While watching video podcasts on my hourlong commute to work this morning I saw a short interview with Gerri Sinclair, the executive director at The Great Northern Way Campus. Located in Vancouver, Canada, The Great Northern Campus offers a Masters degree in Digital Media backed by four leading academic institutions: University of British Columbia; Simon Fraser University; Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media from the Art Institute of Philadelphia not too long ago. While A Masters in Digital Media has a nice ring to it, the courses sound rather hokey. Improvising Story and Character? Building Virtual Worlds? Classes grounded around real-world skills are more attractive to me. I don’t really see how this curriculum could prepare someone for the challenges and obstacles of digital media in the real world. Where’s the emphasis on up and coming web technologies? Online video distribution? Interface and usability design? These are the types of things I would like to advance in.
Digital media is still in it’s infancy and unlike the business, law, or medical fields, experience far outweighs any kind of degree. Plus technology is changing at such a rapid pace that it is a real challenge to nail down a curriculum that doesn’t become obsolete by the time students graduate.