Importance of a Degree?


#1

Im really stumped right now…the school I am going to I dont think it is worth the time(or money) I’m spending on it. But Im fearing that without a degree people will look at me like an idiot when I try to get a job (among other worries). But when I look and see all the learning material I can find online and in books, I wonder if I could learn just as much. What I’m asking is how important is a degree? Also is the web just as valuble as college?:shrug:


#2

Life experience is life experience. When you pay for college, you’re not just paying for classes, teachers, books, etc. You’re also paying for the environment. If you attend an accredited, (or even sometimes non-accredited), school for two or four years, you are buying the opportunity to succeed in and adapt to an environment somewhere beyond your back yard.

I’m 27 years old and am returning to school 2500 miles away from me in September. I’ve lived long enough and have studied enough to know that I can learn just about anything from books, multimedia, etc. I’m sure that if my work is good enough, no one will care if I have only this community college degree or if I have a Master’s degree - but I cannot advance here anymore because I’ve lived here all my life and my habits and ways of thinking are far too strong. I’m at a dead-end. Also, the jobs in my community are mainly retail and industrial, when they are available at all. …far too few video-game design houses in upstate New York. :wink:

You can learn just as much outside of college as in college, but be sure to question those who tell you that it’s all the same.


#3

If you believe that, maybe you should shift your degree to something other than cgi. Learn something that you can’t pickup on your own. Something that is related to your degree, skills that will assist in making you a better artist (film, illustration, any design degree, sculpture, computer science, fine art, etc…).

Also school is more valuable then just what you learn in class.

#1 you meet many lifelong friends that you will know and work with for the rest of your life. Knowing people in the biz is just as important(sometimes more important) then your demo reel or your .

#2 if you ever want to work overseas it is much easier if you have a degree.

#3 If you ever want to teach at an accredited school, you usually need to have a degree.

#4 Every person needs a few years after high school to have fun and enjoy life. Learn how to live on $50 a week :slight_smile: You need to have fun in college. You will never have a time like if for the rest of your life. Ask any person and many will tell you that many of their best memories are things they did in college. You do things you will never have the time or balls to do after you become another mr joe work public.


#4

I went to uni and hated it, made lots of friends though. Left without my degree but learned all my stuff outside of uni anyway, where i went they ‘educated’ you, they didn’t teach you anything. Whilst at uni i taught myself 3d studio release 4 (dos based, good grief…that was all they had then) then MAX as well as photoshop, illustrator, autocad etc. Worked in 2d graphics for a couple of years after leaving, then went freelance, workin my ass off all the time. Then a great opportunity came up with a company i did freelance for, they were making a post for a 3D visualiser and offered it to me first so i went for it and here i am. Took a lot of hard work and some down points along the way but i’m in a cracking job doin something I love, cgi!
Basically, if you decide against a degree, expect to have to work your butt off just the same, don’t get lazy, but at least the stuff in your portfolio is work actually done, paid for and in production, which gets a lot of credit, well, did here, anyway… :slight_smile:


#5

You might find a previous thread I started relevant.


#6

Yeah I know that college gives you a once in a life time experience and a chance to meet people. I’ve thought and most likely I’m going to leave the school I’m at and go to a community college and learn mostly on my own. It’s just where I am going now I think I’m paying to much for the “college experience”.

Wigaru; thanks for the link

Edit. This is not Ahkahna this is Thumperg04 (got logged in the wong name cause of cache,bah!)


#7

If Mom and Dad are paying for it, sit back and enjoy it, because you can make some great contacts. But, if it’s coming out of your own “loan,” then ditch it and teach yourself, that’s what I did and now I’m animating in Santa Monica, and a great games house.

~Zach


#8

Thumper would probably have a more likely chance at making it without needing a degree than myself. Unfortunately I have been here completely on loans which are killing me. I’m more interested in going into comics and illustration, and from what I hear (both ways) Good and bad. I hear I DO need a degree, and that I have a more likely chance of getting somewhere if I stay, but I also think to myself that there are people out there without degrees and are high paid artists.

It’s fully understandable that he could stay, yes. And I am going to have to hold off on fighting him to leave. Either way, I’ve come to the decision of staying here, but not attending next quarter. That indeed would be a waste of my (the governments, sorry) money. Just come back as a part time student and take the most important classes I guess <:\


#9

In my opinion, schools or whatever are a waste of time and most definetly money. It just gets up my nose when they make it the only way to get into the CG industry as I have taught myself 3-4 programming languages, games programming, the basics of the Japanese Langauge, 3D art and animation, traditional art…and yet they class me as brainless just because I don’t have a piece of paper that claims my own s**t don’t stink.

Sorry, but that is the way I feel about the whole shebang.

Still, if your half-way there then you might as well get that god-forsaken piece of paper and be done with it.


#10

I don’t think schools are a waste of time, but in this industry…well…I guess there is some speculation. Generally, when you are going for a job in the CGI industry, the potential employer is going to make a decision based on how good your demo reel, portfolio is.


#11

Re: JohnD.

Agreed.


#12

I think that if you have a degree your future salaries will be higher than a not-degreed person. I study architecture at university (it’s really hard and long here in Italy) and i hope i’ll take my degree in another couple years… I’m starting to hate studying but i want to end this experience in a positive way. So i’ll continue improving my cg skills at the same time, i’ll take that damned degree and then i’ll try to find a job in the 3D industry. :wavey:


#13

Originally posted by ThirdEye_01
I think that if you have a degree your future salaries will be higher than a not-degreed person.

depends on what you do and where you do it, nowadays. I know a guy who left college at 17 and went to work in an architects office as a junior, prob started off making coffee :smiley: lol , anyway now he’s established and making money off his experience and on the job skills, way more than the guys his age who did the 5 to 7 year stint at uni, and he has no debts! We all thought he was daft leaving college when he did, but he proved us wrong. Doesn’t always happen like that, though, sure…


#14

I think learning an engineering discipline (mechanical, civil, architectural, ect), fine arts, or some other practical degree is far more benificial then paying a lot of money to learn a specific software package.

If you get an education in engineering or the arts you will be able to handle any tool that you come across.


#15

I’d agree with Lowdown. I don’t have a degree, having quit a Computer Art BA halfway through to get a job, and I don’t think it has done me any real harm (by the time my Uni mates graduate and start applying for jobs, quite possibly to the same place I work, I will jave 18 months industry experience and a published game credit), but if I could go back to when I first left school and do it over I would definately go for a fine art or technical degree rather than a new-wave CG specific course.


#16

First of all thankyou for all the advice.

  I've been talking to alot of upperclass students and they said they all thought about leaving also during their second year.  They were tired of the BS classes.  They then told me that once they got into their major classes it all changed.  They were saying they learned alot.  Especially now since my school broke the "Computer Art" major into more specific catagories. 
  About the paying to learn a software package...  my school is heavily based in design.  When talking (again) to the upperclassmen they said that you really learn the software on your own and that the prof. help you with the artistic/design side of it.  Even though the prof. are ninjas at the software they work with.
  So my decision is to "Be cool and stay in school!" (that brings back memories).  I just might have to go and lay the smack down on one of the financial aid people every once in a while.

Thanks Again,
Greg


#17

Originally posted by Boone
[B]In my opinion, schools or whatever are a waste of time and most definetly money. It just gets up my nose when they make it the only way to get into the CG industry as I have taught myself 3-4 programming languages, games programming, the basics of the Japanese Langauge, 3D art and animation, traditional art…and yet they class me as brainless just because I don’t have a piece of paper that claims my own s**t don’t stink.

Sorry, but that is the way I feel about the whole shebang.

Still, if your half-way there then you might as well get that god-forsaken piece of paper and be done with it. [/B]

so what do you learn O_o
That the system we live in is unfrair … but thats how it works
So I´d rather know my stuff get that friggin degree, do what I like and get payed for it. (dream, if it would be just so easy eh ?!) :smiley:


#18

Get a degree.

You’ll be likely to get paid more with a degree.

And pick up hotter chicks.

:beer:

L.


#19

Re: Prs-Phil.

Thread resurrection!:applause:

Crikey - did I write that???

My opinion isn’t as aggressive now - but I still believe the education system is totally screwed up. Here in the UK at least…

In my time here on CGTalk, however, I have found that for some - an education via a school has payed off and that they have really appreciated it. Some even said it was fun, some not…

The only problem with education is that it requires a s***-load of money. And some of the fees for education cater only to the super-rich. This in my opinion is very unfair - I believe that for a human being to further their understanding of the world, they should be able to do so regardless of their social background. We are equal after all, hmmm?

And on top of that, the courses mostly don’t even give you a decent grounding in 3D or whatever. So by the end of the day, you have a large bill for tuition and no job to pay it back with…


#20

Get the degree. You may not be doing CG professionally all your life, and you’ll be hurting economically without a degree.

Teaching yourself CG is one thing. Some can do so successfully, some can’t. Of those who do learn on their own, they still have to find and keep a job.

If I were a young man starting out and I wanted to have a life beyond my computer, I’d go to a university. A degree in CG is much better than not having a degree at all. But I would recommend anything else, since you can apply what you learn to your work.

Based on the posts on these boards, one would think that EVERY self-taught CG guy is a natural born Michelangelo, and that anyone who goes to school is a talentless technical hack.

The only people I’ve met who think they know all there is to know were people who never graduated from college.

Well, unless someone has gone to university and graduated, they aren’t going to really be able to speak to the benefits and drawbacks of having a degree. Which, incidently, there aren’t any drawbacks I can think of, unless you count the money spent attending.