There’s not an easy answer, I think both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice should be based in lots of external factors, our economical resources for example; and internal, like our own personality. If you choose well you can reach the maximum level, if you don’t, you can come to a standstill, get bored and never get anywhere.
Let’s analyze both study methods:
- You meet people who share your same interests, which is very enriching.
- You won’t have any gaps in your training.
- You can discover new working areas that might interest you.
- You have quick and easy access to working material, and teachers that can solve your questions.
- You obtain an official degree.
- You receive some professional guidance about your future.
- You must invest quite a lot of money.
- Some risk of passive learning, you can get stuck.
- Maybe you won’t be interested in the whole syllabus, and this can decrease your motivation.
- Your progress will be slower, since you’ll have to attend to many subjects
- By focusing in the theorical part, you lack some practice.
- You’ll probably have to move to another town.
- It’s funnier to focus on the areas that really interest you.
- Your learning is more practical than theorical.
- Your progress will be quicker if you focus on just one subject.
- It’s easier to keep a high motivation when you’re doing what you really like and you can notice your own progress.
- It’s really cheap. All you need, you can find it in the Internet.
- No need to move anywhere.
- You learn by yourself, and this knowledge will last longer.
- You learn to search everything by yourself, which will be very helpful when it comes to look for a job.
- You can have some theorical gaps.
- You’ll have a limited vision of this industry.
- You’ll have to invest more time looking for answers to your questions.
- Not finding answers can be very frustrating, your motivation could be affected.
- Finding a job is more difficult.
- Loneliness is hard.
- You’ll have lots of distractions.
My personal case is a bit special, since I started quite late. I just had fun playing with Photoshop, until I realised that, in fact, I was learning a proffession… Of course I would have liked having an official training, partners to share my tasks with, and teachers who had made things easier for me… What’s your case? Do you have a University Degree or do you make it all by yourself?