When I was picking my GCSE's and A levels I had to pick between two routes, Maths or Art. This I believe, is still the case, but I'd like to ask why?!
Over recent weeks, we have had a large number of 15 to 16 year olds coming to our Open Days and chatting to us about what subjects they should be picking for their A Levels. I always say the same things: make sure you pick both Maths and Art. That way, whether or not you go into the VFX industry, there will be an ever growing number of jobs you can pursue later on. There are so many different applications for creative technology. You only have to take the worldwide web as an example. Not only does it take an ever growing place in our everyday life, it also offers an ever growing number of opportunity for young people to show off both their technical and creative skills.
I normally get the same response back from them: "Our school does not allow us two take both these options" or "I was unable to take Art for my GCSE's so I've not been able to do this for my A levels".
I believe that professionals in the secondary education should be continually looking at how their subjects are being used in today's employment sectors and responding to it. You can see how large companies such as Google are pumping money into new creative technologies. RO.me is the perfect example of how Google are doing this with creative web based GL sites and interactive online music video directed by Chris Milk. This site is extremely interesting and shows how you can take many different technologies and production techniques and combine them into a realtime webased platform which uses them in a creative new way. I would recommend you explore this site and take a look around the technology section. You'll be to see how these platforms are made and can also play around with some of the controllers that affect the look of the video. It's great fun, and you'll learn a lot.
They are also giving away all the code hoping that programmers and developers will continue to push this idea. It's amazing to see a company give away such expensive cutting edge code for free. It shows a real intent to drive this in the future.
Right now the VFX industry are crying our for these types of people. You only have to read what Alex Hope said at the launch of the new government Skillset handbook for the VFX industry last week.
For me, with so much of today's and tomorrow's job market looking for these two disciplines, the future for the creative geek has never been more exciting!