Since it’s at the cusp of my concerns at the moment, perhaps I’ll write a bit about employment. Specifically, my employment.
For reference, I’m currently an artist in the game industry at a sweet little company called Wahoo Studios, working on XBoxLive games, among other things. My BFA degree is from the Industrial Design college at BYU, and I have a long standing interest in physics and math, so I’m a bit of a right brain/left brain sort of guy.
Trouble is, I like creating art. That in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but in an economy gone insane, the luxury of art is one of the first things that gets chopped from the old consumer budget. I’m not really arguing with that, either, since we do need to shape up and live within our means as a country/world, but realistically… that leaves my profession and career a bit in the lurch.
So, I look back to my pre-engineering math and science days. I can do that sort of work, and I’d enjoy it well enough… but that means going back for another degree. I could sort of laterally shuffle over to computer engineering with a bit less headache, but I’d still likely need another degree. Again, learning more isn’t a bad thing; I’d make a living as a student if I could. No, it’s just too blasted expensive to get the piece of paper that says I’m qualified. I could learn CS on my own pretty easily, and engineering/physics wouldn’t be too hard either. I’m not afraid of going back to school. It’s just so expensive… and I already have a wonderful wife and two children to take care of. In more frothy days, I could take out an educational loan and muddle through, but with the U.S. (and maybe the international) banking community on the verge of a heart attack… things are a bit… sticky.
Maybe if I can just grind PHP into my brain, I can make a living doing freelance web design work. Yeah… that’s the ticket, living on the edge, a hired artistic gun. (Too many mixed metaphors?) Then again, living from paycheck to paycheck isn’t really all that viable with little ones. They just keep eating and growing, y’know? They don’t wait for the checks to clear.