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Studying for fun or for jobs?

Studying for fun or for jobs?

Having spent the last three months on enforced leisure time (which isn’t quite as fun as it sounds), I’ve decided that I need to wire up my brain to a big huge electrical generator and kick some smarts into it. And since playing Rocket Mania ad-infinitum isn’t going to do it, I might just enrol at a part-time masters course at university, so I can at least equip myself with new new-media skillz in the meantime.

But as usual, I just can’t decide – and it seems to have come down to two choices:

The MA in Creative Technology which sounds vaguely interesting in a creative endeavour, but the course description is remarkably lacking in specifics, and I’m not sure whether it would better equip me for a job afterwards. The course seems to aim to:

“explore the dissolving boundaries between industry, design, visual arts, and computer and communication technologies”

The alternative is an MSc in Web Computing which is much more technical in nature – with computing, Java and database lessons, which should lead to better job prospects. But then I’m worried about ending up as a pure technical person when my strength (as I see it) is that I can do a bit of everything. I can develop, I can write, I can project-manage etc. – but enhancing my developer skills at the expense of the others may not be a brilliant idea. Plus, it has to be said, I could probably just set up a web 2.0-y project and swallow a few O’Reilly books to get me going.

It doesn’t help that at this point, my career goals are somewhat fluid – I’d ideally want to work within new media content, but jobs like that are few and vanishing these days. Oh I could get a journalism qualification, but the salaries within that field are ludicrously low. Plus the terror of the blank page doesn’t help, nor that i’d be competing with my Eeyore-esque persona against a bunch of doey foolishly-optimistic graduates.

5 Comments

  • Graham

    Any MSc that basically amounts to job training is a bad idea I think – they'll never be as good at it as on-the-job learning, and they're often behind the times. Better to get take a course that's either high-concept theoretical or about fundamentals.

  • Dman it – that flaming game took a couple of weeks of my life back when it first came out – I even stumped up for the full version of it. Thanks for reminding me off it's sheer brilliance.

    If you want to go web 2.0, go for the ajax and ruby. Me, I'm sticking with HTML for now 😉

  • hmm, personally i'd beware of vague sounding courses… they're difficult to sell at interview. We really need to catch up btw… how the devil are you?!

  • I'm wanting to settle my backside down somewhere for a few weeks and finally sit the A+, Network+ and Server+ exams. Thing is, they'd all be easier if a) I had the kit to practise on and b) you could actually get the sodding textbooks in Australia. Annoyingly, I've got tons of the things back home.

    So I'm going to go for my PADI diving qualification instead. And possibly a skydiving one. Hmm.

  • So what did you choose? I would go for the fun course but I wouldn't listen to someone studying for a Classics degree… if I had any sense I would be studying business or something!

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