Originally Posted by Danteisagenius
Hey! I know I am new here and all, and don't know many people, but could anyone lend me a hand here? I really would value the input of people with a similar mindset (You know; Cosplayers!). Basically, I have no idea what I really want to do with my life and high school will be over in a year! I'll admit that I am a bit freaked out (Actually beyond a bit..
). I have considered becoming a game artist, an information technologist, or even a UX designer, but honestly I have no clue. I really do not know of anything that makes me "happy," (besides cosplay, but lets face it; there's no cash in that!) so the whole " do something you love" thing is not applicable. Some people tell me to try community college first to find myself,but wont I then miss out on a ton of scholarships that could be used for a bigger university or college? So confused. All I know is that I want a low-stress decent job.. Anyone out there who has gone through a similar headache? Please share if you would!
I read through several of the posts here and I first want to say, congratulations on your soon to be high school diploma! Secondly I think it is absolutely excellent that you are considering getting a college degree!
I'm also extremely stunned that several in this thread seem to be dismissing the benefits of a college degree. Or saying they wish they hadn't bothered with college...well let me ask some questions here.
For those who went to college
1) Did you have a well rounded curriculum?
2) If you began college unsure of what you wanted to do with your life, did you begin with a general course curriculum?
3) Did you take any classes based upon curiosity or long time interest?
4) Did you take part in any clubs in college?
5) Did you take on a part time job in college?
6) Where you a slacker or a hard working student?
7) Did you discuss your future goals and long standing interests with your college adviser? Not just once, but on a continuous basis?
Danteisagenius, similar to you I actually am in the gaming artist degree program going in my senior year. AND YES, a four bachelors degree is a major bonus! How else does one expect to gain the required skills...::note:: a trade school will not provide this type of education.
Check out these gaming corporations to see the type of skills they require
Bethesda and affiliates (makers of Skyrim)
Here is an example of a career you could potential have as a gaming artist
Division: Bethesda Game Studios | Department: Art | Location: Rockville, US-MD, US
Bethesda Game Studios is seeking talented animators to join our growing team. The Animator will animate creatures and characters for next generation products.
Excellent 3d animation skills.
Excellent fine art skills (sketch work and/or 3D concept work).
Ability to rig models for animation.
Modeling and texturing skills a plus.
Experience with 3D Studio Max and Photoshop.
MotionBuilder experience a plus.
ZBrush experience a plus.
Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts, Graphic Arts, or 3D Design a plus.
Experience with The Elder Scrolls Construction Set or GECK a plus.
Experience playing previous Bethesda Games Studios games.
Game industry experience a plus.
Also Electronic Arts provides advice for individuals interested in this type of field.
I have only provided a few links and companies here, but those alone should give you an idea of the potential that there is with becoming a gaming artist. This also points out the necessity for acquiring a bachelors degree, you just need to make sure that you go to a reliable college that has the curriculum you need.
I myself go to Eastern Michigan University in the Simulation, Animation, and Gaming design program. I now have two and half years of experience using Autodesk 3DS Max, Maya, and Inventor, as well as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and After Effects. Further more, if you go to a college/University in which the degree program designed intelligently with proficient instructor's, then you end up receiving Autodesk's software packages (which are used by the industries and have the monetary value of several thousand dollars) for free.
Sure college can be challenging and specialty degrees such as a 3D gaming artist are extremely intense and will put you through stress and such. But to get the most fun and creatively rewarding careers in the industry, you will need to be able to handle the stress. I have spent many 24 hour periods working on projects simply to get them done in time and I enjoy it because I love being creative and knowing that my 3D creations will eventually be seen by the masses; yet at the same time it is stressful...but still majorly fun.
Not only that but to a certain extent my passion for being a 3D artist and being a geek is what brought me into cosplay. Cosplay fits like a glove around being a 3D artist and geek.
So whether or not you begin college right away or take a few years to decide what you truly want to do, I would definitely encourage college. After all, I was a late bloomer myself and didn't start college until after my 20's, because I didn't know what I wanted to do. But I knew I always wanted to go to college. Now that I'm here, I LOVE IT!!!
It's challenging, it's intense, it can pull your nerves, but it's worth it!
If money is an issue, just apply for financial aid monies and depending upon your situation you may receive grants; money that is given to you for your college expenses. It may not cover all expenses but depending upon your college it should help with 30% - 70%.
Lastly, the way the economy is these days and will be for the next few years yet, nearly everyone is seeking employment. Which means that employers are in turn seeking the highest qualified applicants. What this means is that unless you have impeccable job skills and an expert portfolio with numerous years of experience, you are not going to get much of a job. Meaning that you need a four year bachelors degree.
Because many gaming and movie industries work with colleges in order to recruit students directly from college, this generally happens during the Senior year, but sometimes Junior year. If done properly, college can be your key to your dream career! A few fellow students who graduated last year were hired practically on the spot and it because the students had a passion for 3D artistry, their work experience was minimal, but the quality and time they invested into their class projects was in large part what got them hired.
On a side note: There is no such thing as a "low stress decent job", the closest thing that resembles is a job in which you have no responsibilities and no expectations. You will not find that in the real world! If you are looking for low stress, perhaps you should try some menial labor jobs for awhile. Who knows, some people actually enjoy having a career and a life that never moves forward. Shortly after I was out of high school and then trade school I tried that approach and then working in I.T. but for me at least, that was when I began dreaming of going to college. Skip ahead a decade and I'm in college.
Anyway, I apologize for writing so much, it just shocked me to see so many in this thread dismissing college. I just think that those individuals either didn't look deep enough within themselves to figure out what they wanted when they were in college, or they didn't have enough of a well rounded college education, or they didn't take prior advantage of the knowledge they could acquire when they were in college, or they simply thought of it as party time and didn't try hard enough.
What ever the case, make an intelligent decision about college, research, investigate, consider what you want to do, speak with advisers, other students, tour the colleges, call them, email them, just get information. If someone tells you college is not worth the time and effort, do not
simply accept that! Ask why! Investigate!
Some people have bad experiences with college and some of those are because they were not prepared and did not know what they were getting themselves into. There are also those who enjoy college but get back into life and can't find a career, again this is due to lack of foresight and not being prepared for what careers and what economy awaits after college.
So do your research!
::Edit:: I apologize if I struck any nerves with my post, it's just that I have known a lot of past friends who felt that college was not worth their time. Yet those same people more often then not complain and moan about how life is unfair and how they should be given the same chance as a college graduate. Yet even though they have trade school education, they lack a well rounded bachelors degree and specialty skills. Hence they aren't taken seriously by employers. However to all those who do have a good life and a good career without a bachelors degree, I say...honestly congratulations! From my experience you have rare skills.