A Word from The Loser.

The Dommo

Globally Illuminated
I agree - it's the same kinda thing here. We spent 3 years of a full time course, requiring a big fat student loan to survive on your own, only to find our 'animation' course was being run by a guy who was qualified as a journalist, and his 'animation' classes were simply him handing us photocopies of a chunk of software manual, and him reading this to us. We could have learned faster ourselves by not having to listen to him, and just read the stuff. The other problem is of course that once you give up on the tutors, you are paying like £13,000 for a course where you are teaching yourself.

Ready for a career after university? Hell no.

Yeah, thanks.... Just what we needed.
 

frantbk

New member
I'm just really surprised at the level of apathy over this topic...maybe it's because many careers really don't require 4yrs of in-depth training, so all the General Ed stuff is just filler. BUT THAT IS RIPPING OFF THE STUDENT...and the states who help subsidize the theft. I firmly believe our (secondary) education system is in dire need of a MAJOR overhaul...with the main focus being:
1) PREPARE THE STUDENTS FOR THEIR SPECIFIC PROFESSION as much as possible!

What you are talking about is a trade school, and those died out about 15-20 years ago. While I do agree that the Universities are in need or repair. I don't agree with turning them into trade schools that only teach specific subject matter.
 

Andyjaggy

New member
I agree - it's the same kinda thing here. We spent 3 years of a full time course, requiring a big fat student loan to survive on your own, only to find our 'animation' course was being run by a guy who was qualified as a journalist, and his 'animation' classes were simply him handing us photocopies of a chunk of software manual, and him reading this to us. We could have learned faster ourselves by not having to listen to him, and just read the stuff. The other problem is of course that once you give up on the tutors, you are paying like £13,000 for a course where you are teaching yourself.

Ready for a career after university? Hell no.

Yeah, thanks.... Just what we needed.

Oh so true. I think universities are great for some things but face it we are in an industry that doesn't usually give a care what school you went to if you went at all. I had the same bad experience, teachers that didn't know what they were talking about. Had no real world experience and had never worked in the industry. I am sure there are some great programs out there taught by qualified teachers that will really prepare you but it sure wasn't at my school. I got burned and am now pretty bitter about it, especially when I write out that check every month for my student loans. :D
 

AbnRanger

New member
What you are talking about is a trade school, and those died out about 15-20 years ago. While I do agree that the Universities are in need or repair. I don't agree with turning them into trade schools that only teach specific subject matter.
I know what trade schools are for...

My Point is that W-W-W-A-A-A-A-Y-Y-Y too much time is consumed in a typical 4yr degree on "Well-Rounded" education...again, fluff that flat out won't buy you a cup of coffee when you get out, and 95-99% will be flushed out of your memory banks within the first year. That's the reality of it, and these Education Union Scammers know it!

Because it does not contribute anything meaningful toward the primary goal of preparing you for the marketplace, it should be kept to an Absolute minimum (no more than 10-15%). If the student didn't learn enough General Ed material by the time they graduate High School, then I say, tough luck...Times up on the education system. You had them until they were old enough to be adults. Time to stop robbing them with wasteful, worthless, and most importantly...expensive courses. It doesn't just rob them of money and brain matter, but another VERY valuable commodity....TIME.

Let me give you a practical example. When I lived in the Nashville, Tennessee area, I did some research of the various 4yr colleges in the area to see which programs had a degree in 3D animation. MTSU (Middle Tennessee State Univ) was the only one. It is actually a huge college, with a larger student population than the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville.
I looked over the course plan and it was the most pathetic excuse for an education in this career field, you can imagine. All you had was an Intro, Intermediate, and Advanced Animation class. The other media-related classes were more or less cross-training in other disciplines, like graphic design. That's well below what a 2yr Technical college (like ITT tech) would provide.

So, in the end, a student graduating from there is far less prepared for the job market than the ITT grad...for the very same profession and job market.
The key difference is, that the MTSU grad can look down his nose at the Tech School Grad, when in reality...it's the Tech school kid who should be feeling very sorry for the MTSU kid, cause he's got about $30,000 more of student loan debt to deal with, and for the sake of bragging rights and a piece of paper, he also just funked-off 2 more years of his life.
The most important factor is that the ITT kid is probably going to have a much more impressive demo reel. So, given that practical scenario, who invested wisely, and who didn't?
I just feel very strongly that the whole concept of Universities and state colleges is one driven by pompous aristocrats within the Education community. I see as partly driven by a self-preserving mechanism on their part. After all...if colleges and Universities DID begin to put more focus on preparing the student for the marketplace, then hordes of their colleagues would be out of a job! Couldn't have THAT, now could we? I say, let them get regular jobs like the rest of us.
This idea that Universities are just preparing students for a career, but "PREPARING THEM FOR LIFE"...is the biggest line of B.S. (Bovine Scatology) known to modern man. It's the parents job to prepare them for life...not the knuckleheads governing the Education Unions!

All the spanish classes I took...didn't prepare me...FOR LIFE!
The Anatomy and Biology classes (took Biology in HS, yet have to learn the very same crap in college all over again) didn't prepare me...FOR LIFE.
They just hung a few G'notes around my neck, is all. No impact on my "collective intelligence" at all! Any education is only so good to the extent that you will continue to use what you have learned. That is why the goal of preparing the student to enter the market place should be primary and dominant. Why? because it is the ONLY education material that they can continue to practice and further expand upon in their career. Fluff courses are, in a very pragmatic sense, FAT around the waste of the modern education system. All I'm saying is trim the fat...."Work it out, folks. And a 1 and a 2. Now back to the start..." :D
 

Lightwolf

obfuscated SDK hacker
Well, over here the point of universities is not job training but to teach you scientific thinking (which also includes the ability to figure stuff out for yourself).
Now, just that may be a requirement for certain jobs, but certainly not all of them.

On the other hand, if the parents prepared you so well for life, why did you make such a bad educational choice then? :D

Cheers,
Mike - who quit uni.
 
1) PREPARE THE STUDENTS FOR THEIR SPECIFIC PROFESSION as much as possible!


i am speaking only from a CG artist POV: this advice is not always the best. it really depends on what the profession entails, and in CG, i believe i know more or less what works and what doesnt, at least in our locality.

i personally prefer people who have a fine arts background, strong sense of design, color, etc. those that go to specialised schools may or may not have training in these things, because some spend considerable time learning software. learning software is not a good investment, imo, when i college. you can learn after college, where the software would have probably changed. i think more backbone courses, courses that make you think are essential.

in general, i'd rather have a 'well-rounded' person because they are usually easier to train.
 
The Anatomy and Biology classes (took Biology in HS, yet have to learn the very same crap in college all over again) didn't prepare me...FOR LIFE.


i suppose you can say that it can be about how it was taught. in highschool i paid no attention to trigonometry, for example. but since getting into 3D scripting i've been getting out my old textbooks.

if i was in a frame of mind that could understand the implications of studying anatomy / biology, i think i would welcome those classes. to me that knowledge is valuable especially as an artist. my only regret is that while they taught us those subjects, they didnt really present it in a way that was interesting that i could be more inclined to actually remember them.

again, to me, education is learning how to think, not simply an inculcation of knowledge or skill sets.
 

Lightwolf

obfuscated SDK hacker
in general, i'd rather have a 'well-rounded' person because they are usually easier to train.
Thanks for the post, now I don't have to write the same thing using different words ;)

I think the worst thing you can get is specific application training. Learning an application is just a technicality compared to the other skills you need.

Cheers,
Mike
 

Titus

Running at 29.97 fps
Thanks for the post, now I don't have to write the same thing using different words ;)

I think the worst thing you can get is specific application training. Learning an application is just a technicality compared to the other skills you need.

Cheers,
Mike

I agree with you but some people are worker bees, they don't tend to do more than they are supposed to do at work, that's what they don't find a need for useless konwledge. I'm not targeting anyone here, but the people I've met at other studios.
 

Lightwolf

obfuscated SDK hacker
I agree with you but some people are worker bees...
I know what you mean. In that case on the job training should be more than adequate though.

Just as a different perspective, we have a three-tiered higher education system here: Universities, colleges and trade school.
University is definetly aimed at a highly skilled, specialized and mostly academic or scientific carrer (depending on the subject that is).
College (I can't find a more fitting english word) is more practical and a bit more generic.
Trade school covers basically anything from a car mechanic to a media operator (note: not designer!). Usually you're a trainee (so you're on the job) for a few years coupled with a bit of schooling.

Either way you choose, you can work in this industry (there is also the maverick self-taught option which I wouldn't recommend anymore, times have changed).

Cheers,
Mike
 
I think the rants about the nature of the American College system are interesting. I mean You don't HAVE to get a degree. You can take classes and learn what you want a good part of the time. I know that there are many students from all over the world who are sent here because a more rounded education is seen as a valuable thing.

There are British and European schools that are subject specific. There are Trade specific shools here as well...such as FULL SAIL.

I don't think my time in Psychology or History classes were exactly wasted time. I think they gave insight in how people and society work. Biology gives me insight into how my body works and the mechanics of movement in animation. I have used the Algebra I learned (a little anyway with a little geometry thrown in)

What they didn't teach in college, was that the @$$ kissers get ahead. A course in networking would have been valuable....and I don't mean Server/Client networking. I mean professional networking. Creating a professional image. Marketing Yourself.

And your four year degree? Well, it may be devaluated because of people who choose to outsource or it may be worth less because of kids out of school using EDU copies of software on computers bought by their parents working for $150 a day are undercutting Professional rates. Mostly, I think it is a mentality of certain people in our society. There are people out there who over use the word "just".
JUST.
It is a word that seems more and more is used by people who either don't understand the scope of a task, or want to belittle the efforts of others. These people tend to have a false sense of importance. They believe they are special somehow and are entitled to liberties, while the rest of us should be gleeful should they deign to leave us their table scraps.

We all need to take a stand against people who belittle our efforts. When, you are confronted by one of these people. Calmly, begin to explain things using language that will demonstrate their ignorance. When they feel sufficiently overwhelmed, then they are approaching enlightenment in that THEY HAVE NO F'ING CLUE WHAT YOU DO!

Your education isn't useless. If you aren't using it that is your fault. If you let others belittle it, that is your fault.
 

Stooch

Banned
What they didn't teach in college, was that the @$$ kissers get ahead.

Although i must point out that college was exactly where i developed a disdain for people who will sabotage your efforts because they would rather be nice. "its nice", "ooh i like the colors", the danger of everyone blowing smoke up your *** is that you will eventually start to believe them.

you can also find them right here on the forums. just make a post criticising newtek.
 

jasonwestmas

Adapting Artist
Another bit of advice if you want any:

You're only a looser if you stop doing what you love to do.
 
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beverins

New member
To be sure, I work for a University, so perhaps take that as you will...

however, I think that a University education is actually very helpful. Look, if all you wanna do is learn Maya and get a job in ILM, then you will say "all those english, biology, physics, and history classes won't help me at all". There is some point of merit there, until you start to analyze what learning that will do to your overall creative flow.

You see, all creative design - I don't care what it is that you do - has to tell A Story. This is non-negotiable. Look at the [insert name of favorite brown caffeinated sugar beverage here] on your desk. That bottle has a story to tell. It has specific engineering requirements but it also has design elements. What do those design elements say? What do the curvy lines on the bottle of Pepsi I'm looking at tell the buyer? Then there's the label.... Look at the images in Newtek's own gallery.. or the most successful images on CGTalk.com. The ones that are the most successful (note - success does not equal a positive emotion upon seeing the image! Success can also be measured if people hate the image) will ALL be telling some sort of story.

Where does this Story come from? It's not all from your Creative Writing classes in High School. It's not from the similar classes in University either. It comes from Your LIFE EXPERIENCE. If you are a world traveler, for example, and have a load of LIFE EXPERIENCES then you have a lot of material to draw from to tell your tales. But if you're like most of the world, you don't actually GO very far outside your daily normal life. This is where Unviersity classes will help.

Granted, I think that for art and other creative type curriculums, the classes should all be tailored towards creative thinking. Like Psychology of Art, instead of just plain Psychology.... but if you are in that psychology class, see what you can glean from it and put that creative mind to use, seeing in what ways you can use these otherwise meaningless bits of trivia to your advantage. Perhaps in the biology class or chemistry class there is something that will help you to understand why your image of an animal doesn't look quite right. Physics classes can undoubtedly help with Lightwave in numerous ways, from understanding light, to expressions, to using that knowledge to make an animated scene be far more believable.

I was a student in one of these liberal arts curriculums, and instead of it getting me down I did search for these things. Turns out that I was able to see patterns in the different classes that helped me not only understand the classes better, but also helped me make some better choices in my animations. Of course, by the way I write, you'd think I was some Master Of All Things, and I'm not - but I did feel that what I learned was not wasted.

It all depends on you. If you already have the stories, if you already have the art training... then what you need is a school like gnomon or full sail or DAVE school. Or go to a unviersity like SVA or Pratt which do try to explain things in ways a creative mind can actually use.
 

Cageman

Almost newbie
you can also find them right here on the forums. just make a post criticising newtek.

yeah... sure... I think there are tacts on how to give critique as well. I'm starting to think that some users have mixed up the difference between being polite and kissing buts (HUGE difference imho). Strangely enough, being polite when giving critique works REALLY well in real life, so I try to practise that on forums as well.
 
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