Education Advice

Hi All,

I've only posted here a few times. Some of you may already know that I am a complete amateur! Im self taught to a very low level. I do think I have a natural eye for design and anything visual though I just dont have the theoretical knowledge or technical skills yet.

Im currently working. Doing 2d CAD, with the possiblilty of going into 3D (3d studio max most likely) If I can talk them into it. So I either stay and push for doing 3d training (Ive been here 4 years now, I only have GCSE's and a city in guilds AutoCAD, and aabout 7 modules of a graphic design btec which I didn't complete due to falling pregnant :))

Or...Do I try and study full time? and if so whats the best course/degree to do? There are so many and I am unsure of the exact disapline I'd be interested in as I dont know enough yet. Some are very IT based, theres the multimedia ones, that include a broad range. The web design ones, graphic design, visual communitcation...Basically Im a bit lost.

Anyone have any advice for me?

Thanks in Advance
I also started out as a 2D CAD technician but found it wasn't 'creative' at all and so left to follow a more glamorous career :icon_smile:

I think you need to really decide what it is that you'd like to focus on in future, be it advertising, web design, or graphic design (which tends to be focused on creating work to be printed). Take a look at all the prospectuses you can get hold of from universities you'd like to attend, go to the open days, speak to staff and current students, find out what it is they do and decide if it's what you want to do.

A lot of design skills will be transferable to other disciplines, and personally I think it's more important to focus on the actual design process than the final software skills (having a nice looking design is no good if it doesn't have an idea behind it). Software skills can be picked up in no time.

It's important not to rush into anything though, since a full time degree course is a big financial commitment, more so now than ever, and with you having a family to support as well, you have to consider that you could potentially be looking for work for a good deal of time after graduating.
Yeah, I've been here over 4 years...and fell into by accident while looking for a summer job. I've never been able to get out of it!

Tbh I don't think I ever will, but Im talking myself into at least researching what I could do course wise. And maybe I'll have a ballsy moment and go for it. Unfortunatley I can only stay in Northern Ireland and dont want to move far from where I live now. So I have a limited amount of courses available. Ideally I only want to do a foundation degree and nothing lower than that for it to be worth my while. I'm not sure I could get on to one with the quals I have.

Theres a creative multimedia fondation degree at my local college (through Queens Uni) but I think it is too general. Covers moving image, sound, web auth, graphic Des and photography and some more. Although all of these will be very valuable. I need to think about how employable it will make me. Jack of all trades and all that! Im going to go to the college this week hopefully and get chatting with someone...Its so hard to choose to do a course that you have read about on paper...decide to commit for 2-4 years and not even know if it'll suit you or be what I want! think so!

PS. Paul...I got glued to your blog for about 2 hours there whilst in work!! Love it!
Thanks, I'm glad somebody's reading it :p It's mainly been for my uni course (kind of like an online sketchbook) but I'm starting to focus it more for when it's time to start looking for work :)

I think it's important to do what you want in life, and if you can afford to do it ( I mean in terms of family life, not just financially) and it's really what you want to do then don't let anyone stop you.

A mixed foundation degree could be worthwhile. Where I'm studying a lot of people on the illustration course and my design course did a similar foundation degree and it helped them decide what they wanted to focus on, whilst at the same time giving them relevant experience and qualifications for a BA degree.

It could be worthwhile looking into perhaps studying some kind of business or management course alongside a degree, since you'd be competing with a lot of graduates for jobs when you leave, and a solid understanding of business can potentially push you in front of people who just have a nice portfolio of work. I'm actually looking into business courses at the moment for this reason.