andyjewett last edited by
Masters Degrees is what I am specifically interested in... but, any and all degrees are open for discussion here.
I think I would greatly enjoy being back in an academic environment but other than being able to teach at the collegiate level what are the major benefits of having an MFA? Obviously it's really expensive and certainly time consuming... at this point I am not sure it's worth the cost for me but I don't want to dismiss it if there is a larger benefit that I am missing.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I personally have a BS in Graphic Design
smceccarelli last edited by
I have an MFA in Visual Development - what people normally call Concept Art - from the Academy of Arts University in SF. I studied 99% online (they call it cybercampus), and only went to SF a couple of times to meet the faculty and for shows. Honestly, I was not in the least concerned with the difference between MFA and BFA. I had a former advanced degree in Chemistry and I wanted to study art. I could do either a BFA or an MFA (given that I had a degree already, which was recognized), and the MFA was shorter. I took a lot of undergrad courses as part of my curriculum too, and I could see no difference in quality or intensity to the MFA-level courses. So, if you already have academic training in art and design, I am not sure you'd get much more out of an MFA.
To me it was worth every dollar (and it was indeed very expensive) because I did NOT have art training - so it opened a complete new world and made everything possible (including my career as art director, which started as a direct consequence of what I learned at the AAU in my first five semesters).
Looking at your work, I think the level is already so high that the impact would be much less than what I experienced. Of course, if you were to produce art at the rhythm the MFA courses force you into (which is a topic for another post), you would get even better - but I think your fundamentals are already there.
eleArts last edited by
I just have my BFA in Illustration, which I got from the Academy of Art University, too. I was part on and off campus student, I'd commute into the city for classes. I honestly thought to go for MFA, too, but from the training I've received during my undergraduate, I don't think a MFA would matter much more. According to graduate student I had in my advanced classes, there was few differences. I guess if I wanted to teach college level then it'll matter. From what I've learned after art school, I personally need more training in business and marketing then I received at school. At least I got some in comparison to other unversities.
I had the opportunity to get an MFA, but ended up declining. I needed one in order to teach at BYU. After working for them for 3 semesters, I decided I didn't want to teach for a university, and therefore didn't join the MFA program.
There's a lot of reasons to go get an MFA. But in my 20+ years as working professionally in animation/publishing the only place I've heard of that requires you to have an MFA in order to work for them is a college campus.
Every other place, from publishing to comics, to video games, to animation, just wants to see a portfolio.
Getting an MFA might get you the portfolio you need to get the job you want. If that's what you want, then I would look at schools that have professors who are currently doing the thing you want to do. I would also look at recent graduates from those programs and see their success rate at getting the jobs they want.
If it all adds up, then perhaps the money and time will be worth it.
There's nothing like carving out a few years of your life and devoting them solely to education without the need to make money.
That said, I think there's cheaper and faster ways to build a killer portfolio.