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Shane Goudy

Opinions on Schooling

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Hey guys,

What are your opinions on getting a degree?

I'm a 24 year old who's experimented with motion design and vfx since high school (thanks Andrew Kramer!) I've recently been hired as a motion designer for a tech media company. It started out as an internship doing video editing and has now become my full time job. I've loved every second of it (ok maybe not every second...motion design is definitely hard work but so worth it!) and feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity.

I'm still very much an amateur and, though this job has been great, it's definitely not my final career goal. Eventually, I'd like to go full-time freelance.

An unfortunate side effect of this job is I no longer have the time to be a full time student. I'd been working on a digital media degree up to this point and dropped out once I got the job - with the plan to go back part time once I got settled.

After hours of research online, I've been contemplating whether I should even pursue a degree. The schools in my area don't quite offer the kinds of programs I'd like to pursue - though several do come close (digital media, animation, and graphic design etc.) I've considered taking online courses from somewhere like SCAD, Ringling, or Full Sail - but there's no way in hell I could afford those programs or would want to saddle myself with that much debt.

Just about everything I've learned about the Adobe Suite and Design I've taught myself through studying countless resources online and I've begun to wonder if I could get by with experience, practice, and perserverence.

My work will be paying for me to take the School of Motion courses these next couple semesters so I'll also have those to springboard me further. Also, my work grants all its employees a subscription to Lynda.com so I've been taking those courses as well.

What is your experience with getting work as a motion designer? Do you know examples of individuals being hired because of or in spite of a degree? Any thoughts, advice, and opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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dont do it. 

everything moves waay too fast for those courses to keep up. 

if you have the luxury, you should take classics, like painting, drawings, sculpting, caligraphy, design. Something that doesn't age. For everything else you will learn faster and better online and by getting stuff done. 

 

school of motion is a good place. there are many other online schools that are good for various stuff too. They hire actual industry professionals. which most universities don't ( can't afford them). 

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If you go to school, it should be for something more general. Design, fine art, etc. Business? Something useful. Everything else you can learn online, on your own, or on the job. 

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Maybe a bit late on this but I would skip the degree.  In the long run almost no one cares and debt can get racked up quickly.  I'm not saying don't educate yourself in the field, but there are so many options today.  I would start with something like Pluralsight or Lynda to get the core software up and running if you're not familiar with it.  It's hard to make a good idea come to life if you can't navigate the tools (or know what tool to use).  From there look at something like School of Motion for more in depth dives into something you feel like you are missing or want to learn better.  For conceptual stuff go to http://www.division05.com/.

Watch all the freebies and buy the rest, like today.  Then watch and rewatch as you learn and grow. 

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I think everyone should go to college, but an art school like SCAD or Full Sail seems like a rip off. By the way, Ivy league schools seem like a rip off too. I'd still suggest getting a degree of some sort, just not a motion graphics degree. Echoing Levante and Dave here to an extent, but having a broad education is really important, not for the piece of paper, but for how it helps you see the world and your place in it.

Community college for general ed and then transferring to a state school for your BA is still relatively inexpensive, at least here in California. If you work while going to school you can graduate with little to no debt.

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