Lindsay lives in Alaska, and in addition to lacking warmth, daylight and tons of human companionship, she also lacks a wide variety of colleges from which to choose. So she’s doing an online degree program, and her friends’ reaction has got her in a state.
Okay, here’s the deal- I am a recent high school graduate who lives in Alaska, in my freshman year at Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online. I’m worried that I’ve made the wrong choice and might be ruining future job opportunities as a result of attending an online college.
Not necessarily true at all.
I don’t want to say “I went to AI Online” and get laughed out of any job interviews!
If you’re doing any type of art or design for a living, your employers are going to care a lot more about your chops than where you learned them. Countless art majors have backed up my sentiments in other posts, but more on that in a second.
When people ask me about my school, the moment they hear that I go to an online college… I am told that I should reconsider my choice of school (and major, since apparently happiness is an idiotic thing to pursue.) But the sheer volume of people telling me this have really cast doubts, and I’m not sure if I should take heed and seek out another school.
I’m guessing that most of these people are your friends and/or family, who a) are not artists and don’t work in the field, and b) are probably your age and haven’t hired anyone, ever. You can listen to them and nod politely, but that doesn’t mean they know anything at all about online degrees.
The thing is- Alaska is extremely limited in terms of college education, and even more limited when it comes to my major of choice, Graphic Design (or video game design, but that’s a whole other question, really.)
That makes sense. It’s also why online degree programs exist, so the important thing is whether you’ve got talent, and whether the program you’re in is helping you expand and develop that talent.
The local college here does not have anything more than a general arts degree, and that’s not what I want. I have no intention on settling on something that doesn’t feel right.
Short of moving out of state, Art Institute Online seems to be my only option. I can’t afford to be on my own yet, rent in Anchorage is upwards of 1000 a month which doesn’t include utilities. That is a month of pay for me.
Granted, I am not an artist. In fact, I’m so bad at art that if you put my drawings next to my 6-year-old and my 4-year-old’s drawings, you can’t even tell who did what. So I have no idea what whether the Art Institute can or can’t teach you via an online curriculum.
I do know, however, that talent is what matters. You could receive your instruction from an online program, or a homeless vagrant who makes brilliant murals under bridges using only his urine that he totes around in a discarded paint can, or a magical octopus with glittery skin who only appears in your mind after you smoke a lot of pot. Doesn’t matter. If you come out with demonstrable talent, you’ll be fine.
Is online college really that bad?
“Online college” varies too widely to make broad generalizations about one way or the other. Sorta like regular college. Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s a hellaciously good investment, and other times it’s a big fat overpriced waste of money.
I can definitely see some of the drawbacks, high cost included, but do I really have options? Would is be logical for me to finish up a year or two online, then switch to a traditional campus, or is that unnecessary?
That’s a question better left to the artsy folks who will likely follow up with comments, because I know little about art and the best way to learn it. However, generally speaking, I do not support the idea that you need to ditch the online degree just because it’s an online degree.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my question!
You’re welcome. Artsy types, any comments for Lindsay about whether an online art degree is something she should or shouldn’t stick with? Let us know in the comments below.