Are brick and mortar design schools worth it?


Onward, into the fog!

In April, I wrote “6 Challenges Facing Motion Design Education.”1 Publicly, it was well received, and Motionographer received many encouraging tweets and messages via the usual social channels.

In my inbox, though, I got some blowback. Not much, but it cut deep.

I learned that when it comes to questioning the current state of motion design education — which at the moment is mostly confined to private, brick-and-mortar institutions — I need to be more careful about how I choose my words.

A revolution under way?

Recently, the founder of Mograph Mentor, Michael Jones, interviewed Joey Korenman, the founder of School of Motion.

On paper, they’re direct competitors, both offering online educational programs for people wanting to break into the motion design industry. Their exchange, though, was full of camaraderie and deep agreement on many points. (It was also a bit incendiary.)

If you haven’t listened to it and you’re remotely interested in the topic of motion design education, it’s really worth your time. Trust me.

As a follow up to the interview, Joey made a blog post explaining his perspective in more detail. In it, he clarifies the opportunity cost of education and challenges what “school” means in today’s world. Again, totally worth your time:

You have limited Time (which is non-renewable) and limited Money, and four-years is going to fly by whether you are enrolled at a traditional college or making your own education happen via Life, the Internet, and good old-fashioned networking.

The difference is the Opportunity Cost… what you may give up mid-to-long-term by choosing one route over the other. And that is a very personal decision.

Watch this space

Here at Motionographer, we are fascinated by this topic. We’re in the process of building a Learning Center and publishing more school profiles to help you figure out which path is right for you. And keep in mind that most of these paths are not mutually exclusive: you can mix and match to find your own recipe for success.



1 Originally titled, “6 problems facing motion design education.”

2 For the record, I earned my MFA from SCAD. Although I will be paying back student loans for a very long time, I do not regret my decision at all.

Header image by Sebastian Unrau

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About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.