The rise of the Internet and New Media has enhanced the quality of our life on many levels, adding new dimensions, colours and excitement we could only fantasize about before. The Digital Revolution has been driving productivity and innovation, and has dramatically altered the way we think and interact with each other. Global exposure has changed the dynamics of the market; universal interconnectedness allowed for easier and faster communication; social media sites helped us increase our networks and became a powerful tool in social activism.
If the digital space is something you want to be a part of, then the field of Media Arts offers unlimited potential. A college certificate in Media Arts is a great fit you graduated with an arts or technology degree. This is because while universities focus on teaching theoretical foundations, a college degree provides hands-on, practical skills and experience necessary to secure employment in this field.
To get your college career off to a flying start, it’s essential that you prepare for what lies ahead. One of the glaring challenges is the speed at which technology evolves. Once you stop updating your skills, you are bound to lag behind. “Another challenge is that there are a lot of people working in this field… so it’s very competitive,” adds Mark Jones, the chair of the School of Creative Arts and Animation at Seneca College.
“The challenge there is how a person finds their own particular specialty that allows them to stand out from the crowd, and what a specialty means. (It) can be anything from using a certain technology in a certain way, and being able to promote it from that aspect, to having a different personal appearance."
Katia Savelieva, a recent graduate from the animation program at Sheridan College, agrees, “You have to love and be good at what you're doing. Also, remember that the industry has a lot of incredible talents. If you're not one of them, you won't survive. You should be able to compete and offer an employer something different.”
So what does it take to succeed in Media Arts studies? Jones says, “Passion is important but besides passion, I really think that a commitment to life-long learning is another important characteristic, as well as a kind of never-ending curiosity of where the technology is going, and how it’s being used by people.”
The booming media and entertainment industries in Canada present a wealth of opportunities for Media Arts graduates. Marc Aubanel, Media Arts academic director at the Art Institute of Vancouver, says, “If a student is really committed and passionate about making games, making movies, or making animated entertainment, there is a growing industry in Canada that faces an aging workforce. The games industry in particular is a young person's workplace where it takes a tremendous amount of youthful energy to make large complicated games.”