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#21 Sage Gerard   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 12:55 PM

Quote:
YW. GL.


WYSIWYG personality on this one. [smile]

The MGCCC is actually local, and I can indeed make it work if I summon enough family support. I just gave my mother a call to start. I think you just helped point me away from a life of mason work, lmelior. For that I wish I could shake your hand!

Kudos!
-Zyro

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#22 Rycross   Members   -  Reputation: 576

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 01:54 PM

Quote:
Original post by zyrolasting
However, I am interested in your reasoning on why educational loans are "relatively safe" as you seem very confident in that statement. Could you please elaborate?


A typical subsidized educational loan repayments typically only kick in 6-months after you leave college. Assuming that you got a degree in something like computer science, that's usually more than enough time to get a decent job, assuming you're pro-active with job hunting. They typically have low interest rates and are tax deductible. The fact that you got a college degree (for something with concrete applications to real-world jobs, like CS => Software Development) means that your earning potential is up, and you have a good chance of repaying.

I'd also like to point out that there's nothing keeping you from working while you're going to college. I, and many other people I knew, held down jobs while attending college. We still took out loans, but working and frugal living meant that our debt was kept fairly low. I came out with a $20,000 bill for a typical 4-year college, which I've managed to pay off at a fairly leisurely pace over 5 years.

Now, it looks like others have pointed out community college, and that's another excellent way to save money. Even if your aim is a 4-year school, doing your entry-level classes at a community college means that you can cut down the time spent at the 4-year to 2-3 years, and save money.


As far as opportunity and location, it is possible to get job offers cross-country. Typically, what it takes is for you to be above average, willing to move, and to have a small fund set up to facilitate your movement. It also helps if you're young and don't have a lot of possessions.

#23 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10164

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 01:59 PM

Quote:
Original post by Rycross
it is possible to get job offers cross-country. Typically, what it takes is for you to be above average

WAY above average.
Nobody should take the phrase "it is possible" to mean "it is probable". Typically, one should move to a game hotbed before one starts sending in those job applications.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#24 geolycosa   Members   -  Reputation: 217

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 02:58 PM

I grew up in Mississippi. I got my start in Water Valley, a tiny settlement in Yalobusha county, working for a small Macintosh developer porting PC games. Turned out, opportunity was about 45 minutes from my house. You never know.

Granted, this was rather unusual. Mississippi isn't exactly a hot bed for game development, but you need look no further than Georgia to find one. Atlanta, GA is host to several game development companies including White Wolf/CCP, GameTap, Hi-Rez Studios, and Cartoon Network. Also in Georgia is the Savannah College of Art and Design, which has a great game development program.

Go to college. Make games while you're there. Your portfolio isn't nearly strong enough yet, and I mean that in the most constructive way. Also, listen to Tom. He really knows what he's talking about. That guy has been advising people just like you on this forum for a very long time.

EDIT:
To supplement Tom's articles, here's some advice from my boss: http://www.firaxis.com/jobs/career.php

[Edited by - geolycosa on November 2, 2009 9:58:19 PM]
Will Miller | Game Designer | Big Huge Games

#25 Rycross   Members   -  Reputation: 576

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 04:26 PM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
WAY above average.
Nobody should take the phrase "it is possible" to mean "it is probable". Typically, one should move to a game hotbed before one starts sending in those job applications.


I don't know about way above average. I'm not employed at a game company, but I moved cross country for my current job. I was offered another job before this one cross country. I had a friend who moved from Illinois to California to accept an offer at Naughty Dog. I personally don't consider myself above average or WAY above average.

But granted, its far easier for you to move to a game hotbed and then get into the industry than vice versa. If anything, what my input should tell you is that you can move cross-country on a "normal" job and then spend time putting down roots before getting a game industry job.

Again, the game industry may work differently. I'm not in the industry.

#26 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3730

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 05:12 PM

Quote:
Original post by zyrolasting
Quote:
Get a degree. $62k is not exactly a whole lot of money for college these days.


Absolutely!... If you have it.


Nobody has it... I mean where exactly is a 18 year old going to get ~$25k a year, while going to school full time? Legally?

Student loans are government subsidized. The government has no interest in calling in loans on new taxpayers. Third parties offering student loans have no interest in pissing off the government by harassing students.

Quote:

I can't be taking loans or doing anything to risk putting me in the hole. I'm close enough to the edge to make loose rocks fall as it is.


Close to the edge of what? I mean, how much debt can you be carrying just out of high school?

Quote:

Just realize I don't have as many options as the rest of you guys.


You haven't exactly spelled those out for us. Student loans are plentiful and pretty easy to come by. The only way you don't really have many options is if you've managed to get atrocious credit by age 18, or were such a terrible high school student that even the government thinks you can't graduate from college (in which case, you've got more problems that financial aid concerns...)


Look, there's plenty of student aid calculators out there. Do the math. I am probably the worst possible case. Expensive private school, failed out early (so the grace period of the loans ended early) and then got to make $7.50 an hour for my first year. Even then the loans weren't a big deal. Less than my car payments. Significantly less than my rent.

Hell, median income between high school and 4 year degree is ~$22k a year:
Linkie

Who cares about a few hundred a month in loan payments when you're taking home an extra $1500 a month? [edit: yes, those figures are average over the whole population, and probably not entirely applicable to the discussion at hand. And the rhetorical question wasn't the best way to approach that, but the general point holds. Programming jobs pay well, even right out of college. Getting a programming job without a degree is damned hard. The income difference alone goes a long way towards curing the pains of student loan debt.]

[Edited by - Telastyn on November 2, 2009 11:12:37 PM]

#27 Josh Petrie   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 05:44 AM

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Just whoa, all I will say is: lighten up!

I'm sorry, if you're going to react to critiques about your website/resume/portfolio in this fashion you're going to have a tough time of it.

You asked for input, and I gave you the first few things that came to my mind as I looked over your site as if you were applying for a position that I had a hiring call on.

Josh Petrie | Game Developer, Undead Labs


#28 Sage Gerard   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:07 PM

Quote:
I'm sorry, if you're going to react to critiques about your website/resume/portfolio in this fashion you're going to have a tough time of it.


I am trying to take what I find useful from your suggestions, and I told you that. I don't know where your assumptions are coming from, as I ultimately care about what your thoughts are as much as you care about mine. Let's leave it at this: No hard feelings, alright?

Cheers! [smile]

#29 stupid_programmer   Members   -  Reputation: 1234

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 08:15 PM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
WAY above average.
Nobody should take the phrase "it is possible" to mean "it is probable". Typically, one should move to a game hotbed before one starts sending in those job applications.


Eh...I graduated in the past year and have a company that is willing to fly me half way across the country for an interview. I certainly wouldn't consisder myself above average at all. While its not a PC/console game job it is still a game programming job. A little expense now is worth it for an employer then to have a $50k expense later on from a person who can't do the job. Most decent jobs are going to offer relocation help as well.

As for the student loan, yeah it would be better if you didn't have to take one at all but for most people it just can't be avoided. And its not like the day you graduate they had you a $40k bill and expect you to pay it off by the end of the week. The payments are very reasonable add to the fact that programmers get paid pretty well its not hard to get paid off way ahead of schedule. Getting a the degree is a very worthwhile investment. Do community college and save yourself some money. Think of the time as four years to get a portfolio in order. Personally I wouldn't waste my time on a game college. But I don't intend to stay making games for the rest of my life either.

#30 Sage Gerard   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:06 AM

Quote:
As for the student loan, yeah it would be better if you didn't have to take one at all but for most people it just can't be avoided. And its not like the day you graduate they had you a $40k bill and expect you to pay it off by the end of the week. The payments are very reasonable add to the fact that programmers get paid pretty well its not hard to get paid off way ahead of schedule. Getting a the degree is a very worthwhile investment. Do community college and save yourself some money. Think of the time as four years to get a portfolio in order.


That's a neat way to look at it. I am going for the community collage, as it does sound perfect for what I want to do. Unfortunately, as mentioned I have been brought up under a family that is against loans. I asked yesterday, and my parents have forbidden me from taking one out. While I suggested the opposite, referring back to some areas of this thread, they insist that the organizations that made the loan does indeed spring a charge on you. If they don't, that's a relief, but I don't think I'm convincing my parents otherwise unless I can get them to read several articles. [smile]

I do have a job (thank god) and family support, so I can ultimately make this work if I'm careful. Thanks for your input!

#31 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10164

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:12 AM

Quote:
Original post by stupid_programmer
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
WAY above average.
Nobody should take the phrase "it is possible" to mean "it is probable". Typically, one should move to a game hotbed before one starts sending in those job applications.

1. Eh...I graduated in the past year and have a company that is willing to fly me half way across the country for an interview.
2. Most decent jobs are going to offer relocation help as well.

1. The fact that someone was offered a non-local job interview does not mean that what I said above is untrue. What I said above remains true -- one should not EXPECT to get a job while living a long distance from the hirer. The fact that it happens occasionally constitutes exceptions to the rule. There is an exception to every rule (including this one).
2. I beg to differ with the word "most" in that sentence. Untried recent grads should not expect relocation help. The fact that it happens in some cases does not mean that "most" can expect it. The fact that it happens in some cases constitutes exceptions to the rule. There is always an exception to every rule (even this one).
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#32 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3730

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:21 AM

It's not a sprung charge, it's a charge that is well known ahead of time. Government subsidized student loans will start requiring payments after school (some specific criteria) and have a set payment schedule. Conventional loans will likely ask for payments right away, at a set payment schedule. Unless you're going through a loan shark or something...

File a Fafsa (it's free, it's harmless), and talk with someone there about what they can provide and your options. If your folks are usury hating, government fearing killjoys, you do have the option to not listen to them... the luxury of being an adult.


#33 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10399

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:31 AM

Quote:
Original post by zyrolasting
Unfortunately, as mentioned I have been brought up under a family that is against loans. I asked yesterday, and my parents have forbidden me from taking one out.
I don't know your age, but once over 18, your parents don't have any legal grounds to forbid you from taking out loans - that doesn't stop them from kicking you out of the house, however, so you have to gauge that one carefully [smile]

In any case, student loans aren't the only way to finance college. While community colleges aren't likely to offer much in the way of scholarships, most colleges these days seem to offer deferred payment plans (such as tuition management systems), which allow you to pay your tuition month-by-month as opposed to upfront at the beginning of the year.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#34 Sage Gerard   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:46 AM

Quote:
If your folks are usury hating, government fearing killjoys, you do have the option to not listen to them... the luxury of being an adult.


Without getting into my parent's political views, the FAFSA would need info from them since I am a dependent student. This means their refusal to participate in the first place. I'll see where I end up, but I may very well just work my way through with family support (and hopefully scholarships and/or grants) as financial aid.

Quote:
one should not EXPECT to get a job while living a long distance from the hirer.


On a similar note: Don't many full-term programs offer assistance to finding the job you are looking for? Given the small pockets of industry activity, you would think that something would be done to at least get you ready to grab the job from across the country.

Quote:
In any case, student loans aren't the only way to finance college. While community colleges aren't likely to offer much in the way of scholarships, most colleges these days seem to offer deferred payment plans (such as tuition management systems), which allow you to pay your tuition month-by-month as opposed to upfront at the beginning of the year.


My client over at a mexican grocery told me the MGCCC offered a similar system that he himself used, making a big sigh of relief escape my lips. This option is an objective for me. [smile]

#35 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5037

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:20 AM

In my opinion, a totally black page with "You must enable javascript to view this site." in red letters does not give a good first impression on your webite. Neither does a 404 error on your resume (though it worked when I tried half an hour later).

The former is especially true since the javascript doesn't do anything useful at all, it only displays a 5 second countdown timer and then redirects / to /home/index.php. The same could be done easier, better, less intrusive and more intuitive to the visitor with a simple rewrite rule, if it is absolutely necessary to have everything under /home.
If I was to decide on your application, and you pointed me to a site like this, I'd probably turn it down without ever even having a single glance at your portfolio, no matter how great it might be.

#36 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3730

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:21 AM

Quote:
Original post by zyrolasting
Without getting into my parent's political views, the FAFSA would need info from them since I am a dependent student. This means their refusal to participate in the first place.


Sure. I didn't mean any offense... my previous post looks a little less whimsical and more nasty in retrospect... sorry about that. But yeah, having the fafsa people act as an independent third party to answer questions was more of what I was going at. Explore the options, get the facts sort of thing. Even if your folks are deadset against loans, fafsa is the avenue towards getting grants. Very, very few people can turn down the possibility of free money.

Quote:

On a similar note: Don't many full-term programs offer assistance to finding the job you are looking for?


I wouldn't say the job you are looking for. They help you find a job. The good programs will do some legwork and collect job offers/internships and aggregate them for you to view and provide interview/resume help. Most run job fairs where companies send HR reps to collect resumes and answer questions. The bad programs are in bed with companies who want to hire naive college grads at 50 cents on the dollar, work them into the ground and replace them with more. Just something to be wary of when colleges try to sell their '98% of students find jobs after college' stats.

#37 Sage Gerard   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:33 AM

Quote:
In my opinion, a totally black page with "You must enable javascript to view this site." in red letters does not give a good first impression on your webite. Neither does a 404 error on your resume (though it worked when I tried half an hour later).


How on earth did it actually work? I removed my Bio page entirely after the first page in this thread convinced me I knew too little to even have a resume. I decided to use my website for rambling. I will save my future professionalism for another domain. Kinda scary my file is still accessible after I thought I deleted it. [oh]

Sorry for not clearing that up! Better cut out the link in the OP, eh?

Quote:
Sure. I didn't mean any offense... my previous post looks a little less whimsical and more nasty in retrospect... sorry about that. But yeah, having the fafsa people act as an independent third party to answer questions was more of what I was going at. Explore the options, get the facts sort of thing. Even if your folks are deadset against loans, fafsa is the avenue towards getting grants. Very, very few people can turn down the possibility of free money.


I'm not offended at all. In fact, I'm happy you are still posting. [smile]
It would be a cold day in hell when I turn down free money, but things are the way they are here. Facts are another thing, though. I want those. It's why I started the thread!

Quote:
Most run job fairs where companies send HR reps to collect resumes and answer questions. The bad programs are in bed with companies who want to hire naive college grads at 50 cents on the dollar, work them into the ground and replace them with more.


Jeez, how do I identify this is coming as a student?

#38 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3730

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:50 AM

Quote:
Original post by zyrolasting
Jeez, how do I identify this is coming as a student?


Generally, if a place behaves more like a business than a school, they might not have your best interests in mind. Once you're there, it's fairly easy to see if the job assistance people provide you with options or if they're kinda giving you directions (or only showing 1-2 options). Once you see an offer/job posting, a place like Salary.com can give you an idea how that offer compares to other salaries for that job for that location.

Knowing what sort an environment a job is can be a bit harder. Generally you'll need to try and infer that during an interview during the time when you can ask questions. 'Do you have a crunch period?' 'Is this job flexible about hours?' 'How long have you been with the company?'






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