As of this very second, I'm kind of set to go to two schools. And neither of them are really working for me right now. I might as well make my infamous LIST.
First, the MAJORS!!!
Ok, I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and this is a bit of a problem because at 25, well, I'm pretty grown up! I would like to be on a career track of some sort by 30, and right now my career track looks ok for the Army but in the civilian sector, well, not so good.
- EDUCATION - Once upon a time, I really thought about what I wanted to be when I grew and education kind of appealed to me for some bizarre strange reason. The problem with Education however is its a so-so field that is in heavy demand in some areas and oversaturated in others. And then there is the subject you want to teach, what age group, and all that jazz. Once upon a time I thought I would really like to teach high school science. Because I'm a bit of a science nut, and there is usually a demand for science teachers. Small problem however. See, my current Associates Degree is kind of shorted in the science department, and if I went back and got my degree in Education, I'll likely have to be in school for another 3 years, to include picking up classes I missed. Yikes!
- Animation - Somebody casually mentioned this option to me earlier this year and I was all 'why hadn't I thought of this earlier?' Depending on the school I go through, and whether i do 2d and 3d animation, or just 3d, and because of my art heavy associates, it should take me two to three years to get this degree, and its something that excites me. I would love to go into the animation field, and I think I have a fairly decent feel for cartooning for somebody who is only self taught on computer illustrating, I just have to fine tune my skills a wee bit more. Yes, the three year program is a little daunting, but I think the program would hold my interest enough that it would be ok in the long run. If I'm not broke out of my mind when its all said and done that is.
- Gaming - Ok, We can call this Animation in gaming, or game design, or whatever, but it is related to the Animation field, especially 3D animation. But the beauty of the whole gaming thing is I can stay in Washington State with this degree, and although I'm not a heavy gamer by any means, the whole story design and creativy involved with creating video games is something that does interest me. If I do it right, I could get into a field where I get a little of both and can go in either
direction, but ultimately it comes down to do I want to do strict gaming or strict animation?
Eastern Washington University - Ok, this school has been on my blacklist for a few years on account of their strange inability to work with my parking dilemma when I took ROTC through my community college with them way back when. Eventually, I dropped out of ROTC because the commute sucked. Bleh. Well, anyway, I reapplied because they are relatively close to home and they're a four year university.
Right before I left for Yellowstone, I actually got registered for classes and was all set to do their brand new Gaming Program. The problem with their gaming program is its highly intensive with the programming part of gaming and less so on character design and the artistic part. Its more of a Programming Degree with an emphasis on Game Design. Me + Computer Programming = Bleh!
If I do go back to an Education Major, Eastern would be an excellent choice. However right now I don't think this is what I want to do. I have to make up my mind however, classes start Sept 20, and I'm still registered to go, so either I have to go or I need to drop those classes.
- Art Institute Online - The second school I'm all but set up to go to. AIO has a great competitive program for both Game Art Design and Media Arts and ANimation. I'm set for the latter course, however one thing that's kind of got me up in arms about this school is that I will be in school for three years despite which program I go through. I do like their online curriculum, which means I work out of my own home, but I'm a bit weary of my lack of discipline when I'm in a class like this.
I'm also in kind of a dilemma in regards to a class they are telling me to take and I keep calling BS on it. Its the computer literacy class, which is basically a class telling you how to use the computer and software such as Microsoft Office. I vouched to test out of it and took the test without practicing at all and failed by one question (you had to get 75% to pass) because I didn't know Excel as well as I thought. Alright fine, so I took some online courses to help me get better at Microsoft Office and I'm being told that they won't accept them and that I have to take the class through THEIR school. Problem is, this is a 3 credit class and the credits are $392 per Credit. That's pretty pricey. Especially for a lame class such as this. I do get a 20% discount on account that I'm in the military but I'm still calling BS. I think they can work with me in regards to this one class or else I think I should look elsewhere, because they are kind of pricey to begin with.
Maybe I shouldn't be making a bit fuss over it, but this is just a red flag for me.
- Westwood College Online - I looked at these guys as a response to checking out my other options in regards to the animation field for online education, and so far I do like them. And I think from what I've seen that though the same kind of BS that happened with AOI may occur through these guys as well, they seem more willing to work with me. Plus they offer similar programs and they aren't as expensive. I think their program is more accelerated, in that I'll likely get into the career field SOONER! Sooner is better. There are some offsets, such as different fees that might make Westwood a little expensive in some areas, but let's face the fact here that School is just expensive these days!
Overall, right now I'm looking at three schools, and actually, as of this moment, I am set in going in any direction with them. I don't think I'm going to do EWU though, I really am not looking forward to that commute, but overall, the big question is, once I got this degree, what am I going to do with it?
They say animation is a booming career field right now, let's cross our fingers and hope its still that way in about three years. Otherwise, well, I might be volunteering for a lot of deployments afterwards.