Self-Taught vs Academically Learnt

Self-Taught vs Academically Learnt

Choosing to self study or academically learning in school, college, university is totally a religious choice for education in 2018.

Making a decision on How you acquire the skills you need is a very crucial one! However, you can’t run away from it! No matter how confusing it is, you will have to understand the pros and cons, the working of the industry you are aiming to be a part of and make a decision for your education.

How many of you are of the opinion- What extra can a degree teach me? I can always look up the internet and my other sources to learn what I want! Why pay so much money when you can get it at minimal costs?

Well, your arguments aren’t wrong. It makes perfect sense to cut down on the costs wherever possible. Let us consider the question more deeply.

Is academic learning really necessary to take up a creative profession or should one stick to self- learning only?

When talking about the creative industry, the real picture is that only your portfolio and your experience matter. Nobody cares about your grades, it is all about what you can provide the customer with. Yet, having a certified degree is something that builds the trust of the customer in you and your experience won’t be questioned much if you have a degree on your name. Then how should one go about it?

The three approaches

The three basic options one has-

  1. A full-fledged 3-4 years degree course
  2. A relatively shorter, 1- year degree course
  3. The self- learning Approach

All these 3 options come with their pros and cons. A 3-4 years degree course might come with an assurance of a good job but eats up a lot of money and probably will be generalized and take you over the surface of your interest and overlook the crux of it. A 1-year course is relatively cheaper and caters to more relevant topics of your interest. On the other hand, self- learning comes with the proof- learning at your own convenience and at your own pace! You can take up as much time as you desire, and study on the topics you wish to. Moreover, barely any costs incurred on this kind of education. But, who will clear your doubts if you have them? Different people will have different answers for you, but who to trust?

What is the conclusion? Which approach should I opt for?

So, is it better if I get a degree? Or can I just stick to learning by myself?

How about we come to a middle- way for this? The smartest option would be to have a combination of all the three, imbibing the pros and eliminating the cons. What more could a person ask for?

Step 1- Start with Self- Learning!

Start your learning process with the sources you have. Spend about 8-12 months taking online courses, surfing up the internet, streaming video tutorials in the field of what you wish to learn. Designing is a vast field. It is very common to have a change of interest after venturing into a particular type of designing. Since you aren’t answerable to anyone, you can explore and drift as much as you wish to! Self- learning is best to give you a kickstart! Grab as much knowledge as you can and proceed.

Step 2- Take up a short 1- year course

By now, you will have a basic understanding of the creative field you wish to find your niche in, what is it that you enjoy the most and wish to take ahead as a profession. The next best thing would be to take up a short, certified course or a diploma in your desired field of design. This will give you a deeper insight into the design industry, how the profession works out and how you should be approaching your ultimate dreams. The course takes you deeper into your field, teach you the required things in a structured manner and provide the guidance which was otherwise missing!

Step 3- Building yourself up

Who said one has to take up a job as soon as one is out of college? College doesn’t get you much experience. By this stage, you might know the details of the designing you have picked for yourself but are still new to its world when it comes to the profession! This will not fetch you a good job. Instead, it is best to give yourself another period of a year or so. Spend this time building upon your portfolio and gaining experience taking up small tasks as a freelancer or participating in contests. Make sure your portfolio is strong enough when you approach a design firm and there is no stopping you ahead! You would have used the best of all approaches to gain the best of future for yourself!

Good luck with your career!