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Author   Topic : "Importance of a degree. Where to go,..."
Max
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:37 pm     Reply with quote
Hey guys

As some of you might know I am studying Industrial Design at the moment. I am in my 3rd term.

The whole education isn't really the way I thought it would be like,
however the stuff I have learned so far goes beyond pure "art skills" and is something you can hardly teach yourself.
I have learned very important things! My art skills on the other side haven't improved much because of ID, not at all actually.
We had some uninspiring drawing sessions in the first term, that's it tho.
Beside studying it's hardly impossible to work on own things.
Busy times,...and I have to live a social life too, so working the whole day just isn't an option. I need some social factor otherwise I go nuts ; )

Now after nearly one and a half years I believe that I gathered the most important things from this education.
We work on projects. Finish them. Start new ones. And so on.
This won't change in the next 2 and a half years.
Of course we'll have more complex projects etc however the real "lessons" were taught in the first and second term. I am really sure about this.
Everything else is just getting more into things, improving, specialising,...

By the way, my plan was never to get a typical ID guy. I heard alot of people in the movie field had a background in ID which kinda inspired me.
Furthermore we don't have "illustration" here in austria so I had no real choice. And I was interested in ID,...not ONLY ID tho,... ; /

Now here comes the big question. Would I be a complete jackass if I skipped the next 2 and a half years and move on to new things instead of getting a degree?
The school I am studying at is the best in Austria and one of the best in europe/worldwide concerning ID.
However we all know that a degree isn't worth a penny if your portfolio sucks. Right?,......no?,...yes?
I heard teaching is only possible with a degree,....right? wrong? Better salary? no, yes?

I see my future in the movie/game biz. Just anything creative, everything that is visually driven,...might even end up in fashion.
Movies are my passion tho. Will always be. And I am very optimistic I'll end up beeing there sooner or later.

Sorry, too much writing,...so many thoughs. Anyway.

If I would stop studying now I would start studing film or art for while working on my skills on my own
which is possible because these study paths aren't half as time consuming as ID.
Furthermore I wouldn't finish them eighter (crazy guy I am) and just have fun studying for about two years
while pushing my 3d/concept art/film you name it - skills and slowly get things started, getting some work on the side, etc.

To sum everything up:


> One and a half years ID
+ 2 years film and/or art education (might finish, who knows)
+ intensive self education (I am hyper active and know my goals! really)
+ some income with freelance work while studing, getting contacts, etc

VS

> Finishing Industrial Design and having a solid degree
eventhough I won't end up as an ID - It's simply not my passion.


I am 20 years old atm. After finishing ID I would be 23. Still young.
Altough I feel like running out of time.
I have so many ideas and plans and things I want to learn that go so far beyong ID
but simply don't have enough time working on own projects/goals designing cars n' hairdryers for ID,...
ID isn't fulfilling. It's great. But I feel there should be "more"
Could the lack of a degree really get in my way one day?

Please share your thoughs. Tell me a story or something. This isn't an absolute "yes do" vs "no do not" question. However I have been on sijun for quite a while and trust your opinions.


I wouldn't have asked this if it was just a stupid though I came up with today. I was thinking about it for half a year at least.

I am optimistic and smiling - no matter what.
Greets guys. Thanks for reading. I highly appreciate your thoughts Very Happy
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Joe84
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:01 am     Reply with quote
blunt i know and perhaps even pointless what im about to say but whatever makes you happy. not only short term but also long term. think things through, the decision thats best to you will come.
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Returner
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:58 am     Reply with quote
I think Joe84 is on the right path when he says doing what feels right for you. BUT that doesn't mean that you shouldn't carefully evaluate your options before taking a new direction in your life. I can only speak from where I stand and maybe that will give you something.

Have you really checked out how it is working in the movie industri etc? have you compared doing that for a LIVING with ID design? One thing doing it for fun, you get your creative juices flowing before you start to paint/draw/3d model etc, MIGHT not be your cup of tea doing it for a living. So check it out and talk to people.

But if I were you I would complete the education if it feels "ok at the moment but nothing special" (something inspiring might be just around the corner!) but if it feels really bad quit right now...only you can feel where you stand on that scale.

Also have you checked out if an exchange year with that Industrial design school in California thats so popular is possible?? And most importantly have other programs/courses that might inspire you. Courses like illustration, entertainment designs if I remember correctly.

If that would be possible that would be the best thing for you. Get some inspiration there and talk to other students maybe see the industri from within in California..
I have no idea if 1.5 years of ID experience will get you anywhere in the movie business, sorry. From reading here it seems to be all about your portfolio or contacts, or both Smile
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Jabo
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:59 am     Reply with quote
I think for someone who is active here but never quite as much in the mood to chat about life-things, it's a broad hint when you post this question here. It looks like you're not happy with what you do. Or even better, you're probably good at what you do, but want to quit anyway. That's why I'd really advise you to quit, _IF_ you're really sure you can make it without the degree and go on for some years without any significant success. The point is that you will probably feel like you've taken a step back and have some really bad time because you'll be questioning your decision. So, if you're sure that ID's not what you want, quit. If you ask me, you're super-talented and should be able to land some nice gigs. If it's still in the study-time and the offer is good, you might even stop studying again and go for becoming a professional. Who knows...

Also, you might want to check Randy Pausch's Last Lecture Video, if you haven't already.
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Mikko K
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:32 am     Reply with quote
If you got the skills for a job and some experience, I don't think the degree matters much. But it's better than nothing. An empty CV isn't good either. It may also help you if you wish to move abroad. It's easier to get a visa when you have a degree, or so I've heard. It's still possible to everything you want without a degree though.

I'm personally a "can't stand school but loves learning" kind of person. I like to figure out stuff by myself, instead of working on irrelevant school projects that are out of my focus. So I quit my school, way before graduating.

Ultimately it's a question of how sure you are about what you want in life.

The fact you come asking us tells you're not entirely sure. I recommend that you finish the school if you're a person that tends to regret stuff. If you're confident and willing to take risks, then you might as well quit now.

Things have a tendency to work out, once you just invest time and effort and work passionately on what you believe in.

Btw. do you think that any reasonable and sane person would recommend art as a career anyways? There's always going to be risk involved. Smile

Good luck with your decision!
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Max
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:33 am     Reply with quote
Thanks for your thoughts so far guys. I really appreciate it.

Joe84: Yeah, of course that's the most important thing. It's just hard to see the future since you can never be sure about such decitions. Studying ID was also such a decition and it has lead me to a point where I would never be without ID which is great. Of course I am not only thinking in the presence. I am indeed thinking about the future and how this will effect my life.

Returner: Thanks for your honest thoughts. Of course I need good options before changing directions. My options wouldn't be bad. In fact I just want to change study paths and might even finish the new one (film, art, whatever, not sure yet) and get a degree there while working on my own stuff beside.
I still want to learn and get a better view on things before joining the industry. I think this would be possible with more time on my hands. I believe I know what I need to break into the industry.

I got several very good job oportunities so far which I had to decline because of ID. So I at least know I won't be useless for the industry out there. And as I said before. I am eager to learn MUCH more before joining you guys ;D

I am pretty sure film and games are the way to go for me. Honestly. This has been a dreamjob-lifestyle-ideology for many years now. If this would be such a plain illusion I am lost anyway ; ) I have invested so much time and energy and passion into this. I can hardly imagine I will end up somwhere else,...at least not in the next 5-10 or even 20 years.

If I would keep studying ID it would be because of the degree and having a so called "education". Not because of the stuff we learn here in the first place which is cool but simply not enough. The skills I want to gain in the next few years go way beyond ID and can hardly be taught in any school out there. Skill in this field is a personal thing. It's not like studying chemistry.

Still the words "education" and "degree" sound so powerful...as If I could lack something that has nothing to do with skills but simply is an abstract quality in the industry out there. - Thanks for the wise advice!

Jabo: Thanks buddy. I appreciate it. Well, I don't think I would really regret it. Personally I feel I want to learn stuff, not "finish something". I could finish ID and study some more afterwards. I just can't wait soooo long. I feel I need to learn more, but not for another 10 years : ) Thanks for the link btw!!

Mikko K: I highly apprciate your opinion since I know where you come from art wise. I didn't know you quit school. I have a very similar opinion concenring "out of focus project" and the school system. The ironic thing is that in my holidays I worked 24/7 and was way more productive. Studying slows me down. On the other side it teaches me stuff I wouldn't learn on my own.

Quote:
do you think that any reasonable and sane person would recommend art as a career anyways? There's always going to be risk involved.


Hahaha, dude, that made me laugh Very Happy Yeah, you're right. I don't care at all tho. Art's my life!

At the moment my brain is messed up. I am twisted.

Anyway. I have about 3 more months to think about this. Enough time to come to a conclusion. No matter what will happen, it will be a good decition ;D

Thanks again guys. If anyone else feels like giving some thoughts on this,....much appreciated!!!
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Naeem
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:08 pm     Reply with quote
Max> I'm in the same boat. I've spoken to some teachers at art center, and a bunch of other people. THey basically told me to stick around for a degree. I'm straight out of highschool, and a highschool diploma won't get you as far as a degree. Sure, its not really about the degree, but im sure it DOES have some impact when you graduate from a certain school.
If you already had a degree, then I would say quit whenever you feel like you've gotten what you need. Are you worried about finanicial debt? Weigh your options- is it worth the money? If there's no money involved, you're only 20, just like me. Wait it out and finish. And once you do, you will definitely be a better ID designer. From there, you can perhaps work for half a year, or even a year on your own learning how to draw figures properly, painting, etc.
I've seen some ID portfolios coming out of all these ID schools. Only YOU can keep yourself broad. Many student's get too specific- but its because they want to. If being broad is what you're looking for, it's all about keeping yourself in check. Try to go to a figure drawing workshop here and there. Take a term off, and work hard on your illustration skills.
My thing is, I would highly suggest sticking in there and getting that degree. It rids you of certain biased thoughts from others, and it will definitely only help you improve (getting to it, i mean). Also, once projects are presented, why not try to force it towards an entertainment feel? You don't plan on being a pure ID guy, so you can always take some liberty and add things here and there.
In any case, at the end of the day it's really up to you. if you hate it, quit it. Don't put yourself through misery. You will only come to hate it more- which will just turn things upside down.
Good luck. I know you're a great designer, and you're going places. Keep at it.
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Misc
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:50 pm     Reply with quote
Ah, a crossroad! Those can be stressful... Remember to be proud of yourself too, since you're taking more control of your life by listening and taking yourself seriously. Some people go through their entire life regretting mistakes or lost chances...
Well that's a bit cliché!
A few years back I was in a similar situation. At the end of my mechanical engineering course my childhood interest in drawing came back to me, and I seriously started to doubt my choice of education. Just before starting my thesis work I took a year off to read ID and started learning how to draw in my sparetime. My line of thought WAS basically that if I would want to try something else, this is about the last chance I'll ever get (university is also free in sweden hehe). So I tookID classes and tried to learn how to draw, which I would never had done if I'd realized how much there is to learn...

I then completed my engineering degree. Now a couple of years later I've realized that what I really enjoy is the process of creating stuff, whether it's drawing something, product development, CAD, welding random pieces of metal together or whatever, as long as I'm creating something. Actually I'm in the process of learning management and some economy right now, and I'm enjoying that too! That would have been quite unthinkable a few years ago. Another funny thing is that all those things have so much in common it's starting to get scarry Very Happy Ok, so what I'm trying to say is that you can change your life, but life will also change you, so it's not going to be the last time you'll make an "epic" choice, and that's a good thing. I think you're on the right path already, regardless of what choice you make. It's the will to develop and question things that's important in the long run, because what you think you know might change ALOT. But as long as you're not afraid of change, you'll always come out on top. Hmm am I getting off topic?...
Good luck!
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Mikko K
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:32 am     Reply with quote
Max> You're welcome Smile

One more thing that I forgot..

It's not like studying for a couple more years is going to make a difference in terms of "losing time" or "getting older".

After you get your first job, it could easily take five years before you're in a position that you really want.. If you take to time to learn (whether in school or on your own) you might end up skipping the really entry level positions, assuming that the time spent improved your portfolio. Of course I'm only thinking about the games industry right now.
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Jabo
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:16 am     Reply with quote
So, to line up with those who have already posted their story, I'm at one of those crossroads, too at the moment. I'm in my last month of civilian service and some months ago it was clear that as soon as I'm dismissed, I would apply to university to study Communications Design. Now that it's only 5 weeks to the application test, doubts occur. I've never been a good student in school and even tho I've been told a thousand times that studying is completely different to attending school, I've worked for 3 years in the job and don't have a clue of which way is better for me.

Working would grant me money. Big plus, as I'm not good at living sparingly. I could finally move out. It would also grant me some kind of goal that I have to cope with every day. I've never been more motivated than when I was working. The downside is that I'd be constantly exhausted and unmotivated to go on with my other interest because I'd have to give 200% in the job to feel happy with it.

Studying on the other hand would make me a poor bastard and I'd have to live with my parents and work for them in my spare time so they pay me the study. I'd have a lot more time and motivation to work on different fields. On the other hand, that would all just be for my own education, nothing that's really worth working for. You see, I'm a work-fan. But I'd love to be a student, too.

So, I think it's also a matter of how you want to live in the time of the studies. It's like in that classic beer commercial.
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Max
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:23 am     Reply with quote
Hey Guys! Thanks everyone for your helpful opinions!!! It indeed helps me to settle my thoughts.



annis: I am really glad you stopped by here, since you're as you said yourself in a similar situation at least ID and age related.
Yes, a degree indeed has a value, for sure. I am trying to figure out how much tho. And inhow far I will need it. Which I actually can't be sure about now. Who knows what will come,..eh? : )

"Are you worried about finanicial debt?"

Nope, because the education at my University is basically for free. We have alot of nice sponsors. It was hard to get in. Now everything runs smoothly.

"you're only 20, just like me. Wait it out and finish."

I often have the same though. And it is a stong argument, we are still young. Nothing is lost,....well,....I am just not 100% sure about this to be honest,..hehe.

"From there, you can perhaps work for half a year, or even a year on your own learning how to draw figures properly, painting, etc."

Yes, definately. It would be somethign I just had to do. I just fear there would be too much I needed to learn.

"It rids you of certain biased thoughts from others, and it will definitely only help you improve."

I fully agree! And yes, it definately IS possible to give those projects an entertainment feel. You just have to fight with some professors tho ; )

What you say is true annis, all of it. ID is cool and theres still lots I can learn from this education.

However I still have the feeling, that it's not enough,...that I concentrate on ID for another 5 terms and ignoring the whole vfx-concept-game-movie-illustration-world out there. In terms of: I don't invest as much time into those wonderful things as I invest into ID.




Misc: Your view on this situation is incredibly inspirational. I haven't thought about it like that before. And it''s definately not off topic. It might be more important than the actual ID degree or not- discussion going on in my mind. I am free to do whatever I want. I could quit right now climb on a nice mountain in asia and unfold my inner self learning the art of Zen,......wait,....I haven't even seriously thought about that option yet,..mhhhh Very Happy
Nah, honestly, thanks. It kind of gives me the feeling that whatever I might decide will be part of my life, effect the future, have a reason and therefore will be a good thing in the long run.



Mikko K: Yeah, that's true actually. I believe that studying is a really good thing and I want to keep learning stuff as long as possible. At the same time I can hardly wait to work on one of these inspiring projects out there,...I want to get much better before joining at the same time I want to start working right now.


Jabo: I fully understand you. It's a weird feeling. I also wanna be a student, at the same time I can't wait to finally get out there and check out this world which at the moment exists in my mind, beeing a wonderful Illusion that might become reaity. Think about this. You will work for the rest of your life anyway and might even get super rich. It's not like you will never have the time for education and learning again, however in your early years (now) it's easier to follow a good education. Yes, you will be a rather poor guy, living at home, however that'S only for a few years in which you can settle your goals and thoughs.




Thanks again guys!! At the moment I am happy with ID itself,, however I feel that there could be more. Thinking about study paths such as film and art inspires me to learn more and get a broad set of skills in as many fields as possible. I might stick to ID for the next 5 terms. However it could also be possible that I find another way to unfold my passions right now get a degree somewhere else and be happy too.

It's interesting and essential to think about all these things.
I am glad I can share my thoughts with you guys Smile
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Joe84
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:51 am     Reply with quote
that true, u are going to be working for the rest of your life. whats the rush? take this time to enjoy urself and school
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Max
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:02 am     Reply with quote
Haha,...i knew i'd find this thread again.
I got my degree last week, hehe....looking back at all the thoughts about it I had is really interesting...i had so many illusions
I now understand that really it was never about that degree, it wasn't about skills,...not about art, that awesome job in the future or anything but the EXPERIENCE itself,...NOW,...good or bad, it never matters...at all! Very Happy Cheers!
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Tzan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:31 am     Reply with quote
Congrats!

I didnt see the date at the top so I read the top post and was thinking, GET THE DEGREE NOW!

Then I skipped a lot of TLDR posts and found yours at the bottom Smile
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Max
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:00 pm     Reply with quote
Heh, oh yeah - that's how I feel now - life's a blur ; )
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Max Ostap
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:53 pm     Reply with quote
I had the same headiche you had.

I guess it all depends on wether you want to do organic illustration for the rest of your life or you feel passionate about industrial forms.

Don't expect to do the level of work that Mcquirre, Mead and others with ID background do in movies with illustration training. Its not gonna happen without solid submersion into ID discipline for 5+ plus years. At least in my opinion.

Solid stretch both in school and in studios is unavoidable. Degree or not, you have to have an attention span long enough to master something, and mastering something usually takes longer than 2 terms or 2 years of concentration and discipline.

At the end of the day, illustration is a commonly taught discipline. ID is the opposite, reclusive and specialized with only few places in the world to really learn it. Not knowing it is not gonna keep you out of movie business however.
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watmough
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:07 pm     Reply with quote
gah all this ID righteousness.

learn to compose an image, learn real lighting, learn colour, value learn abstraction.
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henrik
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:43 pm     Reply with quote
Hey Max, where did you end up after the degree?
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Max
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:27 am     Reply with quote
Nowhere,...well,...not yet ;D

I had a wonderful internship at Crytek in Frankfurt working on Crysis 2 and some other games they had in production which was a great experience and actually a dream come true. Yet it was reality and therefore "just" a job at the end. I figured that I don't want to spend THAT much time in front of a computer for the rest of my life...had major back problems, still have...so now I am kinda freelancing doing little stuff here and there and trying to find some kind of 20-30 hour job at the side doing something completely different for a while. I got stuck with art n games too much, gotta clean my mind, haha. I still wanna be in games n movies tho, ALOT, but I am much more patient now and can wait. Yet I am open for art jobs all the way!!! Anyway...until then I have other priorities besides my career..which is mostly to balance my life and become a happy guy...which seems to work at the moment....yeeeehhhh!!! Very Happy
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