Is a degree worth it? University. What do you think??

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Old 10 October 2012   #1
Is a degree worth it? University. What do you think??

Hello guys...You might recognize me from the previous post.. or not.. but long story short, I'm a 15 year old guy who is in the Art high school here in Portugal and wants to go study vfx and go work in another country. I love 3d... every aspect of it.. from modeling to rigging, animating, texturing, rendering... argh.. it will be difficult to choose one path later on.. but that's not why I am here...

I am here because a lot of you say that University is a waste of money and time. Not talking about just this forum... I posted in others as well and they end up saying that you're better on your own than going to a Uni... We all know that a skill set beats a degree anytime...that's not the problem.. the problem is I read on the internet about degrees and a couple of things showed up... like people with a degree gain more salary than those who don't have one... and that without a degree you can not get a working visa for let's say... the USA...and that is huge...I mean... I don't want any doors closed because I don't have a piece of paper :/
Another thing about Uni is that you get to work in a environment with people that are passionate about vfx just like you...

You can say that courses like Escape Studios offer you stuff even better than that... that they even help you build up your portfolio.. that 85% of Escapees gets a job in a couple of months after they are out of the course... and it's only 4 months and cheaper than a Uni... But it doesn't give you a degree!!

Uff... this is a hard choice... I could go to work without a course or degree... yes I could, studying in digital tutors or something like that... the point is.. what's the best path to take... I'm not gonna decide base on your answer... I will decide on my own.. But I want your opinions.. what would you do? Do you think I will regret on not having a degree later on in life?

If you were 15 years old right now... in 3 years you would need to make a decision... what would you choose?

Thanks!

Last edited by DaPerPT : 10 October 2012 at 11:19 AM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #2
Originally Posted by DaPerPT: like people with a degree gain more salary than those who don't have one...


That's not really true since most employers don't care or even ask about your education. But...

Quote: and that without a degree you can not get a working visa for let's say... the USA...


This is partly true. The standard work permit for the US, the H-1B, requires a degree by default. If you have 12 years of provable industry experience, you can get around that requirement, but most people are not going to want to wait for 12 years before moving to the US if indeed working in the US is a goal of theirs. There are alternative visas like the O-1 and J-1 categories but they're a little more unusual with very specific requirements of acclaim and achievement with the former, and age and time restrictions on the latter.
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leighvanderbyl.com
 
Old 10 October 2012   #3
Okk.. thanks for the correction... I can't trust the internet completely...

What path would you choose in my position?

Last edited by DaPerPT : 10 October 2012 at 11:37 AM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #4
I would say that if working overseas is a goal of yours, then do a degree. Bear in mind though that your degree doesn't necessarily have to specifically be a CG degree, it can be anything related to the field, and that includes fine art, which is definitely something worth considering, especially since so many CG degree courses are not very good.

Look, to be honest I have no degrees myself but I've worked in the States and I've been living in the UK for a long time now despite being from South Africa. But that's been due to a combination of luck and hard work, and it's not necessarily a route I'd recommend that others try to rely on. Getting a degree is definitely going to make your life easier if you have ambitions of working outside the EU, and from a personal standpoint, that's definitely something I'd recommend, as living and working in different countries is an awesome life experience that I've absolutely loved.

I know when you're young the thought of spending four years at uni may seem like an eternity but if you pick a course wisely you'll not only make things easier for yourself in the long run, but you'll also benefit from a good education not to mention the social opportunities that education provides you with.
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leighvanderbyl.com
 
Old 10 October 2012   #5
Thanks for the reply! It does look an awesome experience to work and live in other countries

Anyone else has any opinions?
 
Old 10 October 2012   #6
Originally Posted by DaPerPT: Hello guys...You might recognize me from the previous post.. or not.. but long story short, I'm a 15 year old guy who is in the Art high school here in Portugal and wants to go study vfx and go work in another country. I love 3d... every aspect of it.. from modeling to rigging, animating, texturing, rendering... argh.. it will be difficult to choose one path later on.. but that's not why I am here...

I am here because a lot of you say that University is a waste of money and time. Not talking about just this forum... I posted in others as well and they end up saying that you're better on your own than going to a Uni... We all know that a skill set beats a degree anytime...that's not the problem.. the problem is I read on the internet about degrees and a couple of things showed up... like people with a degree gain more salary than those who don't have one... and that without a degree you can not get a working visa for let's say... the USA...and that is huge...I mean... I don't want any doors closed because I don't have a piece of paper :/
Another thing about Uni is that you get to work in a environment with people that are passionate about vfx just like you...

You can say that courses like Escape Studios offer you stuff even better than that... that they even help you build up your portfolio.. that 85% of Escapees gets a job in a couple of months after they are out of the course... and it's only 4 months and cheaper than a Uni... But it doesn't give you a degree!!

Uff... this is a hard choice... I could go to work without a course or degree... yes I could, studying in digital tutors or something like that... the point is.. what's the best path to take... I'm not gonna decide base on your answer... I will decide on my own.. But I want your opinions.. what would you do? Do you think I will regret on not having a degree later on in life?

If you were 15 years old right now... in 3 years you would need to make a decision... what would you choose?

Thanks!


Ok, I can see youre in Portugal. Been and lived there until very recently.

This country is a special case as I personally do not believe that Portugal will rise out of the current difficulties. Contrary to what the politicians say, I believe that a couple of years from now people will literally suffering from hunger over there.

Im half Portuguese, so dont think Im trashing the country. But theres something seriously wrong with the Portuguese mentality, and combined with the current economic situation Im pretty sure this decade will be VERY ugly for the Portuguese people. So yes, do get all the degrees you can while youre still at a young age. And its an unfortunate fact that in economic contexts like what we have there right now all the luxury services like 3d, design etc are the first to fall and the last to recuperate.

When you enter the media market you will be very happy to have all the requirements to just get away from there. Obviously train yourself auto-didactically in the specialization that most interests you, while you study.

Oh man, to be 15 again and know what I know now...that would be something.

Good luck!
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Old 10 October 2012   #7
I'm 50% Portuguese as well I was born in Russia and have the passport. I was raised in a Russian mentality, so yeah.

I think Portugal will come back in a few years, but still the industry in this country is almost none.

I'm not going to study in Portugal! At 18 I will be in the UK, or at least I hope so. Going to a university or a course it's what I'm trying to figure out by this forum post! And after that I'm gonna work and live there.

As much as I like Portugal, I'm gonna be leaving this country in a few years.

Yeah I'm glad I started earlier than others. I just hope I make the best decisions thought!

Thanks for the reply!

Last edited by DaPerPT : 10 October 2012 at 01:22 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #8
Anyone else has any view? Maybe one of you would choose to go to a course instead of a uni? Thanks!
 
Old 10 October 2012   #9
I'm in the process of making the same decision myself, and after some thinking and reading, I discovered that it varies from person to person. In my opinion, it depends on how mature you are and how confident you are with you skill set. In my case, as I still got a lot to learn and the path beyond me is a still a little dark, I'm planning on going to an university. It just gives you more time and you can build that confidence, along with the networking you will be making.

The big decision now is whether to focus on a CG uni or maybe a visual arts one. haahaha
 
Old 10 October 2012   #10
Getting a degree is not just about a bit of paper , its where you will meet life long friends and spend 4 years focused on learning a field. Even if you do not take up a career based on the degree you will of picked up very useful life skills. Like learning how to approach research.. Sure in VFX the money you earn is not tied to owning a degree but in every other walk of life it is. Things might not work out in VFX for you so having a good degree to fall back on will be worth its weight in gold.

If you want to earn the big dollars in VFX and be the first to get hired and the last to get fired do a technical degree in computer science or a basic engineering degree. Technical skills like Maths, programming are highly sought after.



b
 
Old 10 October 2012   #11
Yeah.. I'm really considering University right now...


technokill :

Yeah.. it does vary from person to person.. I think my skill set is far from the requirement...I do have some good knowledge of 3ds Max /AE/PS but next year I really gotta start with Maya/Nuke/Zbrush So I can have a pretty good base knowledge and learn from there.. because you're always learning...

And going to a uni will also help you out build your portfolio.. which is pretty cool







Mr Bob :

Wouldn't it be better to do a vfx degree or computer animation so I can meet "life long friends" that have the same passion and interests that I do? I think being good friends with a compositor is a bit more helpful for me (being a 3d artist, or will be) than being friends with a mathematician.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #12
Originally Posted by DaPerPT: Wouldn't it be better to do a vfx degree or computer animation so I can meet "life long friends" that have the same passion and interests that I do? I think being good friends with a compositor is a bit more helpful for me (being a 3d artist, or will be) than being friends with a mathematician.


Most of my friends work in entirely different fields. Friendship isn't based on what you do for a living, it's based on shared values and attitudes.
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leighvanderbyl.com
 
Old 10 October 2012   #13
Oh dude.. you got the wrong thing... I'm not talking about that... of course it doesn't matter if your friend has a job.. or what kind a job..

I was just replying about getting contacts with people in the industry, that it would be easier by getting a degree on that business.

I'm sorry if I said the wrong statement... I didn't mean to do it...I would prefer having a friend that cares about me and I care about him than one that is useful in a certain profession to me...

Hope I fixed the mistake..
 
Old 10 October 2012   #14
Originally Posted by DaPerPT: Yeah.. I'm really considering University right now...

Mr Bob :

Wouldn't it be better to do a vfx degree or computer animation so I can meet "life long friends" that have the same passion and interests that I do? I think being good friends with a compositor is a bit more helpful for me (being a 3d artist, or will be) than being friends with a mathematician.


You seem to be forgetting comping has maths at its core as does doing anything in 3d. As I have pointed out already if you want to earn the better pay rates and be the first to get hired and the last to be let go, go for a technical degree.
If that's not you, you do not have to go that path, but having a technical degree behind you will be more valuable than any vfx degree should things not work out for you in the industry. At least then you will have an in demand degree and something to fall back on.

b
 
Old 10 October 2012   #15
Thank you for the reply! I'll think about it
 
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