Do schools sometimes give students false expectations?

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Old 01 January 2010   #46
My 2 cents

"You're AWESOME". Thanks for the 15 grand

Art is hard to critique sometimes..

School these days is a money-making racket, unfortunately. There should be some sort of hurdle for you to climb to MAKE the program; a demo reel or whatever; otherwise it's a scam.

I am new at this and never took a course. I am sure if I did I would be awesome at building custom models and using software I could not afford a production licence for. Busywork IMHO. And of course my work would look like everyone else's...

I find that this field is as much about computers/networking/configuartion as it is about art. You have to invest a significant amount of time and focus; too much for most these days, too busy Twittering...

As someone who is looking to employ people in this field it's pretty disheartening. Everyone wants to be a star; for me it would be more like an orchestra. I think I might engage traditional graphic artists and musicians and avoid folks with degrees as they understand this dynamic better. I like the idea of the appreniceships; you can see who's really committed and they are working in a production environment; learning hands-on. I did this earlier in my carreer; worked for free for 6 months, then got a job that paid good $$ for a couple of years since I had "experience".
 
Old 01 January 2010   #47
Originally Posted by RDMNeps: As someone who is looking to employ people in this field it's pretty disheartening. Everyone wants to be a star; for me it would be more like an orchestra. I think I might engage traditional graphic artists and musicians and avoid folks with degrees as they understand this dynamic better.


Wait a sec... so the people who learned alongside a group of people are the ones who will have a less developed sense of teamwork? Making blanket statements on self-trained vs. professionally educated is bad enough but I don't even get how you've drawn this conclusion.
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Old 01 January 2010   #48
k

No, more like people "investing" in education and then wanting a big "return"; only to be disappointed.


It has nothing at all to do with teamwork or creativity; I read somewhere else on this post where someone said in every class and in life there are superstars; but many are average; this is 100% true. But I have found overall that an excess of schooling predisposes you to a certain way of looking at things and solving problems.
 
Old 01 January 2010   #49
Originally Posted by taxguy: Thankfully, not all schools or classes are run like this. At University of Cincinnati, School of Design, Art , Architecture and Planning, some kids actually flunked classes and were required to go back a year and retake them. Some kids were bluntly told that they needed to "improve their portfolio or they should rethink their major" etc. I think it does depend on the school. At University of Delaware , there is a strong weed-out process among all the design students. Maybe this mostly applies to public schools.


San Jose State University's animation and illustration program is like this as well. You can sign up for the major, but you're not actually in the program until a portfolio review which happens after you have taken your core classes. If your portfolio isn't up to standard, then you need to go back and retake a few core classes to bring up your level. Also, only a few number of students are admitted every portfolio review. When you're finally in the program, you need to maintain a 3.0 gpa in all art and design classes.
 
Old 01 January 2010   #50
I'm going to a very expensive art school, and most of my classes have anywhere from 10-30 students. You would think with this number of people in a four hour long class would give plenty of time for individual critiques from the professor, but most of our teachers just have us turn in our work with no review. We turn everything in and move on. With many teachers there is little to no feedback, unless you ask for it. Most students do not ask for feedback, so they have no idea what is wrong with their work, and just continue their terrible habits.
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Old 01 January 2010   #51
Originally Posted by switchblade327: Ironically, the only CG jobs I've seen that absolutely require a BA are teaching gigs at accredited schools.


I've run into this wall quite a bit myself. I wanted to teach, and applied to schools back home on the East coast. Not even so much as a reply from any school, and I'm guessing it's due to lack of a BA. My degree was only an AS, and I've got a good amount of production experience under my belt..nada.

As for expectations, I can say the school I went to in some respects tried to warn us off. They said the hours were brutal and so on, but I don't think the competitiveness was ever highlighted. Out of 50 students I think 5 made it into the industry (is that good or bad? Seems like a low number). One recruiter at the school did tell me to leave the area as fast as I could upon graduating, due to it's location (Florida) not having that many cg jobs.
 
Old 01 January 2010   #52
When I read this topic, I immediately thought of my own school. I've been attending a Graphic and Digital Media Design program, which runs for a year and a half with very minimal downtime (one week break after a quarter). They do some things right - but it really is a strange school, I do not believe many operate like mine does.

Rather than stray from the topic at hand, i'll discuss the experiences i've had with the school i'm attending now. My school is roughly 10 years old and I have no idea how long some of the programs have been around - the school is fairly small, but vastly growing. I'm not sure if that can be enough time for a school to really catch it's stride... perhaps someone who's taught at a school may know that answer.

The expectations appear to be very low at my school. This can first seen with student galleries, these can be seen in picture frames when you're walking through the buildings. Unfortunately the large majority of them are simply not good, about three of them in particular are very disappointing. Two of them are digital paintings, which were obviously originally photographs and just simply painted over with photoshop/illustrator. The other one is a very poorly modeled and textured fish.

Which begs the question why the standards are so low that these are accepted on both their website and in the school itself. On the instructors themselves, I've had several different ones so far and the majority of them comment on work during class never call anyone's bad when it is. There are a few students in a website design/coding course with me that think the work they have is great, and it's not... far from it. I believe in this case it's absolutely the instructors fault for not calling these students out when they desperately need to improve.

My instructor for a course on graphic design (primarily focused on logos) has been fantastic in his methods of criticism and telling the students what they need to hear. This is apparently his first experience with teaching. He'll criticize work by showing the work to the whole class, have us present it, then he tells us what he likes, what he doesn't and how we could have improved. To end it he'll ask the rest of the students on what people think of the work. The students I mentioned did a terrible job with the assignment given and the teacher wasn't afraid to tell them that.

I think the main problem with most of these schools in question is they are a business and want money. The money centric attitude that many admins have, reflect with the people they hire. There are about 3 instructors at my school which i'm convinced came there just for another paycheck. In fact I have learned that a good portion of them are working at least one other job, in addition to instructing many hours per week.

I think the obvious stress that comes with holding more than one job and the money centric attitude of admins, are what really contribute to the obvious problem of schools giving students false expectations. It's much easier for their time, energy and to avoid conflict by just saying "good job" instead of the kick in the rear that some students need.
 
Old 02 February 2010   #53
I went to a school (wont mention names) and paid 80k for my BA degree in Media Arts/Animation. I found that not all, but a majority of teachers were under qualified, and accepted less than average work. This was probably due to two things
 
Old 02 February 2010   #54
I went to a school (wont mention names) and paid 80k for my BA degree in Media Arts/Animation. I found that not all, but a majority of teachers were under qualified, and accepted less than average work.

There were students that had talent, but the school didn't hone in on it and expand on it. Instead it focust on the basics.

The basics are great! You can apply them to almost any 3D package once you get a basic understanding of how things work and the UI of the app your using.
Another thing about the basics is that they can be found online now a days and don't cost 80k

Money is IMO a big part of the issue. If they can get 60-80k a head, just keep em comin! AS FAST AS POSSIBLE if you know what i mean ;-). Schools are overcharging for the quality of the education it was giving, simply because they can.

Sure there are students who don't put in the effort, but in any area that is harmful. But the ones who work hard are not any more entitled to a job than those who have the same amount of self taught skill.

My thoughts looking back are that I should have either gone to a more specialized school like Gnomon or Vancouver. OR just have kept learning on my own like I had for years before school. I don't feel I learned 80k worth of knowledge. In fact I didn't learn much at all in comparison to what I already knew. And I could have learned it all online or on my own.
 
Old 02 February 2010   #55
I'm 36

I'm 36 years old and was convinced by a friend who graduate from a school he now owes some 80k too. He is working in the film industry but he found the work on his own and not once mentioned that they took notice of his degree from said school. I'm enrolled at a local community college that has an animation program. I'm taking their Maya classes. Next week I start my fourth semester in which I am suppose to light, texture and animate a minute long short that I developed and built models for last, my third semester. One problem, I'm on a really tight budget, living week to week check to check, and I have two step kids, I asked the professor if I can work from home he agreed. This was a mistake on my part because of my responsibilities. I turned in, character designs, storyboard, animatic and that's about it. I was missing my models, their textures, rigs and controls blendshapes and such. I passed with a "c." I passed. The professor was nice enough to let me work from home, but I'm thinking if they failed me it would look bad and they would lose funding or risk losing the program. I would like to think that he passed me because my story, though simple as hell, is good and would exciting or pretty cool to watch. I planned to have my models complete before my next semester and I am not done. I'm working on my discipline, I work full time at a deli and I hate it. I'll share with you all, you can view my animatic here, www.youtube.com/trappedinflesh.
 
Old 02 February 2010   #56
What school did you go to?

Tomorrowsmemory notes, I went to a school (wont mention names) and paid 80k for my BA degree in Media Arts/Animation. "

Response: Why won't you mention the school. IT would be very beneficial for folks to know what experiences, both good and bad, you have had at specific schools in order to plan the future for many readers of this thread. Simply saying that I had a bad experience at some schools isn't that helpful unless we know which school you are talking about.

Bottom line: if you want to be helpful, please list the school that you are talking about.
 
Old 02 February 2010   #57
Originally Posted by taxguy: Bottom line: if you want to be helpful, please list the school that you are talking about.


Actually, no. We prefer for people to not use this forum to air their grievances with any named companies or institutions.
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Old 02 February 2010   #58
Originally Posted by taxguy: Bottom line: if you want to be helpful, please list the school that you are talking about.

Please refrain from requesting this on other threads as well.
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Old 02 February 2010   #59
Woops sorry about that Kanga

Sorry, Kanga, I didn't realize that this was a CG policy.
 
Old 02 February 2010   #60
Ok man,... no harm done
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