Re: multimedia degree at UTS

Iain Sinclair ((no email))
Fri, 16 Feb 1996 21:08:18 +1100 (EST)

Jimmy writes:

>A degree in multimedia? What a joke. It takes as little as 6 weeks to learn
>everything you need to get a job in multimedia. It's all little techniques
>and knowing how to use one 3d package, one paint package, one drawing package.
>Video production? Fine if you want to work in a video production house, which
>is where multimedia studios farm out their video work to. Same goes with audio.

This is a glib statement that ignores the complexity of production
operations, and suggests that video/audio houses don't have lucrative
multimedia operations (which they do, though there are few such
places in Sydney). But I understand that you are simplifying, so as
to emphasise the mundane and unskilled nature of most multimedia
production. I agree with the general sentiments - that the
work is usually dull, and the product usually sucks in a very
deeply disappointing way.

I disagree that high-end multimedia can be created without knowledge of
video/audio production processes.

>What you should do is say, out loud, "Multimedia is the desktop publishing
of the 90s.
>Every weiner and his dog is doing it. Badly." and look for another career

Desktop publishing of the 90s is a very lucrative,
and established industry where technologies have nearly stopped
emerging, thus enabling people to get on with useful work.
Nobody in DTP needs to have any kind of computing background;
multimedia will be like that.

>However, there is a shortage of programmers. And you can be paid very well.

Even as much as electricians or bricklayers - although brickies don't
often pretend they are architects or interior decorators.

>Don't bother with a degree!

Very few people in the real world give a shit about degrees. The prestige
of universities among employers is at an all-time low, and why not?
I know of UTS computing "graduates" who had to have friends holding
their hand throughout every assignment, tutorial and lecture,
and not once submitted original or independent work. This is unfortunate,
and drags down the reputation of graduates. But it is not just that
the odd manipulative fuckhead manages to bullshit their way through
loopholes in the system; the real tragedy is that universities are
fucked from the ground up and offer little in the way of real
education, despite the billions of dollars that are thrown
at them.

Australians have good bullshit detectors, and realise this,
which is why academics are held in much the same regard as journalists
and politicians.

Why bother with a degree indeed? Only if you are unable to learn
on your own, or if you need constant social contact with like-minded
people, or if you want to find out who you are and feel good about
it at others' expense. There may be very rare cases where you
might need access to specialised facilities and expertise not
available in the real world. But multimedia is not one of them.

 Iain Sinclair