QANTM reviews.

sammole's picture

Hey guys,

I'm seriously considering doin a CUF50107 Diploma of Screen and Media (with a specialisation in Animation) online from QANTM Brisbane, i have done some googling and have found some people saying how poor their course was an not recommending it at all, having said that, it was from 2005 and i cant really find anything more recent.

Is their anyone here who may be able to shed some light on the current quality of QANTM courses and if it is something i will get value from.

Thankyou very much

Sam

Forum: 

sammole's picture

hey guys

ive decided to study through some books and training dvds and see where that takes me, if i find im not personally happy with my level and am not where i want to be, i will look into a course. Qantm seems to be getting some bad press so im not going to rush out and spend hard earnt bucks just yet. I really appreciate all the time an effort you guys have put in to answer me on this topic, i am still very interested in seeing some works that you guys may have put together. so feel free to send me a link or something, thanks again.

Anonymous's picture

QANTM has some good points

I'm QANTM alumni from the degree - quite a few years ago now. And while I think QANTM definitely isn't all it sells itself to be and the degree program alone won't give you that big a boost in getting a job, I have to say one thing it does really well is give you a least a vague idea of what it might be like to work in the games industry. Their group projects I found to be a useful microcosm of how a games company might run, warts and all, and it's valuable experience with lessons learned that I carry with me even today.

Most of what they teach you can find online, cheaper and often better and more-up-to-date, but you can't learn to work with other people in your bedroom. You can't network with peers who you may one day form a startup with, or who will be valuable contacts later on. There's something to be said for face time. Their lecturers are hit and miss - we had a really fantastic animation lecturer in our years, and I think it shows in that most of our graduates who made it in were artists in some capacity.

Also, while I think their design component is one of their stronger areas, particularly compared to other university 'game design' tracks, truth is almost nobody will get a design job on graduation. If you focus on design, develop a subsidiary skill to cover you on your journey there.

Anonymous's picture

Self study vs uni

I don't agree with this idea that it's better to just buy some books and DVD's than to study a degree.

With or without university, you are going to need to work your arse off to get anywhere. Now, assuming that you are going to work your arse off, learn everything you can, and work every project to the best it can be, do you think you will get better results by yourself at home, or in a learning environment surrounded by enthusiastic and competitive people, and with people to help you when you get stuck?

Anonymous's picture

It depends on youre

It depends on youre personality, but assuming that you are in fact motivated to work your arse off, IMO you would get better results self-studying.

Anonymous's picture

Take a look on the site and

Take a look on the site and see how much of the Qantm courses you can do by reading books and doing free online tutorials.

Anonymous's picture

And if he wanted to go to a

And if he wanted to go to a real University I think most people would support it over self-study but the question was about QANTM... and frankly QANTM isn't a real Uni, heck, QANTM in Sydney is barely even a school at all with the type of teachers they present.

Anonymous's picture

showreel

I've decided to develop a showreel over the next 12 months or so to see where I'm at by the end of that time. If Im not happy where I am I will look into courses further.

Now I've been thinking over the last few weeks and have realised. Although I love the games industry and the the thought of working for a games studio is great. My passion is 3d modeling and animation, not just games. But for architects, movies, iPhone anything. So having said that, where should I sink my time? Maya or max lol

Anonymous's picture

That doesn't matter. I would

That doesn't matter.

I would recommend Maya, and others would recommend Max. But no one is going to hire you because you are familiar with one program.

If you want to be an artist/animator, I recommend getting books that have noting to do with application-specifics. Sure, chose a package and get a book to learn how to use it, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that being experienced in a package will be considered anywhere near equally with the quality of your work.

Go to life drawing classes, get the Animators Survival Kit, get anatomical books, study good acting. Join an online community to share critiques. Work on your traditional art skills while you learn the technical aspects in an application. Later on, see if you can form a modding/iphone project to use your skills on a real-life project.

Being a generalist is good, but keep in mind that if you want to join a larger studio or enter the film industry, you will more than likely be better served specilising in either Art or Animation. If you want to work for indies/become a freelance, then grow your skill set as wide as possible without stretching your strengths. If you are interested in learning them, rigging and scripting skills could come in handy in these smaller teams. If you can’t stand doing that, then don't. It wile effect your motivation and ultimately only distract you from your real goals. You'd be better off getting existing rigs and tools off the net.

Ultimately, it would be rare for a studio to pass in the best showreel and folio, simply because they learned the wrong 3d package. I have no doubt sometimes studio's would do that on rare occasions to get immediate payback, but I sincerely doubt any studio worth its salt would do that when looking for a junior. And it doesn’t matter what program you chose, something like this happening would be out of your control, so there is no point in worrying about it.

Later on, if you want to strengthen your cover letter, you can dabble with both applications, just so that you can say you have experience in both. But treat something like this as tertiary. Focus on the primary and then the secondary before this.

Good luck, and remember to have fun. You will probably never be as free as you are over the next year, so enjoy it :p.

sammole's picture

Free?

Not sure about being free, im a full time Paramedic and studying all this Max/Maya stuff in my spare time, so im not sure what free is :)

Anonymous's picture

Which QANTM?

I think it'll be better if people say which QANTM they went to, as other states could have better teachers. From what I'm getting at the moment with the comments, the one in melbourne isn't bad, while it is terrible in brisbane :S

Anonymous's picture

It's all the same rubbish,

It's all the same rubbish, the rot just hasn't seeped down to Melbourne is all.

Anonymous's picture

More melb qantm thoughts! :p

the rot hasn't seeped down to melbourne? As in it's not as bad as the other places? Doesn't that mean it's not the same? :p
I'd like to hear more from the people going to the melbourne one since that's where I'm going to go soon. What are the teachers like there? The building insides looked pretty great to me with a modern style and the equipment seemed good too (this is when I had a personal tour not so long ago, haven't studied there yet).

Anonymous's picture

The fuck? The only way you

The fuck? The only way you can speak for all the campuses is if you've actually done a course at all of them.

Forget what people say, everyone has to decide whether they would rather go to Uni and have a chance at getting the industry with a formal qualification + some actual skills, or sitting on their asses and motivating themselves to teach themselves.

Anonymous's picture

I agree with Benn - Qantm is what you make it.

I too have recently graduated from Qantm, Melbourne doing the programming stream. (So really, these comments only speak for Melbourne experience...)

I have read comments on this page, and I too am concerned about how much negative response there is.

I think Qantm is what you make it. (Like anything in life). And I agree with Benn's comments above.
Also, you have to remember that the 'real world' is not one whereby you will be 'spoon fed' the whole time - and I saw many students grappling with this issue as they had come from high school and expecting the environment to be like that.

If you ask me, Qantm gives you a more realistic approach to how the real world works once you leave the 'UNI cocoon'.

Additionally, the course is accelerated - true, but you will find that once you are in the games industry, the deadlines and such are just as pressing if not more so.

There you go - just my 2 cents worth :)

Anonymous's picture

I'm finishing my animation

I'm finishing my animation degree at qantm Brisbane this year. As a lot of people have said there are a lot of subjects that are a waist of time. But for it to be considered a degree thats what you have to put up with. The head of the 3d department at qantm has a huge knowledge base of every thing 3dmax. He is a great teacher. I feel you only get out what you put in. The trimesters that I had no 3d I worked on my own projects at home. Unfortunately I haven't learnt a great deal from qantm itself but in saying that my 3d skills have grown two fold by reading books and doing video tutes. No one is going to spoon feed you and you have to get out there and learn as much as you can. Qantm is a good place to study but expect to have to do a lot of independent study. And like most people have said your folio is what counts. But a degree will help and it will help if you want to go overseas and work. I feel qantm is a good choice. The subjects that are irrelevant just strive for a pass and do your own independent work on what your aiming at as a profession, but when the subjects that are directly related to your job aspiration put 110% in and get a HD and learn as much as you can.

Tipatlong's picture

How difficult?

Just curious how difficult it is to pass with high distinction? Do you think it will be possible if I took a bachelor of business (marketing and management) (in victoria uni) at a part time rate at the same time?

Anonymous's picture

I strongly urge you to concentrate on one thing at a time...

Seriously whether you score a distinction or not has little or no impact on your employment prospects.
It's all about your portfolio, and you will be competing, ina world market, with students who do 8 hours a day at college, another 6 at night and also work weekends to get the best possible folio and showreel.
I've employed people with no formal qualifications and rejected people with masters degrees.....

Anonymous's picture

Hiring ex-students

I have to admit that I read this when it was originally posted but didn't think about it too much until the last week or so where I was responsible for hiring some new staff. Now just to clarify, I don't want to mention names but I just wanted to give OP some information from an employer’s perspective.

We have been hiring some entry level staff - staff who really only have diplomas or degrees and a small portfolio of work. To make it to the interview process, you generally need to present a strong portfolio of work HOWEVER we really put a lot of emphasis on the resume and the way it is written. For us, we work on large scale projects which are across multiple jurisdictions so written communication is a large part of the job description. If we see typos, layout problems or significant grammatical errors we don’t put the applicant through to the next level - despite their show reel. The bottom line is that we don't hire people who have terrible communication skills. I personally think that it is great that coders need to do essays - for the exact reasons above.

Now, I did my degree 10+ years ago, so I have a fair bit of distance to hopefully put perspective on things. Out of all of the people who I stay in contact with, the ones who got jobs were those who not only got fantastic grades, but those who worked relentlessly on their portfolios - and this was in a time where your online presence was not as easy to create. Interestingly, we all went to the same place, studied under the same teachers but had radically different outcomes which were based on our own personal motivations. (or lack thereof)

Coming back to the question at hand though, yes I have supervised graduates from Qantm (as well as other institutions) and those people were hired because of their attitude, presentation skills and portfolio. Keep in mind though that those people only got to present their portfolios once they got past those initial screening stages.

Remember that you are there to develop your skills as a practitioner, you are paying to learn and you are training for a highly competitive industry. If you only do the bare minimum of course you are not going to be as attractive to employers as those who went above and beyond.

OP – my advice is to go to an open day at a bunch of different places. When I initially left high school, I had my heart set of one uni, but ended up going to another once I experienced it for myself. I don’t mean to start a flame war, but often people who have an axe to grind for their own failings will blame everyone else but themselves.

Anonymous's picture

So true

So true - the quality of education has a lot more to do with the scholar than the school.

Anonymous's picture

Bull...

The quality of education rests on the institution providing it and nothing more while the quality of your learning rests on what you take from it. These are two different things.

Having a car with no brakes does not mean you're a bad driver, it just means whoever sold you the car is an asshole. Having an awesome car however doesn't mean you're a good driver either. The quality of the car makes very little difference on your skills at that particular moment. Of course good drivers will probably be able to handle [for a while] a faulty car but that doesn't make it right and smart drivers wouldn't even bother getting a car from a bad company.

Same thing here. QANTM, especially in Sydney, has very low standards and very bad teachers. Good students can probably take the underlying materials and do lots of self study and improve, but teachers are measured on the performance of their weakest students not the strongest.

Look at the programming graduates from early 2010, only 2 graduated properly out of the entire class and one of them already had a degree in computer science and the other had been doing programming since he was about 10. The weaker students fell by the wayside because the Sydney's programming teacher is simply a bad teacher, nothing more nothing less.

Anonymous's picture

Low graduation rates aren't

Low graduation rates aren't necessarily a reflection on the quality of teaching. I would actually put it down to the lack of admission standards - they accept pretty much anyone who wants to go there. It's easy to understand why they're not more selective, they're just staying commercially viable.

The point is that, to answer the OP's question, it's largely up to him as to whether he'll get any value from the course.

Anonymous's picture

People love to hate

I just graduated from Qantm (officially yesterday in fact) and while Qantm was not perfect I feel pretty confident about things after coming out of there on a 2 and a bit year course. Sure, I raged at things while I was studying there, but seriously, man up. There is only so much you can blame on the institution/teachers/whatever.

Some of the teachers we had weren't perfect or fantastic but that was offset by some who was obvious they cared, at least in the Game Design and Programming section. Where they may have fallen down I just got off my own arse and tried a little bit harder, and that reflected in what I got out of it.

It entirely depends on you what you get out of it at the end of the day, so Qantm is worth it if you actually feel like trying to do well.

Anonymous's picture

"Now, I did my degree 10+

"Now, I did my degree 10+ years ago, so I have a fair bit of distance to hopefully put perspective on things. Out of all of the people who I stay in contact with, the ones who got jobs were those who not only got fantastic grades, but those who worked relentlessly on their portfolios - and this was in a time where your online presence was not as easy to create. Interestingly, we all went to the same place, studied under the same teachers but had radically different outcomes which were based on our own personal motivations. (or lack thereof)"

I cannot agree more with this post! I saw this with my classmates at Qantm... wait for it... SYDNEY!

To the person from the previous post, have you studied anywhere other than Sydney? If not, you are unable to substantiate your claim that Sydney is especially bad.

I studied at JMC Academy before I went to Qantm and I can tell you now, Qantm taught me more in 6 weeks than JMC had the capacity to do in 1.5 years, and I wasn't the only one. On top of this, the facilities at JMC were laughable. We were having to crack the programs to use them - These cracks were often given to us by JMC.

I had amazing teachers at Qantm and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Admittedly, the computers at the time weren't super computers, but they weren't horrible either (I have heard from a friend who is still studying in Sydney that they now have most classrooms with 27" iMacs). Does this not teach you to work with the tools you are given? It sounds like to me that people are wanting to be spoon fed throughout the course. Wake up and smell the roses! It's called Higher Education for a reason! And if you can't handle doing the course over two years and it's too much for you, ask someone how to lighten your study load. I personally liked the fact that the study load was fast paced cause you know what, it's not going to be a picnic in the industry guys.

As for the fees, yes they are quite hefty, but, they are quite similar, if not cheaper than the cost at a "real" university when you take away Government Supported Places. (When I say real university, I mean a government funded university). The reason Qantm, JMC, Raffles and alike charge so much is because they can't get Government Supported Places for their courses. This means that the government doesn't pay for most of your fees which would leave you only having a student contribution that you pay. You would have found this out when researching places to study if you had of asked the right questions.

Anonymous's picture

for those of you that have

for those of you that have just gone through the programming degree,
How much assembly have you done through QANTM?
What's memory aliasing?
pointer arithmetic?
How do you calculate the running time of an algorithm?
How do properly design and choose an algorithm?
How much Calculus have you done?
How much Linear/Affine Algebra did you really do?
Can you provide proofs to the equations you use?
What's the difference between shallow-copy and deep-copy?
What's the problem with code branches [ie. if statements]?
What's a register?
How do you test an application, integration tests, unit tests?
How much binary arithmetic do you really know?
What are the different ways to represent a floating point?
what are precision issues, how do you solve them?
What's a coroutine?
What's a closure?
How does a compiler really work?
An interpreter?
What's a thunk?
What happens when you cast [and I ain't talking about spells]?
How much Smalltalk did you, Scheme, Lisp, Ruby, Python?
Ever even touched shell programming?
Version controlled your programs?
Again, you think you know C++, C? you're wrong, how much assembly did you really do?

And all these are little things, a drop in an ocean of knowledge that programmers need, be honest, how much of it have you done and how much just high level "game" programming were you taught?

An engineer knows the hardware he/she works on, code is useless without an understanding of the underlying principles and hardware...

High-level programmers is not what the game industry needs [I love C#, I use it every day] we need people who know computers, can design algorithms and expend the industry and technology and in my opinion QANTM in Sydney does not promote that knowledge for the simple reason that they don't know or care about it...

Anonymous's picture

I went to Qantm Brisbane a

I went to Qantm Brisbane a while back now (finished 06). I learned almost none of that list at Qantm (and have since learned pretty much everything on the list as it was required).

While I definitely agree that all of those things are useful, I wouldn't expect someone strait from uni to have even heard about everything on your list. I would of course expect them to learn.

I'd add understanding the cost of memory to your list.

Anonymous's picture

Games Design at QANTM

Having read through just about every post on here, its amazing how many people would rather cry about stuff than accept things and work around or with them.

I studied at QANTM Brisbane, and completed my studies in Games Design last year. I will agree with some of the earlier posts that there is a lot of academic writing in the course, HOWEVER, there are a number of reasons behind it. Essay and report writing help you build your ability to communicate, not chatting with your mates at the pub, but with a variety of people with different backgrounds. In a games development environment, you need to be able to discuss a number of things with artists, sound technicians, programmers, testers, project managers and leaders, not to mention publishers, lawyers and all manner of other PROFESSIONAL individuals. So all that writing, all those presentations, are designed to build your confidence and ability to present an idea and ensure that its meaning is received. Secondly, writing academic essays requires research. I laugh at anyone that says they will never research again. As a designer, it is my job to research the market to get an understanding of what gamers want, to analyse and discern important points from this research to then use in my designs. Designing games also requires analysing other games on the market, or games you have previously worked on, to learn how you can improve, or what not to do.

I can agree that the facilities were not always the best, and I was on hand to see and experience some of the previous mentioned problems at the Brisbane campus, but even so, for two years I studied there, and worked around the caveats and problems. Its called adaptability. Obviously something a lot of people can't handle, but there is always going to be something in your way that hampers your ability to coast on by. Graduates of Games Design (2010 class) will understand the history of the statement, "have a cup of cement and harden up", something we all laughed about, but obviously a number of people didn't get their healthy dosage.

And as for jobs, I know several graduates from last year who now have jobs in gaming companies. I also know a number of fellow classmates who are striking it out on their own, starting indie companies and already developing a number of titles. The fact of the matter is, that like every other industry, gaming has been affected by the financial state of our economy, and the world's. So jobs are more scarce, and the competition to get them is much higher. The people that gripe about not getting a job, are the ones who didn't put in the effort for the last two years, and have not tried to improve themselves in any way, shape or form. Now they are looking for someone else to blame for their insecurity and inevitable passing over from any future gaming company that looks at an unadventurous, unimproved and uninteresting portfolio.

Study at QANTM if you want, I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but think of it this way - while you won't learn everything (and no degree teaches you everything you need to step straight into any job), you will learn a heck of a lot more than sitting around complaining that the world isn't fair and that nobody loves you. The piece of paper your degree comes on, may help you get a job, but the work ethic and improvement you can show in a portfolio as your skills grow and adapt, will definitely put you in a much better stead.

Good luck with your studies, whichever path you choose to take.

Anonymous's picture

Actually, the essays are more

Actually, the essays are more about course accreditation than anything else. Bachelor programs have certain requirements to be recognised by the State Board of Education. That said, essays are not always without merit, though given how they are evaluated and used that value is often diminished. Unfortunately, I didn't understand the true value and purpose of essays and dissertations until I had left university.

Everything else in this comment is gold. People abrogate their personal responsibility in what seems to be all matters of their lives these days. It's far easier to try and coast through and blame everyone else when they don't magically absorb the ability to fulfil their dreams. There ARE no shortcuts. Make of life what you will, and blame only yourself if it falls short.

Anonymous's picture

Sure, blame yourself if the

Sure, blame yourself if the teacher spend 1.5 hours of the class time downloading tools needed for that class because he was too lazy to check the course materials and come prepared.

Sure, blame yourself when a teacher gives no feedback at all about your mistakes in a test or assignment so you make those same mistakes again.

Sure, blame yourself when the institution's IT "professional" refuses to install important components so that you are able to present your research materials on presentation.

Sure, blame yourself when the teacher falls asleep in the progress presentations of your final year project.

Sure, blame yourself when you don't understand the course materials and the teacher simply says: "I don't know".

The only thing you need to blame yourself for is giving money to such an institution and if nothing else I would hope that others wouldn't make the same mistakes...

Anonymous's picture

Which campus?

Which major were you studying and when did you experience these issues?

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