I recently completed my PhD in Life Sciences and I realised that this is no longer a path I want to pursue any further (better late than never!) After a lot of thinking, I decided that a career in computer graphics, with a focus on modeling for games, would be much more fulfilling and fitting for me.
I've got little experience with Maya - in the past two-three years, whenever I had the time, I watched online tutorials and videos, and spent many hours creating models, simply because I loved it and wanted to get the hang of it. Of course, this is not enough and in order to start creating a portfolio, I need to learn much more than that. As I see it, I've got these alternatives:
1. attend a bachelor's degree in computer graphics. Moreover, as I am in Europe, one of the more obvious ways for me would be relocating to London and attending at a university there, where many game companies are located. Although I think this would be the best way to go, the financial drain that my PhD was in the previous years makes this choice very hard to pick.
2. attend courses specifically for Maya, 3D studio max etc, either at some school or online, which will definitely be much more affordable for me.
What troubles me at this point, is whether my next step should focus more on obtaining a formal degree (which definitely rules out option 2), or on developing a portfolio. So, I would like to ask your opinion on that. Is there, perhaps, another alternative that I may have missed?