Thursday, 23 May 2013

Task 23: Life Changing or Career Building?

I think University in this sense, for courses such as ours, are massively over-rated. If we're honest doing this course isn't going to be monumentally life changing and it isn't going to build me a career either. I couldn't just turn up to every class, absorb it like a sponge and then suddenly be awesome, have an epiphany and go get employed. It doesn't work that way, which may not be what you want to hear, but I'm sure you understand.

The University in our field, in my opinion is largely pointless. This is probably largely down to the sheer amount of other sources information is readily available from. If I wanted to I could learn 3Ds Max, Zbrush, the basics of drawing and digipainting from the Internet. There is a wealth of short online courses that aim to teach you things like this and also hundreds of thousands of general tutorials online. It is feasible to imagine that I could do an equally good job, home schooling myself, rather than spending lots of money and going to University. Everything I could possibly want to know is online somewhere.

Also I think it is worth considering that when looking for jobs in the industry I have never come accross a job requirement asking for a degree or qualification in the subject. I don't know if degrees are often something that is required for art jobs in a America or elsewhere in the world. But from what I can tell its not that big a thing over here in the UK. I think its fair to say some people will be leaving the Uni with a degree that they just don't deserve, so if all it took was a degree to get the job there would be a lot of pretty rubbish people filling the industry.

What companies over here want and find valuable is experience and quality. The people who get hired straight out of Uni are the ones who are really good at something and despite having little or no industry experience manage to catch people's eye with their outstanding ability to do something. This will be down to their hard work in a specific area and becoming good at it in their own time, not the University deciding 'this is what they were going to do'.

So why bother with Uni?

I'm not going to say its about having fun, getting to meet new people and getting pissed, that is definitely not what Uni should be about. To me University is a chance to take some time. We're basically given 3 years to not have to work, to spend focusing on getting better at our art and that's an amazing opportunity. Its also the chance to have more immediate input and get involved with other artists on a more realistic level. I could of learnt everything I know about 3Ds Max online, but I enjoyed learning it in person with everyone else. Sharing our stress and new found ways to do things quicker.

Art fundamentally is about communication in one form or another and going to University gives us that. I don't think it really matters what the University says you have to learn, the degree won't matter in the future anyway, and its your own personal time and effort that makes you good enough to get hired. No one is ever going to know what the industry wants and needs in the future, so no University or course provider can aim to teach people what they'll need to know to get a job in the future. All everyone can do is try be the best they can in their choosen field so when the time comes they stand out.

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