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BA of Arts

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by madspacemarine02, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. madspacemarine02

    madspacemarine02 random access user

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    Is a BA of Arts a good idea? I had (have?) the opportunity to try it.

    It's either linked with learning about "cross media promotion", "web-
    stuff", "3D-stuff", "game-programming (C#... :/ )" and something else
    game related. I could teach everything about that myself, because
    I already know the basics, I think.

    I don't really know anyone here, but I have nobody else to ask.


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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  2. ambershee

    ambershee Nimbusfish Rawks

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    BA is Bachelor of Arts.

    Having a degree is alright, but I would strongly suggest something more meaningful like a BSc (Science) or BEng (Engineering) in something like software development than a BA in something generic as 'Media'.
     
  3. madspacemarine02

    madspacemarine02 random access user

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    I have no chance to get a bachelor in something else in the
    next few years.

    I see absolutely no reason to do this, even knowing which
    direction the web is going in the next years.




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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  4. Carbon

    Carbon Altiloquent bloviator.

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    In your OP, you asked if a "BA of Arts" was a good idea and now you say you have no chance to do it?

    I guess you have your answer then.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  5. Thrash123

    Thrash123 Obey Leash Laws

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    I myself ended up teaching a senior level class for 2 weeks my junior year in college, but I was still glad to get that piece of paper.

    Every little bit helps in building a resume for work. Plus, if you're lucky, you'll get to learn stuff that you wouldn't necessarily encounter on your own (with better resources). Terminology, common techniques, cool hardware, etc etc..

    Also, I'd avoid specializing in game stuff; Go for something like a BS in Computer Science, and fill in with extra classes related to it. You want something that gives you broad marketability; being pidgeon-holed into a specialty can be risky; I myself have my degree in Computer Information Systems, but I also studied web & graphic design along side the business & marketing, plus technology. I also took extra programming courses (and did an independent study of x86 Assembly). End result? The only time I had difficulty finding a good job was during one of the worst hiring seasons ever, and I'm a picky SOB.
     
  6. theabyss

    theabyss No One Here Gets Out Alive

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    You have to know yourself in order to avoid starting something you won't finish and/or end up being unhappy with. Choose something you are passionate about. This will motivate you during times when you feel like you just want to quit.

    I had a 4 year degree in a field that will earn you good money and excellent benefits but wears you down to the point that all the money means nothing anymore.

    I chose another field, went for another 4 year degree and never looked back. I am probably not even making a third of what I made in my old field, but I have never been more satisfied.
     
  7. Igoy

    Igoy dea ex machina

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    As some of you know, I started a BA in Photography. It wasn't for me, and I left. I genuinely think, and I think it's the same for all arts-based jobs (i.e, photography, graphic design, etc) that experience goes a lot further than a degree will get you. Unless you're going in for a very specific job role, I'd just get as much practice in as you can.

    I completely agree with theabyss though; be passionate about your career, otherwise it's going to feel old, very, very quickly.

    I'm actually back at school now, and hoping to start on a new degree next September. It's never too late when you find something you're genuinely interested in.
     
  8. DRT-Maverick

    DRT-Maverick Lover of Earwigs

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    AAAhh, BA vs BS. The only bad thing about a BS is that it ends up the center of "bullsh*t" jokes, damn acronyms. The bad thing about BAs in comparison to a BS is they're well, English Major vs a Chemical Engineer... Who's gonna get a job teaching and who's gonna get a job engineering? ;)

    I was originally a compsci and photography major back in 2004 Igoy. I ended up dropping out and thought school wasn't for me. Upon returning in 2012 to get into biology and environmentalism I discovered my love and passion for chemical sciences. first I wanted to get into biochemistry, then slowly it's switched pretty much over to organic chemistry and synthesis. I LOVE understanding how chemistry works!

    Crazy how things change hehe, I never even saw myself getting into chemistry. :)




    My suggestions for new students who don't know what they want to get into, or even those who Think they know what they want to get into. Don't focus directly on what you think you want to do your first semester or two- instead open your horizons. Take your required science and required electives, but try to take things that you either don't know anything about or wouldn't expect to find a passion in. Why? You never know if you'll find something you like much more than what you originally chose as a major, and it's much better to catch that the first year than spend nearly 4 years working on a degree, just to switch it a semester or so before majoring, only to realize the new major requires such and such classes which you haven't yet taken, delaying your graduation.

    Never lock yourself in. Anyone who says college is a waste of time and and locks people into being sheep either haven't ever attended a college and are still brainwashed by what primary education has turned into, or they're doing college wrong lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  9. Carbon

    Carbon Altiloquent bloviator.

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    Experience vs. qualifications? Well, while I agree, you do need qualification before you will get any experience that means anything on paper. I mean, in terms of gaining employment, qualification is necessary. Of course there are all manner of scenarios that might play out differently - being self-employed, for example - but by and large, you won't get hired without the right qualifications, regardless of your experience. Professional jobs are very competitive and I am always surprised by the levels that some people reach at an early age. Gaining experience takes time, just as gaining qualification does.

    The difference being that taking the same amount of time to become qualified will get you a job by which you gain experience, but the reverse is rarely true. Taking years to become proficient at something on your own may be fulfilling, but age is an important factor and many - probably most - companies would rather a young, naive qualified person (who can learn fast, has no fossilized habits, open-minded to change, new ideas) than an older experienced one. Of course this is a very broad statement and not true in many situations, but generally it stands true.

    I am in higher ed and know many good teachers whom I will never work with simply due to their not having the proper qualifications. Additionally, while they are good teachers, some more learning would make them great. Often the problem with experience - gaining too much - is that one gets set in their ways and is resistant to change. Education (learning in general) can be the antidote to professional complacency or fossilized thinking. There is a reason we do our educations young...not only to maximize monetary potential in our lives, but also that it is the best time to do it, physiologically and psychologically speaking. People who go back later in life to do an undergrad degree have a much harder time for a variety of reasons. It is best to get that stuff behind you as soon as you can.

    Now...passion. Right. But don't conflate that with interest; we all get fired up over 'cool' things but this is often due to our seeing results, not processes. A kid who sees a concert and wants to learn guitar only to discover that it takes years to be as good as the player who lit the fire and their interest quickly wanes. People who like learning in general are the most prone to this lack of strong focus and are the ones who more often than not suffer from the jack-of-all-trades-yet-master-of-none phenomenon.

    Thinking practically requires some self-analysis and to determine the range of things that you like and more importantly, are good at. We all have core competencies - a natural aptitude for something - which needs to be explored and then imbued with passion. Many people forget how wide a given field of study is and the myriad applications that a given major might contain. To be "an engineer" means nothing. There are hundreds of types of engineering and more inside those; like a Chinese doll whereupon opening it reveals another and another, on and on. Sure, some engineers design bridges, but some also design bic pens. Find yourself within a discipline through self-awareness.

    Self-inventory to find aptitudes, research to find an appropriate and stimulating field, fuse them together with a healthy dose of true, sustainable passion and we will have a winner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  10. ambershee

    ambershee Nimbusfish Rawks

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    I've been in the games industry for about 7 years (starting as an engineer, but now a designer), and I have no qualifications worth speaking of :p
     
  11. Jacks:Revenge

    Jacks:Revenge ╠╣E╚╚O

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    Igoy is right.

    school doesn't actually get you as far as experience - assuming you know what you want to do. wanna' make music? start writing music. wanna' take pictures? buy a camera and get out there. wanna' be a journalist? start submitting editorials.

    in a lot of industries you get a lot further (much quicker) by doing than by studying.
    which is why community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs are making a huge comeback in this economy.
     
  12. N1ghtmare

    N1ghtmare Sweet Dreams

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    Almost finished with a BS in Electrical Engineering, and companies are only interested if you have had internships. Luckily, I have had two and one of them wants to hire me when I graduate. But getting the first one was still troublesome; as a freshmen years ago the recruiters would ask what experience I had or what relevant coursework I had taken. Freshmen who have only gotten through calculus and physics have literally nothing relevant and that is the point of the internship...to gain experience...but they wanted some magical experience in engineering industry to have happened during high school.

    I had interest in going into video game design through high school, but I quickly realized it was while it requires technical knowledge, it also required the dedication that working in a field of art needs, such as having a portfolio and making lots of art in your spare time. I realized in my spare time in high school that I spent more time playing games than messing around in UED and giving myself projects. Perhaps I was too busy taking AP courses and trying to get into a good engineering school to focus on personal hobbies.

    The point I am trying to say is, if you want to go into an arts oriented field, you need to love it enough to give yourself personal projects and make a good portfolio.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  13. madspacemarine02

    madspacemarine02 random access user

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    I think I know what you mean. If you are self-taught you get attached to a specific way of doing something,
    and if the tools radically change, you can lose all motivation of doing something. I drew a bit in the past and
    the way it's done today, purely digital and computer-assisted (for perspective and other things) is a big
    downer. The whole process of creating something visual doesn't have any appeal any more.


    A job is what a visual creator needs. Building a visual portfolio is a waste of time if it is done for nothing. You
    can not allow yourself to get lost in your creations and your ideas if it doesn't go anywhere. If there is no
    chance to get anything out of it, one might as well masturbate. Sorry, but it is the same. If a visual creator
    sees no point and there is no point it is useless. Especially if someone pirated something in the past the whole
    thing becomes even more pointless. On one hand you could make up for it by creating something great for free,
    on the other hand you need money.

    And if there would be a third hand one could argue there is already too much for free and it wastes the time of
    everyone by binding persons to a display device. This is so wrong.


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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  14. Carbon

    Carbon Altiloquent bloviator.

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    Read your first and last sentences. So you do agree that school/education is important then.

    I think we will need to clarify what ""get far" means. Also, of course in the fine and liberal arts there is always lots of room for exception. Most however, need to learn something before they can do it.

    If you want to be an engineer, teacher, scientist - anything that would be considered "academics" - then without higher education, it won't happen. Again, trades and arts, sure, the chances are higher of some measure of success without higher ed, but for the vast majority of people, success is found through formal education.
     
  15. Carbon

    Carbon Altiloquent bloviator.

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    Good post. It should be noted that none of this is a negative reflection on the idea of getting a formal education, but more about the paradoxes introduced by increased competition for jobs; they need to set the bar higher all the time, resulting in conundrums like requiring an internship before being hired.

    I think one of the failings of modern educational institutions is that they aren't all changing as fast as society and one might make an argument of relevance in many disciplines or ask if university is doing all it can to prepare an individual for the real world. That is a somewhat different discussion however, one predicated on the belief that higher ed is important, then examining how it might be improved.

    I wholeheartedly agree that a portfolio is arguably the most important aspect of creating worth, no matter what the field.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  16. madspacemarine02

    madspacemarine02 random access user

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    I'm not sure about this. There is a lot of information around.
    It's possible to do a lot with it. It just isn't in a way that it
    is easily usable and spread out a lot.

    In my opinion if school education would be documented in a
    way that it can be used instantly and with easy documentation,
    school education could be streamlined even more.
     
  17. Jacks:Revenge

    Jacks:Revenge ╠╣E╚╚O

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    of course there are certain careers for which school is irreplaceable.
    and I never said anything about education. I was speaking to self-education and hands-on experience.

    in a lot of fields going to college would essentially be wasted time.
    not all, but a lot.
     
  18. N1ghtmare

    N1ghtmare Sweet Dreams

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    I think you missed the point of what I meant by portfolio. A portfolio isn't just a jumbled mess. Portfolios do not consist of random self works. More often than not portfolio pieces are taken from actual projects the creator worked on.

    Re-read what Jacks said:

    ^^This is what I am talking about. You can't get a degree in an arts field but have nothing to show for it. A portfolio is nothing more than a compiled list of your best work done.

    If I was to get into video game design, I should have started making maps for Unreal and Source games (two accessible level editors back then) before getting a BS in computer science then working on plenty of side projects during college.

    Science and engineering fields have portfolios too; they just don't call them that. Before I could get an internship I put on my resume a list of extracurricular projects and work related to the field. Then under each internship I have a description of my duties and major projects I got to work on during that time. This is the "portfolio" of the sciences. Just like how making music is the "portfolio" of the music industry (Just an example of what I mean by portfolio).

    Nothing beats real experience, and nothing says experience better than having work to show for it. Even if you are in high school and looking to go for the arts, you need to show you have worked on something.

    Oh, there are plenty of things wrong with the US education system, especially at the college level. All the bullshit however is unlikely to get fixed any time soon, and going for a degree has become the standard. When I get my degree, all it will really mean to industry folks is "this person knows the basics of how electricity works". While this an understatement in terms of common knowledge, to the professional level it is pretty useless without work experience.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  19. Carbon

    Carbon Altiloquent bloviator.

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    I hate to split hairs, but it seems that you are either being obtuse or not sure what you are trying to say.

    There are way too many variables in the debate; sure, if you are driven as the wind, self-motivated and willing to take the necessary risks, you can 'make it' without formal education.

    As for saying that community college, trade school or apprenticeship programs aren't a form of formal education - at least higher learning - is just a kind of denial. They are indeed all one and the same in essence; one teaches a more-hand-on or 'real-world' skill, but all teach skills in as formalized an environment as they require.

    As for the information being out there for one to acquire skill: my argument has never been about the information being available. My argument is that your having learned that skill - the evidence of learning - is often what is required to gain employment. That evidence can be provided by efforts outside of having received a kind of formal education, but these are exceptions rather than the rule.

    Efforts are being made to do as you say - to get the formal environment more in the open. One can watch MIT or Harvard lectures online for free now through open course ware. You don't get credit for it, but if you just want the information, its there. So I think that educational institutions are indeed becoming more open to the idea that one need not go to university to learn. This does not go against my assertion that watching these courses and gaining the information without formal recognition is less beneficial than actually being registered ion the class.
     
  20. DarkED

    DarkED The Great Oppression

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    Or, they've realized that it absolutely IS a waste of time for some people, and those people can be more successful by doing things their own way or even starting their own company. That's what I did.

    I dropped out of college (Information Systems) in 2008 after one semester. Partly because I felt like I was wasting my time/money, but also because I was lucky enough to see what was about to happen to the IT industry. I waited four years before I went to college. Just after I started, I had friends who had graduated with advanced IT and computer engineering degrees who could barely get jobs working helldesk for just over minimum wage.

    Despite that, I still ended up getting hired as a Network Engineer and SysAdmin at a Fortune 500 in 2009. I'm entirely self-taught and I've had zero formal training aside from studying for network and security certs. I got the job because I was already extremely knowledgeable, had previous IT startup experience, and I knew someone in a position to offer the job to me. For two years everything was fine. I had no trouble performing my duties despite the lack of a degree or formal training. In late 2011 the company I was working for outsourced IT and I was laid-off with a lot of other people.

    All the while, I had been planning to start another company. Something unrelated to IT. Getting laid-off was the catalyst I needed to actually do it, so I started a company in the worst economy since the 1970's with no funding and no investors. I leveraged Wordpress and other open-source packages so my startup cost was around $7 (for a month of VM hosting) and the Nikon D5000 I already owned.

    After about of month's worth of research and website work, Nites was born. I started out doing photography and social media marketing for bars and music venues in the neighborhood I lived in at the time (NoDa.) Within two months the company was sponsored by Pabst and I had brought most of the bars and venues in NoDa on as partners. I was already bringing in at least $2,000/mo. revenue and I only had to work on the weekends.

    Now, I do a little bit of everything: music and film production, photos, electronic press kits, websites, media distribution, branding and marketing, social media management, the list goes on. I taught myself all of these skills using Google/YouTube and my own intuition.

    As of September 21st it's been three years since I launched Nites and I'm still self-employed. I don't make a ton of money every month, but I make enough to support myself and my mom comfortably. I have a nice house in a great neighborhood and I have a great social life. I have everything I need, most of what I want, and I only need to work about 50 hours in the average month to accomplish that. I obviously do work more, because beer money :)

    I also have some side-ventures I'm going into with friends; those are currently simmering on the back-burner, but stay tuned ;)

    I want to retire at 35 and buy an island, because fuck cubicles and the corporate ladder. You can do it too. If you have a marketable idea and an internet connection all things are possible; the only other thing you need is willpower.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014

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