I've figured out that no matter when you're trying to decide something, there really isn't any wrong decision to make when you go through a thorough thought process. Whatever choice you make, you need to stick to and learn how to make it work. Maybe you feel you made the wrong choice and you want to backtrack and take the other route. I think this is just as adequate, because there is no mystery behind the first door and you know for certain what you should be doing. In essence, any path you choose will be right if you take the time to read the map.
So anyway, I have become very interested in the idea of working in advertising. Mostly in graphic design. Basically I want a career that will let me be creative but pay my bills. Together with my sound knowledge, I could be part of both conception and execution as far as making ads go. I could be a one-stop shop.
Great, so I know what I want to do. But I need to take a path to get there. I have two options.
- The Certificate in Visual Design, specializing in Photography at the UofC. This is going to take two years. I only take courses specific to the program and it will cost around $5000.
- Bachelors in Communication degree, specializing in Information Design at MRU. This is four years and will be closer to $24000. A lot more courses, about 30% being General Education.
Looking at these two programs, I have to find which will benefit me in a number of ways. Getting into the career I want is going to rely more on the way I present my work than the specific level of education I have. A degree versus a certificate will not make or break my resume. I need to build a stellar portfolio. I need the education to give me the ability to do so.
The UofC course will provide all the knowledge I need for creation. Photoshop, photography, and writing courses will be most effective in my ability to generate good work.
The MRU program will give me a chance to study things outside of the box, which have the potential to give me great inspiration in the future and generally provides a well rounded education.
However, I would like to do a lot of travelling in the near future which would mean it would take me a lot longer to complete my degree. There are no photography courses in the MRU program. The communications courses are described very thoroughly on the website so I don't know what kinds of graphic design knowledge is taught, (Photoshop, theory, printing etc.)
Also, there is a chance that the MRU program has closed for application for the fall intake for this year, which could pose a problem because I would like to start my education right away. Going for a degree would give me the opportunity to study abroad. Although I suppose this isn't necessary if I plan to go on a working holiday regardless. I would be considered a full time student and would get to partake in all the perks the status provides. I don't know yet if this is the case with the UofC program, although it's doubtful. The UofC courses will not be valued for credit, and will thus not be transferable should I pursue a degree in the future. Going to MRU, I can apply the General Education courses to any future degrees I may wish to acquire in my middle-age.
The SAIT program that would be relevant to what I want to study requires a portfolio application, which I am not capable of yet, and the applications are closed. I suppose I could complete the UofC certificate and go to SAIT afterwards if I think I need it. But again, the benefit of the general education courses would not be included.
I may be putting too much importance on the general courses. They would be a lot more homework but they would almost certainly be beneficial to my understanding of the world and in critical thinking. I could just as well take courses like these for fun, if it were possible at MRU or UofC.
Every day I think about all these points and before I go to bed, I end up leaning towards one more than the other. And this changes every night.