How important is a Degree?

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  07 July 2009
A degree is very worthwhile.....

I see alot of folks noting that a degree isn't necessary for an animaition position. Since, I am not in animation, I accept what everyone said about this. BUT!!! Let me present a different point of view.

There are some very good reasons to get a degree among which are:

1. As Leigh noted, in foreign countries, it might be necessary to get a job there.

2. More importantly, it opens up many doors that might not be available otherwise: I have found that folks never know where their life will take them or what changes will ocurr in their life. What happens if suddenly studios start wanting degrees or want those with degrees and experience for higher level positions?

More to the point, what happens if you want to leave the field of computer graphics? This could happen due to outsourcing, problems with the industry ,or simply changed objectives by you. Having a degree opens up more options.

I know someone who switched from animation to eventually going to law school and specializing in intellectual property law. Having a degree will open up other doors.

Personally, I STRONGLY recommend that you get a degree. Now once you have one, you don't need a second degree unless you want to teach. You can attend a trade school to get the skills needed or even study books or take online programs for the skills. However, having a degree can't hurt you. It can only help!
  07 July 2009
Quote: There are places that won't hire anyone without a degree because you know having a great portfolio is awesome, but if you are generally an unintelligent person... those are the worst to work with. Now, that's not to say everyone with a degree is intelligent.

Why do you think they have interviews?
George Sokol

Online Portfolio
  07 July 2009
What my professors would say frequently was "College is not so much about learning a particular skill or knowledge base, as it is about learning to go out there and learn for yourself." Employers want to know that you have the ability to go out and learn what you need to as efficiently as possible. If all you have is a great portfolio, that's great, but all they have is a singly voiced example of your work/learn ethic. If you graduate and have a degree, you have a certifiable and (hopefully) accredited school/program that can insure confidence in the employer.
  07 July 2009
what about attending good trade schools with good networking opportunities like Gnomon or VFS but its not officially a "degree". Could be a better and faster route with intensive work that will prepare you better than some degree programs isn't it?
  07 July 2009
Yes, I like Gnomon a lot..but...

Originally Posted by lindstr0m: what about attending good trade schools with good networking opportunities like Gnomon or VFS but its not officially a "degree". Could be a better and faster route with intensive work that will prepare you better than some degree programs isn't it?

My daughter is attending the fast track Maya program at Gnomon and RAVES about it. Do I think that Gnomon is a great place to learn the skills needed to get a good job in a studio? Yes> However, with that said, I still think that getting a degree is the better course of action and then going to Gnomon afterwards for the reasons that I gave in a prior post found in this thread.
  07 July 2009
I thought I read somewhere that a BA degree in the UK is 3 years? If you only have another year or 2 to go before you are granted a BA it might be advantagous to your distant future to finish off that degree one step above an Associates.

Like investing in retirement, investing in your education is not always about immediate return and gratification. It's very possible and likely that you may never have a chance to return and finish off your degree once you start working in the industry. And if you've ever considered the possibility of working in another country or a place like hollywood, there's no reason to close off your options now.

Sure the industry is all about the reel, but life is not. The smaller contract studios may just need someone good enough to hit the ground running for the project, but some larger places looking for fulltime staff may be a bit more picky about who they hire for the long haul.
  07 July 2009
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