer spreads for a 6000 page catalouge as easily as most people breathe, and/or can wrangle the crap out of almost any render engine you throw at them. If you were to look at their abilities, many here would just label them as "button pushers", but those "button pushers" have been and will continue to be gainfully employed for some time to come. Yes, they will need to keep current with software and techniques, and yes, they will have to do more if they want to move up the "artistic ladder", but the point is, they are employed in good, steady, reliable jobs that keep them happy.

Also, IMO, there really is no "x-factor" as you suggest. Either you can make a positive contribution to the job you are applying for or you can't. Unless you're one of those people who was gifted with freak charisma where people will hire you because they like you, getting an art/design/film/game job really isn't the mystery it often gets made out to be. Is it easy? No. It IS super competitive and not for everyone, but it's also really not the dark art a lot of people on this board seem to think it is ...

Last edited by Crotalis : 02 February 2013 at 12:00 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #50
Quote: The fact that I go to work everyday in an art department filled with BA and Master's educated artists and designers, (all of whom are under 40) where most of them have already paid off their student loans and some of whom have even paid off their houses is evidence that you might not have quite the grasp of this that you think you have.


Oh, well, I guess everyone from all kinds of different backgrounds and beliefs is just deluded when they come onto this thread and complain about the old model of education. Come on. That it sucks is about the only thing everyone is in agreement on, so let's not make this about me.

Quote: Your point about subsidies is naive at best. First, there are art schools that do not receive anything at all from the gov't, and second, there are things that are beneficial to the economy and still get subsidies all the time - right along with things that aren't.


As I told OP, I didn't say economically beneficial things aren't subsidized. I said they don't have to be.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #51
Quote: Oh, well, I guess everyone from all kinds of different backgrounds and beliefs is just deluded when they come onto this thread and complain about the old model of education. Come on. That it sucks is about the only thing everyone is in agreement on, so let's not make this about me.


I'm not trying to make it about you, but the fact remains that to immediately rule out education as you did is borderline irresponsible. There are situations where it makes sense, and even situations where it actually IS needed. For example, people who want to work in different countries (which, if things keep going the way they are for film and games, will be necessary for many) often need higher education. Again, it's not for everyone, it needs to be done CAREFULLY and with well researched decisions and I admit that it sin't needed for many jobs, but it I maintain it IS bad advice to just automatically rule it out as you did.

With respect, you weren't complaining about the "old model of education" with your post - you were essentially saying that ALL OF IT was useless. You did not suggest change was needed or anything like that. You just said "NO" to all of it. Also, if something is really, actually happening as a direct result of something else, that's not a delusion. It's a fact ...

Quote: As I told OP, I didn't say economically beneficial things aren't subsidized. I said they don't have to be.


And yet they often are. It was a weak argument. That was my only point with that. Anyway, apologies if I offended you in any way with either point. My point wasn't personal against you. It was just that there IS another side to this coin that often (and unwisely IMO) gets overlooked on this board. That's all.

Last edited by Crotalis : 02 February 2013 at 12:29 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #52
Quote: And yet they often are. It was a weak argument. That was my only point with that. Anyway, apologies if I offended you in any way with either point.


Non sequitur. Something is, so it ought to be? Weak, is right.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #53
Originally Posted by badsearcher: As taxpayers, should we continue to subsidize schools that have a likely low rate of return for the economy? Let's look at it in that way, shall we?


Honestly, I don't care. Part of being a tax payer means contributing to things we don't necessarily always agree with.

However, in this case I'm not really sure what your angle is - I mean, regardless of whether these students end up working in CG or not when they graduate, they're still going to become tax payers. So how is subsidising schools necessarily ending up in a "likely" low rate of return for the economy? That line of reasoning would only hold water if graduates never worked a day in their lives if they were unable to find CG work.

Furthermore, I'd rather live in a world where schools are subsidised by tax, ensuring that people have better access to education, than live in a world where people are denied the opportunity to further their education simply because they can't afford it. An educated world is a better one for all.
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Old 02 February 2013   #54
Quote: Non sequitur. Something is, so it ought to be? Weak, is right.


lol No, your argument was a straw-man. I didn't say it ought to be. I didn't even imply that. I simply stated that it actually happens. That fact alone negates the point.

I'd also have to agree with Leigh's points on taxes/subsidies.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #55
I didn't say that they aren't. I said that they didn't need to be. I've articulated that 3 times now, but you seem to be continuing to try to convince me that they are. Im giving you the benefit of the doubt by trying to extrapolate some sense in which this is relevant information.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #56
Originally Posted by Ephisus: I didn't say that they aren't. I said that they didn't need to be. I've articulated that 3 times now, but you seem to be continuing to try to convince me that they are. Im giving you the benefit of the doubt by trying to extrapolate some sense in which this is relevant information.


Name a single society that has succeeded without government funded roads and other infrastructure. There's no shortage of things that are very difficult to monetize, and thus wouldn't exist without government help, but are extremely important to the success of the economy as a whole.
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Last edited by Meloncov : 02 February 2013 at 04:17 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #57
That any govt has effective roles, like building roads, is a product of success, not the cause of it.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #58
Some people will never become an animator regardless of which school they choose. Should we still hold the school 'accountable'?
 
Old 02 February 2013   #59
Originally Posted by Ephisus: That any govt has effective roles, like building roads, is a product of success, not the cause of it.


Ok, for sake of the conversation, define success, I'll confess I'm a bit confused by this sentence.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #60
Angry my answer

While I do follow some of the thread, I think I'll chime in based on the original questions...

"At what point do we hold the schools accountable?"

When its basically $h!tty under normal common sense.

Here is a short story, fully fictional, so that I won't get sued.

Long long time ago a country was sending their brightest student aboard, under full scholarship, hoping to gain great brain in return to help improve the country. This cost a lot, exchange rate and all, and considering that they are sending 3rd world student to a 1st world country top universities.

These students, realizing the opportunity, decided to stay abroad, leading to "brain drain". So some (or most) of the scholarship was changed to having to be paid if they are not working for the government (since it was taxpayer money). Still, considering the salary they are getting at 1st world country, this brain drain is still happening.

And someone decided to fix this. They was all asking, "was our own university was "$h!tty" enough that we have to send student overseas? They realized that opening the student eye to outer world is causing brain drain (since locally studied student prefer to work in-country) they decided to drop down the number of student being sent overseas. Except for highly critical courses (like space and what not) most student are being sent to study locally. This is of course cheaper.

But like everything else under the sun in this particular country, a good idea often used to nefarious reason.

1) Having a lot of graduates shows that we as a goverment are serious at "improving" education.

But this idea is false. Too much student per class, and too much student per university to a point sometimes student have to drag around chairs from class to class. (Hi! Does anyone remember our moment here? Give me a shout out if you do!) Why don't they just buy additional chair? What? You thought that university CARES about their student? Ha ha. Longer story, but too much to mention.

And suddenly, someone realized that this is an opportunity to make a large profit.

2) Private college and university.

Suddenly there are private college and university grows like mushroom after rain. But certain people "on the up and up" doesn't want competitions. So they created "license". They touted it to public as to make sure that "these college" are high quality, but underneath, it just to make sure only their friend can open college (given the license to do so).

And what happened?

A public university lecturer that didn't even teach the first 2 month of a semester. he just walk in, give the student an assignment (to create a windows 95/98 GUI mock-up in Turbo Pascal using EGA BGI (?)) at a time DirectX is at version 7(?). Nobody dares to report to the university for the fear being failed for the subjet. And of course, most of the student was equally lazy to come to class too. So they think this is a blessing in disguise.

A private collage lecturer walk into class on 3d animation just to say this "I don't know anything about 3d but management ask me to teach this so lets hope for the best.". And don't even know that a student actually copy final animation from "Inside 3d max" book and pass it off as final assignment. But that also talks about the quality of the student. At least please take animation from demo reel dvd or shorts and change the contact info. Sigh.

A private collage lecturer that teaches PHP. Just take a power point note that some else wrote. When Windows actually auto correct the ASCII of quotes for string, and changed it to UNICODE or what not of open quote and close quote, and when even clueless student copy this to notepad, and save it as UNICODE text, and it didn't load correctly under WAMP/XAMP, was clueless why it didn't run (the lecturer).

There is a lot of horror story (about a university big wig actually create a computer lab mock-up when there is a visiting minister of education coming to that particular PUBLIC UNIVERSITY). And student was banned from entering the campus on that day so that there is no chair-dragging being seen. (so all class was cancelled too - for the security of the visiting minister and all. meh).

Of course, in order to attract money and make more profit, even student that does not deserve to be at a university was given a spot (not to be mean, but if you are barely able to make it through school, university is a harsh environment). The magic word here is that make the entrance level low, so that you can cash in enrollment money. Kick them out after failing the hardcore math subjects - so that particular university would have some space for other student, even if chair dragging is still a norm everyday. The math subject was so hardcore even students that got A in programming (and those that actually can CODE) failed the subject. Its not like IT course at all, its like Math course. Where the graduate can pull off math equation but cannot code a simple Hello World to save their lives.

Since this post is getting long enough, I'll recap.

"At what point do we hold the schools accountable?"

When its basically $h!tty under normal common sense.

In certain country, there is really need for an "Arab Spring" of education reform... Sigh...

Disclaimer : All the story I mention above, as originally state, was a work of fiction.

Wink. Wink.
 
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