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Thread: A Word from The Loser.

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbnRanger View Post
    Nevertheless, who would pay $50,000+for 4yrs of just general education requirements...so that they would have this diverse knowledge (again, that won't buy them a cup of coffee)? No...the students objective is not to fill their 4yrs with fluff, but to get past the fluff as quickly as possible so that they can begin to focus on CAREER training. When fluff is free, then perhaps you have a point. But until then, it's a colossal waste, with an extremely miniscule return on the (hefty) investment.
    If you look into the Disney Animation program it went through a period where nearly all of their new talent were graduates of the CalArts program. John Lassiter, Brad Bird, even Tim Burton. So, networking with other students and the alumni of a program also may offer benefits.

    And believe it or not, there are people (spelled EMPLOYERS) who are stuck on that idea of having a piece of paper. Now, I'm not saying that makes sense, just that there are some people out there who think less of people without a degree. And there are some think more of some people because they have a Masters Degree.

    Personaly I place value on a person. Are they good? Are they easy to work with? Are they dependable? Do they give off a weird vibe?

    Also a degree gives you something else....a fallback. You may WANT to be an artists with everybit of your being but just not have what it takes. With a degree you can usually find a job even if it isn't in your field. A degree shows an employer that you have what it takes to stick it out and finish what you start out to do.

    So, if you go up for a job with your degree and get beat out by the high school drop out art savant, you can always take your resume complete with degree and go for a government job, or teach, or get the Assistant manager position of some shop in the mall (which means working nights and closing because the manager has a life.)

    It ain't much, but it's still a fall back that beats dropping fries at the McDonalds.

  2. #47
    Registered User adamredwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbnRanger View Post
    I doubt the 3rd one. For many professions, a University might work fine...as applied sciences may become useful. Again, it's ALL about obtaining knowledge that you can build upon and CONTINUE to use. But much of that is wasted time, effort and money for some career fields, as it will likely be soon forgotten and go unused. A broad liberal education may be a wonderful thing, if it's free...but if you are straddled with a mountain of debt, you have to ask yourself the honest question..."WHY"...why am I still paying 10 yrs later for frivilous courses I was forced to take, and didn't need at all?
    While there may be some frivolous classes out there in Universities, most of them are not fluff. Well-rounded education is key-- when you have outgrown what is taught as a skill, where do you turn to next? Sometimes people draw from other areas of study to create something new.

    It's one thing to have a skill and be specialized. It's another to become SUCH a master that you can create a NEW skill, something doesn't exist yet. Universities (some) offer the environment to allow that study and exploration of WHY.

    Yes, we can get a lot out of just "life" herself, but it also pays to know history of a subject, and whom else have studied that subject, so that we may share our learnings. Universities offer this. Specialized training to prep one for a "job" does not.

    I think there is a change in the US, where the traditional degree is becoming more like a high school diploma, and the Masters Degree is the new elite.
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  3. #48
    Registered User AbnRanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamredwoods View Post
    While there may be some frivolous classes out there in Universities, most of them are not fluff. Well-rounded education is key-- when you have outgrown what is taught as a skill, where do you turn to next? Sometimes people draw from other areas of study to create something new.

    It's one thing to have a skill and be specialized. It's another to become SUCH a master that you can create a NEW skill, something doesn't exist yet. Universities (some) offer the environment to allow that study and exploration of WHY.

    Yes, we can get a lot out of just "life" herself, but it also pays to know history of a subject, and whom else have studied that subject, so that we may share our learnings. Universities offer this. Specialized training to prep one for a "job" does not.

    I think there is a change in the US, where the traditional degree is becoming more like a high school diploma, and the Masters Degree is the new elite.
    The bottom line is this...if one spends 4 long years at a State University (not a Private College like SCAD or Art Institute, Academy of Art, etc), they will most likely not be prepared for this field of work....period.
    That is why many studios have in the employment/internship section of their website, a list of colleges that are reputable for graduating top notch artists, prepared for entry-level work in the industry. Most, if not all, are PRIVATE colleges. Funny. Why is that? Well, just examine the course outline.

    It's not like a University doesn't have enough time to prepare a student in this field...it's just that they waste an excessive percentage on a courseload of Gen Ed and elective Fluff. So, essentially...the student gets less than 2yrs of career specific training. You can try to justify the waste, but a spade is a spade. I have six years of distinguished military service, but it only goes so far in impressing an employer. It's the same with a degree. It may look better on a resume than one that does not...but in the end, it's ALL ABOUT PERFORMANCE!The Creative field is even more so about skill than whether or not you spent 4yrs at a Uni studying Philosophy and Physcology. Offering only 3 courses in Animation in an Animation major is both a joke and worse still, a RIP OFF!
    The University grad will lay down the cap and gown, search for weeks or months for a job in the field...only to find that the $50,000 education didn't do what it was SUPPOSED to do...prepare him for entry-level work in his/her chosen profession. If Universities can't meet that simple requirement...THEY HAVE FAILED, AND THEY HAVE ROBBED THE STUDENT OF BOTH TIME AND TREASURE! It's that simple.
    Last edited by AbnRanger; 09-19-2008 at 03:08 AM.

  4. #49
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbnRanger View Post
    The bottom line is this...if one spends 4 long years at a State University (not a Private College like SCAD or Art Institute, Academy of Art, etc), they will most likely not be prepared for this field of work....period.
    Absolutely. Universities don't, and never have, offered job training. They extend your potential.
    Then again, eductation isn't job training either, luckily.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  5. #50
    Registered User AbnRanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightwolf View Post
    Absolutely. Universities don't, and never have, offered job training. They extend your potential.
    Then again, eductation isn't job training either, luckily.

    Cheers,
    Mike
    Maybe not in Europe, but in the US, parents would be absolutely livid if they learned that they spent tens of thousands of dollars to send their kids to college just for some broad general education, that DID NOT MAJOR IN A SPECIFIC CAREER DISCIPLINE. You're saying in Germany, if you want to be an accountant, or a Physician, Architect, etc., don't go to a Uni?

  6. #51
    Registered User adamredwoods's Avatar
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    I don't disagree with you, but I also know that Universities in the US are seen as a general education, especially state Universities. I don't think it's a surprise, nor a setback. It is just something to be considered in choosing a career.

    Some Universities are stronger in other degrees as well. Animation is generally weak at the university level, focusing on history and artistic theory rather than commercial prospecting. I applied for San francisco State, and that is exactly what they told prospective students. Which is good because then you won't be dismayed as to what they are offering.

    Again, I strongly feel the university level is the new "baseline". Its more and more common to have a Bachelor's degree, so employers have to now weed out candidates using higher criteria. For some degrees, it is needed to get additional education at a 2-year specialty school, or even a Masters. More money, yes, but this is the route these days.

    University vs specialty education: It's like being a Lightwave Generalist, vs a Maya Rigger. Both have places in life-- but one will know a little bit about everything, while the other may just only know a small part of the bigger picture.
    Last edited by adamredwoods; 09-19-2008 at 07:05 PM.
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  7. #52
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbnRanger View Post
    Maybe not in Europe, but in the US, parents would be absolutely livid if they learned that they spent tens of thousands of dollars to send their kids to college just for some broad general education, that DID NOT MAJOR IN A SPECIFIC CAREER DISCIPLINE. You're saying in Germany, if you want to be an accountant, or a Physician, Architect, etc., don't go to a Uni?
    Having a major in a specific career discipline is no job training. It makes you a specialist at a certain discipline... but not necessarily a productive member of the workforce.
    No, you don't go to Uni to be an accountant, that's where the dual system comes into play (trade school coupled with an apprenticeship).
    Physician yes, with a further specialisation after the (more or less) equivalent to a bachelor. That doesn't mean you're allowed to practice once you leave Uni though, you still need an approbation for that. You don't study "Physician", you study Medicine.

    So, in general, you study a discipline, not a career.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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    The best thing about any learning institution isn't that it teaches you some--thing. It's that it teaches you how to learn. How to research. How to formalize and communicate an idea.

    The inspired students will treat classes as creative obstacle courses. They will thrive from the endeavor and learn far more than what is in the syllabus. Other students will just study their notes before each midterm.....

    As far as State colleges not preparing students for careers.... Then why do so many different companies from many different fields send recruiters to the state college in my town?

  9. #54
    Definitely a very good subject.

    I think one factor that does not translate well to the way the education system is set up is that computer graphics is a very rapidly changing field. The education system is based around some kind of prediction and stability. Not only is the computer graphics industry a very new development historically it is moving at a rapid pace. Both the medical and scientific branches of study seem to move slower. Yes there are advances but they are advances that take more time to develop and even longer to become accepted both in and out of the university system which already is far more integrated with the professional feild - because it has been around for centuries - than something like computer graphics which is less than half a century old.

    This is why a vocational college is probably more suited for this kind of industry.
    Last edited by Surrealist.; 09-21-2008 at 09:58 PM.

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    Depends on the career.

    I think that a lot of colleges and universities just miss the ball when it comes to a CG/Art/Creative degree. These degree programs should be more like engineering, in that, the majority of the credits are teaching you things "about your discipline". I think it's just that, all too often, particularly in the state schools, the art programs get lumped into the "liberal arts" and are therefore way too broad in their preparation. If someone is majoring in History, Psychology, etc, then the Bachelor's program is really more of a "weeding out" for students who will or will not move to Master's programs. Those that don't move on aren't really qualified for much, and probably never will be, for any "specific" jobs because....there mostly aren't any "specific jobs" in those fields, outside of teaching High School or something. In that case, teaching, you really do need the more "general" education as you need all the tools to teach the subject, not just knowledge of the specific subject matter, so the more generalized education program serves that sector well.

    When I majored in Engineering, most of my credits were science, math, and engineering, like 90+%. I didn't have to take a language, and I had only a "few" liberal arts requirements (history, electives, english) and even the english was "technical writing". So...I think in large part you need the Universities to reform their curriculum in these creative fields, as the other two liberal arts degrees to become teachers or do advanced studies PhD, Doctor, Lawyer, or the various types of Engineering are reasonably well served. The creative fields should be modeled more like the Engineering ones, but in all too many cases, the programs are modeled after the liberal arts path.

  11. #56
    Unemployed Jester sandman300's Avatar
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    Absolutely. Universities don't, and never have, offered job training. They extend your potential. Then again, eductation isn't job training either, luckily.
    We in the US call it internships. Lots of majors have them, including film and video. It also counts as job experience. Sometimes they pay sometimes they don't. The problem is that sometimes (depending on location) there may not be a company offering internships in the area that you want.

    Some colleges have job placement programs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by achrystie View Post
    I think that a lot of colleges and universities just miss the ball when it comes to a CG/Art/Creative degree. These degree programs should be more like engineering, in that, the majority of the credits are teaching you things "about your discipline".
    I agree that maybe more classes should have been devoted to a discipline, but I think a lot of the classes I took for my design degree were very beneficial. In meeting the requirements, I took courses in Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology, just to name a few. Drawing from what I've learned from those extra "unneeded" courses makes up part of who I am today. New approaches to problems or different ways of thinking which could also aid the creative process.

    Though of course, I'm on the creative side of things. Coming up with concept designs means you have to rely on your own insight and knowledge as well as utilizing references. Professions where you just learn a craft such as CG and being handed a concept to create realistically doesn't require a course in Philosophy or any other requirement a University might require you to take. You just need the knowledge of technique and to develop an eye for making realistic CG. You could learn that at a technical school. For things like interior design, graphic design, illustration, concept art, etc (fields which are increasingly using CG).... I think a more well rounded education is needed to expose you to other concepts and ways of thinking than just classes in which you learn technique.

    I knew a guy in college who went into his illustration courses wanting to make comic books. A couple years later he became a medical illustrator because he took a course in medical anatomy which sparked his interest.
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    Hmm.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMT View Post
    I agree that maybe more classes should have been devoted to a discipline, but I think a lot of the classes I took for my design degree were very beneficial. In meeting the requirements, I took courses in Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology, just to name a few. Drawing from what I've learned from those extra "unneeded" courses makes up part of who I am today. New approaches to problems or different ways of thinking which could also aid the creative process.

    Though of course, I'm on the creative side of things. Coming up with concept designs means you have to rely on your own insight and knowledge as well as utilizing references. Professions where you just learn a craft such as CG and being handed a concept to create realistically doesn't require a course in Philosophy or any other requirement a University might require you to take. You just need the knowledge of technique and to develop an eye for making realistic CG. You could learn that at a technical school. For things like interior design, graphic design, illustration, concept art, etc (fields which are increasingly using CG).... I think a more well rounded education is needed to expose you to other concepts and ways of thinking than just classes in which you learn technique.

    I knew a guy in college who went into his illustration courses wanting to make comic books. A couple years later he became a medical illustrator because he took a course in medical anatomy which sparked his interest.
    This is a good point. However, I would quite frankly question just how much "ways of thinking" people learn in this more generalized path. I think that someone who ends up getting something out of this type of system is "already" capable of creativity and thinking, therefore, they will most likely excel in any system. However, the average person, and I see a "LOT" of the average person performing nowadays, will most likely gather little from this. They'd be a lot better off in a more structured system of courses that applies directly to their interests and future employability, to be really honest. I'd also question what value this truly has against the total cost of education. My personal experience was, I had very little time, and therefore got very little out of the "overall" college experience (elective courses, college life, etc.) I worked a full time job during school and 80+ hours every week in the summers to get through college, and therefore anything that wasn't an efficient use of my time, was mostly a frustration, and not something I could be involved in, even if I wanted to. Additionally, had I left school and had trouble finding a job with my tens of thousands of dollars of loan debt...I would have been none too pleased. Fortunately I made a choice to pursue something that pretty much makes me "very" flexible and able to find a job, in almost any type of economy.

    The vast majority of people don't end up this way, and this is most definitely a fault of the educational system itself. I see this every day, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators telling students "oh yeah, just go to college and see what you like, and take a broad range of things, and find out who you are" meanwhile 50%+ of these students don't make it through the 4 years and/or do, and come out and get the same job they could have gotten with no degree (manager at fast food, manager of a grocery department, waiter, bartender, police officer, fireman, etc.). The worst part is, most of the students I see will have to work while going to school, will have to put themselves in debt to get through the whole process, and the people advising think nothing of this because they either a) didn't have to pay for school themselves or get much in loans or b) there is no accountability/visibility whatsoever once the student leaves the door and the administration has been able to check off some box that "such and such percentage is college bound".

  14. #59
    Adapting Artist jasonwestmas's Avatar
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    One always needs a General education as much as one needs to expand on their strengths through a series of more Specialized courses. Anything lacking too much on either side of the spectrum will just frustrate most people I think.
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    Not much of a solution for most.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandman300 View Post
    We in the US call it internships. Lots of majors have them, including film and video. It also counts as job experience. Sometimes they pay sometimes they don't. The problem is that sometimes (depending on location) there may not be a company offering internships in the area that you want.

    Some colleges have job placement programs.
    This is again something that only works for a small number of students who have a lot of support, or a lot of luck. Unfortunately, and I was a good student in college, I had no way due to geographical issues and financial issues, to do this sort of thing. It wasn't a large deal for me, as my course of studies actually did apply to what I'd do on a daily basis after graduation, however, had I wanted to do an internship, it would have most likely financially bankrupted me because of the severely increased "cost" of relocating to the place of internship. Because of this, even as a better student than most, I would continually lose out on these opportunities to those who could "go off somewhere for the summer", make money, but spend most of it on rent and food for some apartment somewhere (in fact most didn't need the money for rent and food anyway). This was because the amount paid for these internships (those that even "were paid") were less than I could make on summer jobs, and I pretty much had to work locally to minimize my living costs and save money to keep going to school.
    Quite frankly this is a cop out answer as well, because you're already paying 10K plus for school...they should be preparing you for what you actually have to "do", not relying on a small number of available internships in private companies to fill that void. Plus, if we're talking about the majority of people, there are FAR less internships available than there are people to fill them.

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