College for makers? Help please!

Created by AdamB on Dec. 9, 2014, 8:54 p.m.
  • Hello!!

    I love Tested, and I've been watching many of their youtube vidoes for the past few months. I barely registered on this site because I procrastinate a lot of things I should't... which is a little bit of my problem here. But anyways, this is my first post on the forums, and I can't wait to hear y'alls input, if you would kindly give it to me!

    I'm currently a senior in high school and I'm graduating in June. I really don't like high school that much, even in AP classes I feel they are slow and very boring. I don't like how the classes are taught nor the environment they are taught in. Because of this, while all my friends have been sending in applications to colleges and whatnot I've been thinking that I do not want to go to college at all. As you can imagine my parents don't exactly like this plan, and I've been thinking pretty heavily about what to do.

    My latest plan (they change frequently) is to find a college in or near a city and, while attending school, explore the city and try to do some odd jobs and pick up any skills I can. I'm interested in many things, especially model making, film, practical effects, etc. I just love making things, and if I could have a job I really would want it would be just that - to make things. I love watching Tested's videos with people like Frank Ippolito, true artists who are very skilled and do amazing work. I would love to be in a place populated with people like this, so maybe one day I would be able to help them and maybe learn a thing or two.

    I'm getting a bit off track here, so please forgive me. My questions are this;

    Are there any "maker colleges" out there? What about cities? Living in San Francisco is a little unrealistic for me, and while I've found a few cool places it's hard to determine if there is a 'maker' community there via google searches.

    Thank you so much if you've read through all my babbling, and thank you even more for any comments you have!

  • I can't tell you of any specific "maker colleges," but engineering schools are always a good bet. I studied electrical engineering, and although I'm not a "maker" by any means, a lot of my education (especially in the labs, where we had to design and assemble circuits) would have been very applicable to a lot of current maker tech. I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't get into robotics, because that is HUGE right now. I would imagine mechanical engineering would be similarly suitable.

  • Similarly to Locke42, I am kicking myself that I didn't study mechatronics. Or robotics, yeah.. There's the artsy maker school that Norm posted about recently, in New York, but I forgot the name (think it was part of NYU?).

  • One suggest would be some kind of media degree, I recently graduated from an inter-active media masters (after slogging through a liberal arts degree that i hated and was really just terrible at). Not a whole lot of physical making involved but everything digital from video production, a bit of game programming, a bit of web dev and some 3D modeling and animation.

    I latched onto the 3D modeling/animation because it was as close as I could get to physically making stuff but its open lots of doors now that I have some 3D skills like working in game development, 3D printing, animation, straight 3D art etc.

  • @AdamB The university where I teach (http://rit.edu) has a very strong maker culture, across a wide range of colleges and programs.

  • Thank you all! I've been looking into different types of engineering degrees, and I'll look into some media degrees.

    Dr. V, thank you for suggesting RIT! I've been looking into it and it looks great.

  • You're most welcome @AdamB

  • Are you sure you want go to college? In this day and age you might be better off going to a tech school and getting hand on training making stuff. There's also the local technical colleges which are more likely to be hand's on and get you into making more quickly. I made the mistake of going the college route for my engineering degree and well there's a lot of monkey stuff involved. Also, there's jobs out there right now for people who can make stuff. And a lot of the real engineering stuff is online for free. As Danny Choo says, google sensei is your friend. College is an expensive commitment these days and I wouldn't want to load myself up with a massive debt before I had any income.

  • I'm going to add that for the stuff Frank does there is the Stan Winston online classes. I've been looking into them for stuff and they look real good.

  • In classic case of, If I knew then what I knew now, Mike Rowe's program of getting people into trades rather than college is interesting.:

    http://profoundlydisconnected.com/foundation/poster/

    The fact is that colleges are not a good place to learn to make things. Their emphasis is too focused on things that are more academic and not necessarily practical.

  • If you want to make things, don't go to university, go to collage. BCIT, SAIT, and RRC are the top colleges in Canada. Tuition is low, program difficulty is high, and job placement for grads are high. IDK how it is in the states, but the trades in Canada are heavily regulated.

  • FYI @AdamB in Canada "College" is what we call "Community College" (2 year, associate's degree institutions). Whereas here in the U.S. a college can be also be a 4 year bachelor's granting institution, or a unit within a university (bachelor's through doctorate granting).

    Financially speaking, if you look over a lifetime of earning (and don't get ridiculously in debt during your college/university years) education is about the best investment you can make. There is an *extremely* strong correlation between education level and earnings. That said, you should do what you love. But keep in mind that a college/university education is not just about training for a job. It's about broadening your horizons and learning to learn. It's not the path for everyone, that's for sure. But given that you are finding AP classes slow (and still presumably doing well in them) you clearly have a strong mind and will be frustrated if you are not using/challenging it.

  • @AdamB First up I found found my 4 years of engineering study gave me a practical way of thinking about problems that I use daily in my career(web designer/programmer) and my part time work as sculptor/maker.

    Secondly nothing that I learned in engineering has anything to do with what the guys do on this site. Those skills I picked up via youtube, part time art courses, and a passion for making things.

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  • @jccarlton said:

    Are you sure you want go to college? In this day and age you might be better off going to a tech school and getting hand on training making stuff. There's also the local technical colleges which are more likely to be hand's on and get you into making more quickly i made best soil for succulents in pots made the mistake of going the college route for my engineering degree and well there's a lot of monkey stuff involved. Also, there's jobs out there right now for people who can make stuff. And a lot of the real engineering stuff is online for free. As Danny Choo says, google sensei is your friend. College is an expensive commitment these days and I wouldn't want to load myself up with a massive debt before I had any income.

    https://expertplantman.com/best-pots-for-succulents

    I really want to go a college at this age because i want to enjoy with girls and with everyone


  • @jccarlton said:

    Are you sure you want go to college? In this day and age you might be better off going to a tech school and getting hand on training making stuff. There's also the local technical colleges which are more likely to be hand's on and get you into making more quickly i made <a href="https://expertplantman.com/best-pots-for-succulents">best soil</a> for succulents in pots made the mistake of going the college route for my engineering degree and well there's a lot of monkey stuff involved. Also, there's jobs out there right now for people who can make stuff. And a lot of the real engineering stuff is online for free. As Danny Choo says, google sensei is your friend. College is an expensive commitment these days and I wouldn't want to load myself up with a massive debt before I had any income.

    I really want to go a college at this age because i want to enjoy with girls and with everyone