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The Academy of Art University

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Date: Mar 14 2003
Major: Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc (This Major's Salary over time)
The Academy is partially responsible for what has become the bane of the game and animation industries: a glut of ill-prepared, untrained graduates that cannot possibly perform the jobs they seek. Though this is in part due to individual laziness and lack of drive on the part of some of the students, there is a great deal that the Academy does not tell its students about the harsh realities of how well trained/disciplined you have to be to get work in 3D art. In my four years at AAC, my dept. (Computer Arts) went through three dept. directors and countless different "instructors" due to firings, complaints, and people quitting. At times it seriously appeared to be a halfway house for unemployed 3D artists. Many of them were simply there because they needed to pay the bills and they couldn't find work in the industry. It stands to reason that if the instructor knows so little as to be unhireable, he or she may not be the best source for information or advice. More than a few instructors were recent alumni, or worse, were concurrently in classes at the academy for 3D themselves. One of my 3rd year instructors was a 22 year old who had dropped out of an even crappier 3D "technical school" than the AAC. It is still beyond me as to how or why he was hired. They also get failing marks in the job placement department, as they were absolutely no help in finding me employment or even prospects (though they elude to quite the opposite in the catalogs and ads). I did get work in my chosen career within months of graduation, but only because of my own sweat and legwork. They simply seemed to want to take my money and move me along. Yes, college is what you make of it, but for $60,000 I expect more than a glorified 3D artist "puppy mill". I'll admit that there are one or two upsides to the academy: SF is a good place to be for 3D, you are surrounded by other artists to collaborate with(there may even be one or two that doesnt suck), and if you can figure out how to sift through all the BS, an occasional gem of info or learning can be had. Whether or not these few perks are worth 60k in tuition alone over four years, however, is questionable. Note: a real, PROPERLY accredited College does not need constant television advertising. This should be your first clue. When is the last time you saw a commercial for Purdue University or CalArts on the WB at 2am?
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