In a forum like this one, many people zero in on the best path to a career. That’s certainly a worthwhile perspective, but when it comes to education it isn’t the whole story. While you’re considering your options, please also keep your mind open to the value of the general education and liberal arts coursework that comes with a traditional college education.
I hold a degree in visual effects and made it through about 25% each of programs in electrical engineering and computer science. All of the technical and career-oriented courses I took were certainly useful, but the classes that have had the most significant impact on my lifethe way I think about things and my ability to interact with peoplewere my courses in history, anthropology, literature and philosophy, among others.
And if your goal is concept art, then that segment of your education is even more valuable because it will give you a richer understanding of culture, history and the world to draw upon while you develop ideas.
That all said, be wise about how you go about getting that education. If you head for a trade school like Gnomon, you can put off the general education stuff until a little while later, taking night and weekend courses while you’re working. If you go for a degree program, think about getting an associates degree from a cheaper community college or state university firstmost general education credits should transfer to a more specialized school.
Finally, avoid going into too much debt for your education, no matter the direction you take. Having huge monthly debt payments on top of struggling with basic living expenses can seriously limit your flexibility. There have been a few potentially great opportunities I’ve had to turn down because I couldn’t afford to take a risk thanks to the student loan debt I’m carrying.
Best of luck!