Is a bfa even worth it?

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Old 08 August 2013   #1
Is a bfa even worth it?

Do people even use these forums anymore? Anyway.
I'm currently at uni, but I do not know if I should stay. I'm 2 years in, but I just decided that I want to change my major to visual arts with an animation concentration. Most of my credits won't even transfer for this major, so I'm basically starting new. The whole reason I am debating on whether to stay or not is because I've seen the work from the computer art professor. Her work is not what I want my level to be at by the time I graduate. Granted most of it is 10 years old, but the newer ratings of her don't seem swell.
If I quit, I'll end up taking an intro to 3D course at AIE(or advanced diploma if I get in) and then following that with a few more courses from gnomon or cgsociety. Or doing something similar.

I'm been seeing some people say that employers in the US require a ba, while others are in favor of a reel. Which one would be best for the average person with no connections?

Thanks.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #2
The employers do not require a degree, but the government does (for a work visa).

This depends on your citizenship and whether you plan to work abroad. Generally speaking, if you are NOT a US citizen, you are fresh out of school, and plan to work in the US.... then you better get a degree. There are exceptions of course: you can get married to someone with the right citizenship or you can combine years of relevant schooling + work experience (more years are required in total than if you have 4 years in a degree), or you can get other visas if you qualify..... but generally speaking a degree is a faster/more common way there.

Now if you are a US citizen, there are many studios you can work for in the states and you may never need a degree. But if you might work and/or immigrate to other countries then a degree will also benefit.

Personally, I have never "planned" to work abroad, but I had doors open to me at a time of recession because I had a degree. It could be an expensive investment just to have doors opened, but it can be worthwhile.
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Old 08 August 2013   #3
Having a degree can be useful, but I definitely wouldn't recommend staying in a sub-standard program just to get a degree. Given the choice between a good education that doesn't give you a degree and a bad education that does, I'd go for the good program every time. On the other hand, why aren't you considering transferring to a different degree granting program?
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Old 08 August 2013   #4
Thank you for your replies.
I am a US citizen and don't plan on working abroad, unless an abroad studio would ask me to work for them.
I was considering transferring elsewhere to get a degree, but there is only one school around me that has that program. I wouldn't be able to do it financially. That's why I was going to choose AIE, it isn't outrageous and I get a diploma of some sort(don't know if that kind even carries any weight).
 
Old 08 August 2013   #5
It depends on your needs and what you feel is best.

I too am a US citizen and was 2 years into my BFA when I was offered my first gig through a friend. I decided I was ready for some studio experience and decided to push forward with it. Personally I'm glad I did. And it has led to other opportunities regardless of not having degree. Ultimately your experience will be the largest factor in finding work anywhere.

Last edited by narenn : 08 August 2013 at 10:12 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #6
hey

Thats a tough one. My opinion is that you should finish up your degree. Sign up for www.digitaltutors.com and start learning on there. By then you should be able to decide whether or not you like Animation enough to continue on with it, and if you do you'll most likely have some stuff to show to a school that can give you possible scholarships. Just my two cents, whatever thats worth

A degrees not 100% necessary for this industry.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #7
Ummm...I answered this question for a friend of mine a number of years ago when we were finishing our Master's and he asked the same question. The thing is unless you know a decent number of people in the industry already getting/maintaining regular work can be tough to impossible. If you're talented and can learn on your own there's a chance you could get in, everybody will like you and you'll get constant referrals every time you get laid off at the end of a job, but if you go to school and are talented, as long as you aren't an arsehole, you'll attract other talented people and build up a decent network of people that will be semi-reliable for getting learning materials, working through problems, for work searches in the future and you'll have some semi-reliable allies within the workforce if you end up working together. To me, between learning and the social networking for the future work and other things school can offer a lot of intangibles that you can't get by going the self-study path.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #8
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