After reading through all my research and taking a step back and seeing where I am actually up to in terms of a career within the games industry I have been able to make a few informed decisions at what I would like to do when I finish the BA next year.
Currently I work three jobs (part time) outside of University, two are Barista based and involve me being very hands on, fast paced and communicating with a wide assortment of people. The other involves designing environments, assets and gameplay/game mechanics in the role of a game designer on an array of different projects, ranging from Browser based viral flash games to fully polished iOS/Android 3D games.
What I have realised by juggling all of these things is that I do enjoy the variety of multiple jobs, and that perhaps being an indie developer will give me the opportunity to balance my time infront of a screen with the communcation based role of being a Barista. Becoming an environment artist at a AAA gaming company slightly worries me in terms of creativity, I'm scared that a) If it pays well I may end up stuck creating other peoples ideas for a long time. b) It may taint my naive view on games development and turn me in to someone who recreates very 'samey' pieces of work. I understand that working in the industry would teach me numerous invaluable skills, but I also believe the majority of the tecnical skills I would learn would be company specific and not easily transferred to a different companies workflow.
Income from working as a Barista will fund my Indie endeavours until the team is strong enough to gain real funding and backing. One of the main reasons for having jobs outside the games industry for me is to keep me moving, and to hold back the possibility of eye strain/RSI.
There is always the possibility of applying for an internship (hopefully California?) to work in industry for a year without the immediate pressure of having to know everything and have a really smooth workflow, I believe that is something that can only really be learned on the job and is something that takes time to gain.