College Question regarding college and life

Discussion in 'Education and Career Development' started by NCulmone, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. NCulmone

    NCulmone Member

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    Hi folks!

    I'm turning to strangers on the internet for guidance because why not? So currently I'm enrolled in a B.A. program for Design and Technology with a concentration in Lighting. I also have two professional jobs currently working as an electrician/ stagehand for both.

    My question is, I already have these professional jobs, and they pay well, and I suck at school, I have an awful time doing anything that isn't related to theatre/ electricity. Would it negatively affect me for the rest of my life if I left school and continued working these jobs full time for a few years? I want to go on tour eventually to pay back my student loans, I don't really want to do much theatre anymore, I enjoy doing dance and concerts a lot more. And I don't think grad school is really on the table for me since I'm having such a terrible time with undergrad. I also really enjoy electrician work so I wouldn't mind doing that for a long time.
     
  2. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Sherpa CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I hope that you have read the pinned threads in this forum. There is a variety of opinions for people who have gone this route. The degree is necessary for only parts of this industry. Not having a degree will not preclude you from being successful, but may close some doors in the future. That being said, you may not have wanted to go through those doors in the first place. If you get a job in the corporate world, there may be opportunities to go back to school later (one of my co-workers did, as he left for tour while getting his undergrad).

    You may also consider if you are going to the right school. Some schools don't offer the opportunities that will satisfy you. However, this industry as a whole is not one that you should go very deep in debt for, as those student loans will be a bear to pay off.
     
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  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Wes likes this.
  4. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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  5. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Agree with Bill, no degree needed if your chosen path is to be technical as opposed to design.

    Dependent on the college and quality of the program, you could arguably learn a good deal about the entire aspects of technical production, outside of lighting. Having knowledge of scenery construction, props, audio and costumes can be useful in the future. as well as the things that might seem a waste of time such as a Dramatic Literature course on Shakespeare, but which pay off long term. Usually and in our business, general knowledge is actually useful.

    If your program concentrates mostly on design though, and you've no interest in being a designer, finding work now in the field gets you started on making contacts, etc...

    Down the road you HAVE to think ahead and deal with medical insurance and pension. Becoming an IATSE member in an active local is likely the best path towards eventually being able to retire with a pension. Or you spend your entire career working for a large lighting shop or company that provides benefits to it's employees.

    If you find yourself moving into management, especially at a college, you will need at least a BA/BFA and likely an MA/MFA down the road as everybody applying for those positions that you compete against will have those and it's what the educational field requires from applicants (typically).

    If you are lucky enough to be at a college that offers technical production as a major, then I would stick it out and get the degree.
     
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  6. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Active Member

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    vegas, baby..!
    RonHebbard likes this.
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