Shillington Education - worth the 7k?

Hi all, I’m looking for advice please.
I’m considering doing a course with Schillington Education in graphics design. 9 months for $7k which is expensive.

Does anyone have experience with this provider?
I they recognised in the industry as being a worthwhile trainer?
If not them, any other suggestions for best GD training providers?

Thanks so much for your help.

Oli

I just glanced at their website and it’s going to be a no for me dawg.

While their website seems well put together and they’ve done a great job convincing their audience that their operation is worth the investment, a 4-year degree is still the standard in getting a design job.

I did however see a headline the other day about Google and Apple dropping their degree requirements, but don’t expect every company to follow suite with the Silicon Valley model. Also, I’m sure the non-degree requirement, for tech companies, is more beneficial from a programming perspective than a design one.

The program you’re looking at is only 3 months long. Yes it’s 9 months if you go part-time, but 3 months worth of full-time curriculum is what you’ll be getting. I truly don’t think someone can be job ready for the design field in 3 months or even 9 months for that matter.

I would say this is not worth the investment especially since it appears to not be online. Not that I’m a fan of online education, but there will be other expenses that come about should you be going to this program; room and board, food, entertainment, etc. Do you live near their facility?

If you have made your mind up already and want to pursue Schillington, then I suggest seeing if you can reach out to some of their recent graduates. Here’s a list of their most successful graduates; I’d be curious to see how this list compares to their most unsuccessful graduates.

Good luck!

Hi calebninja,

Thanks very much for your input - very valuable and appreciated. I’m not committed yet, there is still time for me to consider other options.

I’d love to hear more thoughts and opinions if people have some to give please.

Kind regards,

Oli

Learning design, or any field where artistic talent is developed, takes time. It’s not just a matter of cramming stuff into a several-months-long course of study — it’s a matter of practice and putting in the hours. There’s really no shortcut that doesn’t involve thousands of hours of practice under the supervision of those further along in the field.

Judging from the link, it looks like you’re in Australia. Here in the U.S., it’s become very difficult to break into the field without a 4-year design degree from a fully accredited university. I could be wrong, but I’m assuming an equivalent degree is equally important in Australia.

A bachelor’s degree isn’t strictly necessary, but from a purely practical point of view, the chances of making it in this field without that degree are really pretty low. A certificate of graduation from a 3- or 9-month program, as good as that program might be, is meaningless when it comes to satisfying a company’s requirements of having a bachelor’s degree in design.

In other words, I agree with Calebninja.

I would ask myself what I wanted to get out of the experience. If my goal was to learn a little about design and try to figure out if this is possible career path, I’d go for it. $7k for 3 months of full-time Mon-Fri school works out to about $115 per day of instruction. Around here in LA, that’s about what it costs to send a kid to high end summer camp, or to catholic high school.

I don’t think this is a place I’d go if I needed to be immediately hired into a decent-paying position though. There is so much competition out there among people with diplomas, I don’t see much advantage in a certificate and portfolio that only took 60 work days to develop. But maybe that’s a regional thing, and the job prospects are different elsewhere.

I also think it’s interesting the Yelp reviews on the NY campus were written by people with only 1 review to their credit.

Hi Just-B,

Thanks very much for your words of wisdom. Yes, I’m in Oz. I’m currently studying to attain a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Media Studies but have found a real joy and seem to have some talent in producing artwork using my Cintiq. I’m currently favouring anime type art and naturally need to learn more about different styles to diversify my skill set. I am spending all of my spare time drawing and getting hundreds of hours of practice.
So, taking this course would be a post-grad kind of thing, although perhaps in quite a different field.
I should ask professionals around here if a Bachelor in Graphic Design is an absolute must of if a portfolio of drawings and a demonstrated willingness to learn would perhaps get my foot in the door.

Thanks again, I really appreciate the time you took to help me think through this.

Kind regards,

Oli

Hi Mojo,

You make some very valid points. When you break it down like that it doesn’t seem like a totally ridiculous amount of money, so long as the instruction/tuition is solid. They promise that their tutors are currently working in the industry and are professionals in their field, so that’s kind of got me interested - if it’s legit. Their angle seems to be to teach you what you actually need to know for the industry, rather than fluffing around at Uni where half the subjects may only be vaguely related to what you want to learn. Of course a 3 or 9 month course won’t make me a pro (I imagine nor will a 4-year degree, but it’s got a better chance) and a LOT of extra time and practice and talent is needed to enter into the industry. I’m keen and willing to put in the hard work.

You’re right about the reviews - I haven’t found a lot.

Thanks also for taking time to help out - very valuable.

Kind regards,

Oli

Sounds like you’re more interested in being an illustrator than a designer. They’re related but different things. Many good designers are not particularly adept at drawing.

Not too many companies hire illustrators as permanent employees any longer. My wife is an illustrator who lost her job at a daily newspaper and was unable to find permanent work elsewhere. She’s doing something totally different now.

Freelance illustrators are mostly judged on their portfolios of work since that’s all that really matters. You might say the same thing about designers, but designers tend to get hired as permanent employees at companies with human resources departments who operate under hiring guidelines. Freelance designers, of course, are in a different situation.

Where I work, for example, we’ve typically been getting over 100 applicants for every design opening. There’s no way we can interview 100-plus people or look through hundreds of portfolios arriving in various ways, so our HR people do the initial screening based on whatever criteria we’ve created for the job.

Two of the most efficient ways of cutting the applicant numbers down to manageable levels is to draw cut-off lines, like must have 4-year degree in relevant field and XX years of experience.

This undoubtedly eliminates some talented applicants, but it goes a long ways toward ensuring that those we’ll be interviewing or asking for a portfolio meet the minimum standards and can begin being productive with very minimal training.

Unfortunately, for everyone else, this has become a very common procedure at many agencies and companies. There’s just a huge over-abundance of designers with bachelor’s degree in design and with impressive student internships. Anyone without a degree will be competing (and generally losing) against them when looking for work. I don’t know if that’s the case down under.

When it comes to hiring an illustrator, for us, it’s always a freelance thing where we care a whole lot more about demonstrated ability and a style that’s appropriate for the job at hand.

I don’t like to be pessimistic, but from a purely practical standpoint looking at the numbers, the odds aren’t in one’s favor when trying to take shortcuts into graphic design.

Hi Just-B,

That is really valuable advice. Thanks very much for taking the time to respond in such a comprehensive way.
Yes, illustrating is perhaps more of what I’d want to do, but hey - if I have to broaden my skill set to gain employment in the industry or related industries, then I’m keen to learn.

Kind regards,

Oli

Hi Oli,

Hope you are well. i was wondering if you ended up doing this training course, i am interested in it and whiling to know what you did and your final thoughts,

thanks
flor

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