Help needed. What's your opinion on college degree?

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  07 July 2013
Help needed. What's your opinion on college degree?

Hello, first of all, great job on these forums, I have lurked around for since I started working on Maya and other programs, these were forums always full of information and basically the best on the web, so now, I finally start and try to have a go at my first post. I hope I'm doing this right.

This is a question derivated of the sticked thread on these forums, which basically covered
'Should I go to college to get a degree, to work in this field'?
which was covered in one line at that thread.
I worked for about a year doing design at a IT company, starting at age of 19, I did logos and websites mostly and I liked the financial independence, a lot.I was sort of pushed to apply to college by a family member and I did apply to multimedia and digital arts course but I'm not 100% enthusiastic about it, maybe because it was not my original idea to enter college, a lot of other 23 year olds already finished it, but I was told it's always good to meet other artists, share ideas and techniques and learn the history about those techniques since the very start of art in our world. What do you think?
The situation in my home is not the best, my father passed away a year ago and we don't have as much money as we used to, my mom is the only one working at home, she's already 59 and sometimes she works from 7am to 11pm (sewing and making leather jackets at home) and only stops to make lunch and dinner, and I feel sometimes useless, this college is not cheap either, really not cheap.
Sorry for the personal emotional details, I felt they were somewhat relevant.
I'm really indecise, I can't put a finger on the best action to take. I have studied multimedia in high school and I have access to a lot of DVD tutorials and information from a lot of talented artists who worked at Underworld, Avatar and other movies and games, shouldn't that be enough to apply to a serious company, by building a good and artistic portfolio with that high school degree and some certifications from these online courses and DVDs?
I brought this subject at home but she says it's going to work out one way or another, I'm just not that confident.
Thank you for your attention and replies.
  07 July 2013
If you want the art school experience then do it.

However, if you want long term gains, learn the trade on your own. If you are going to invest in college, get a degree that will allow you to excel past production worker areas and eventually into management and leadership. For a serious ROI (rate of return) you should have kick ass people skills, negotiating skills, understanding of business and business management as well as some sales ability.

Doesn't matter how good you are. If you can sell or bring work in, you're not an asset, you are an expense. Those who can find work, get contracts, and build business will always have more value in any industry.

A boss once told me when I was pushing for a salary increase, "If you don't have a book of business to bring to the table or an ability to generate business, you are just another guy getting off the boat".

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 07 July 2013 at 07:26 PM.
  07 July 2013
a) How good is the schools reputation for producing respected artists in your country? 'Expensive = quality education' is getting less common these days.
Find some *working* graduates and find out how they'd rate the school.
b) Do you ever see yourself working abroad?-especially out side of Europe?
Having a degree can help with immigration/visas if so.
  07 July 2013
How driven are you? Seriously ask yourself that. The structure is probably nice to keep you learning and pushing through material. But if you have that kind of determination on your own to keep pushing yourself you wont really need it for that.

Im pretty anti college in general, or atleast I think people tend to go into it with the wrong idea of what they should expect to get out of it. Youll learn to network and be social, and youll learn some basic things you could learn anywhere online. And there will be a lot of support to help keep you moving along and push you through it. But its not anything you couldnt learn yourself if you are driven enough. There will just be someone there to hold your hand.

Its entirely possible to become just as good learning on your own. And IMO one of the most useful skills to learn is how to figure something out on your own. There's more info in this forum alone than you will learn in any university.

You will get people skills and a structure to learn within, in exchange for a sizable debt. If your very lucky maybe you will learn some artistic sentiment, but IMO you could again find that elsewhere much cheaper.
  07 July 2013
I'm self-taught and you've probably seen my work.

Really it's about developing employable skills. You don't strictly need school for that but often they do offer a path that gives you the prerequisites you need. Either way you go, your success is up to you.
Maestro 2 is out!
  07 July 2013
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