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 University gives you a better chance in this Industry? 
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:18 pm
Posts: 11
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
What i am going to say is purely from my own personal experience, so take it with a pinch of salt.

If a company is looking to hire people solely on their skill, it is silly not to look at the applicant's portfolio and instead focus on their academic results. But often than not, the hiring manager is not only looking for skill, but other factors as well. Social skill, ability to work in a team, etc. It may not be so simplistic as university vs no university.

Basically, unless one of us here is the hiring manager, i won't beat myself up over questions i have no answer to.

I totally agree with what David had said. Beyond going to a school that teaches a person good skill, i would also like to add merits that Uni actually does offer, just to balance the views.

Like i said above, these are my personal observations.

1) Think of Uni as a trial-run for the real world. It is a self-contained ecosystem that is a mock-up of the real thing. The beauty of it is that it cushions failures. There is failure that a person can recover and learn from, and there is failure that totally devastates a person that he can never recover from it. Schools allow a person to do the first type of failure, so he can learn to avoid the latter.

2) Uni (or schools in general) is a valuable training ground for EQ. One can learn to negotiate; close deals; take control of conversations; do public speaking; influence people; just with good EQ. It is a skill that benefits a person's life beyond their work. In fact, i imagined a person with superb EQ - if he does not become successful - will never starve to death.

3) Uni is a good place to build connections. One can meet like-minded people who can eventually become the co-founder for a start-up. Fresh out of school, broke, young and full of energy with nothing much to lose. Sure why not? Even if they are not going to join the start-up, these connections help. Once they have earning power, you will be surprised how many people are willing to put in some money into another friend's start-up, either as sleeping partner or just to help a friend along.

Some people shun using connections for progressions, but it is the real world and connections are extremely useful. Uni teaches it, but at the same time, it also doesnt teach it. It is not taught in class, but acquired by being part of a community.

I used to think that as long as i have mad-crazy skills i will eventually get noticed (somehow, not sure how though) and get myself into a high profile job. I guess one really needs mad-crazy skills to get a job like that, but i personally believe it is more than just that.

Does everyone who goes to Uni comes out complete with (1), (2) and (3)? No, not really. Some closed their mind long before they join Uni, others go through it as a motion. Is Uni absolutely necessary for (1), (2) and (3). No again, but it certainly offers a condusive environment for them.

In the end, i have to say it is a difficult question to answer. Uni can be absolute garbage, but at the same time, it offers certain benefits as well. It is really up to an individual to decide for themselves.


Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:15 am
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am
Posts: 127
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Quote:
To end. I just want to say. Believe in yourself. Do what others do not do. (Good things of course) Learn to think and analyse. Don't follow the rest just because you are scare. Else how can you be the best if you are one in a millions.

Thanks David for the encouragement, you can be the next Steve Jobs lah!

Quote:
1) Think of Uni as a trial-run for the real world. It is a self-contained ecosystem that is a mock-up of the real thing. The beauty of it is that it cushions failures. There is failure that a person can recover and learn from, and there is failure that totally devastates a person that he can never recover from it. Schools allow a person to do the first type of failure, so he can learn to avoid the latter.


I agree with this, but some times i feel it's too 'safe'. In the end it becomes nothing like the real world. I think failure is good. screwing up your life up is good. As long as you pick your self up and not make the same mistakes again. I have learned most under pressure and in failure.
Thats why self learning is good because you make tons of mistakes, then eventually find the right way. But in school they give you all the answers.
Self learning/self practice is a super slow process but it works.

The most i learn in school is in project groups and project work.

Frankly i think failure is good and we shouldn't always be sheltered from it.

Quote:
2) Uni (or schools in general) is a valuable training ground for EQ. One can learn to negotiate; close deals; take control of conversations; do public speaking; influence people; just with good EQ. It is a skill that benefits a person's life beyond their work. In fact, i imagined a person with superb EQ - if he does not become successful - will never starve to death.

I agree totally. Especially because the env is usually very comfortable and welcoming. compared to some working places.

Quote:
3) Uni is a good place to build connections. One can meet like-minded people who can eventually become the co-founder for a start-up. Fresh out of school, broke, young and full of energy with nothing much to lose. Sure why not? Even if they are not going to join the start-up, these connections help. Once they have earning power, you will be surprised how many people are willing to put in some money into another friend's start-up, either as sleeping partner or just to help a friend along.


I agree, after doing abit of freelance i see the power of connections. I also met people with plenty of contacts and i am amazed at what they can accomplish by just making a few calls here and there.

Now i realise its 60% skill and 40% contacts that is important in this industry.

But working in NDP, i have seen people who climb the ladder with 10% skill 90% contacts. I dont really like this people though, lol.

Making contacts is hard for me, my EQ is not very high. Most of the time i make contacts by luck i believe.

Quote:
In the end, i have to say it is a difficult question to answer. Uni can be absolute garbage, but at the same time, it offers certain benefits as well. It is really up to an individual to decide for themselves.


I am not against uni in any way, it's just that, there's a chance i wont be able to afford to go. So i am just hoping i am not losing out.

thx for taking the time to reply, fattyboonboon.

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Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:46 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:02 pm
Posts: 14
Location: London, UK
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Dave posted this on FB so I had to come take a look. I would like to add that having a degree also helps for getting a job overseas. It's a big deal, especially if you wanna try working in the USA and don't have a big name to back you. H1B visas are tough to come by for those newer in the industry, but for Singaporeans, we have the H1B1, which I have successfully got twice. One of the requirements though, is a degree.

Similarly for here in the UK, the degree opens the door for the visa.

Alvin


Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:08 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:51 am
Posts: 80
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
As someone who has worked in the game industry then decided to pursue a degree in the US, i'd share my reasoning.

At the beginning my mentality is that the degree is a bureaucratic tool. Yes, if you are talented enough companies will hire you even if it's troublesome legally to do so. But i do not regard myself as being so high above the curve that i could demand such attention.

The degree is helpful immigration wise as an US degree makes it easier to apply for a work visa (if you have a degree from say the UK the US may not recognize it but vice versa the US degree is pretty much recognized everywhere)

I feel that the general atmosphere in Singapore is that the value of a good education is undervalued for an artistic job, that is not an invalid view given the quality of art education in Singapore.

I initially thought as you that talent is more important but you'd be surprised at how much a good education would improve your ability to communicate artistic terms with your leads and directors and that is lacking in Singapore because art education isn't exactly "hip" until a decade or two before so the quality simply put it just isn't there. You need teachers, A LOT of them that have major work experience recycled back into the educational field, which isn't happening yet. This is a problem even the more 3D dedicated Digipen have issues with.

Anyone who knew me know i have absolutely no foundation in Art before i went to the US. My figure drawing was a joke and i have completely no grasp of color and perspective. I am of course still nowhere near professional grade as a traditional artist but under good teachers here and personal drive i believed i made a huge jump and i believe i could easily make professional grade if i continued taking the more advanced classes.

Yes a good portfolio is more important. In Singapore we would enjoy an advantage because the government stipulates favorable conditions for hiring local artists but it gives a false illusion that we could compete globally just because we got in.

So to answer your question. a GOOD uni degree would be invaluable to getting started AND for future advancement in the industry. It's not cheap i assure you but you would find it an invaluable experience if you did.


Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:30 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
Posts: 1113
Location: Singapore
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
In short. If you want to do a degree. Make sure you go to a good university that has a good training program. If you want to go US to work. Make sure you have a US degree.

But if you have no money. It is not the end of the world. I believe you can still learn on the job.


Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:40 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am
Posts: 127
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
thanks everyone for your help and advice. I really appreciate it.

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Portfolio: http://aaron-animations.com/
3D Printing Shop: http://www.polychemy.com/


Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:11 pm
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