I’m finally starting something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long, long time. Beginning in January, I’m going back to school to get a degree. I should have done this years ago, but I always had reasons not to do it – I’m too old, I can’t afford it, I don’t have the time, etc. I broke through all that last month, and I’m enrolled and have all my classes lined up. It’s an online version of the school, so I can do it evenings and weekends around my full-time job. Everything else is just the same as the traditional college program.
I’m going for a Bachelor’s Degree in Interactive Media from the Art Institute of Pittsburg, which is a fancy way of describing web design. I’ve dabbled in the web for as long as there’s been a web. I’ve done some neat things with Dreamweaver and Flash. I think I’m a bit beyond a beginner, but there’s a lot I don’t know how to do yet.
I still want to do comic books, but I think the future of the genre is going to be on the web, and that’s where I want to develop my specialty. Learning to work with databases, and be able to offer content to customers is something I think is worth doing. I have a pretty specific agenda, and I see no drawback in getting an education in this field beyond the cost.
Heading back to school at this age is a bit intimidating. I’m starting the program at age 46, so I’ll probably be over 50 by the time I finish. I could easily have another thirty years of my career ahead of me, so it’s better late than never. This kind of field didn’t even exist the last time I went to school, back in the 80s. Computers were around, but not used for art, so the stuff I learned before – stat cameras, lazy lucys, zip-a-tone, rubylith, typesetting, etc – all that’s long since out of date.
I’m excited about learning some new things and getting into doing some of the class projects. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and what the experience is like!