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Does the type of degree in the game industry is important for a potential employer?


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#1 becoolnike   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 03:02 AM

Hi there! I recently finished my 2 years computer information systems college degree. And I want to transfer to a 4 years college/university for B.S in Business Computer Information System. I would like to get a B.S in computer sciences or computer game designed, but none of these two degrees are offered in this university. My question is: Does it matter what type of degree you have in the computers technology field for getting a job in the game industry? Or the potential employer only cares that you have an degree and know how to apply the knowledge learned? An reply is appreciated. Thanks

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8642

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 06:24 AM

No. It is doesn't matter to them. Take whatever degree you WANT to take, go to whatever school you WANT to go to. Don't try to live your life to fulfill the expectations of others. Live it to suit YOURSELF.
-- 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.

#3 The_Game   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:34 PM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
It is doesn't matter to them. Take whatever degree you WANT to take, go to whatever school you WANT to go to.


Seriously? It doesn't matter if I go to Digipen for a 4 year degree or a Community College for a 2 year degree? Are you currently working for a game company or is this your opinion based on your observations?

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8642

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:49 PM

Quote:
Original post by The_Game
Seriously? It doesn't matter if I go to Digipen for a 4 year degree or a Community College for a 2 year degree?

A 4-year degree is better than a 2-year degree.
This is my opinion as a person who has looked through piles and piles of resumes in order to weed them out.
-- 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.

#5 joew   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3535

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 01:33 PM

The type of degree very rarely matters, the reason for it is to show that you can work through and complete something over a long period of time. People that don't know enough computer science are easily weeded out through phone interviews thereafter. I know a few really good programmers (and a technical director of a major studio) that majored in English, which is probably the furthest subject you can get from computer science and engineering.

#6 Fenrisulvur   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 01:51 PM

Quote:
Original post by becoolnike
Hi there! I recently finished my 2 years computer information systems college degree. And I want to transfer to a 4 years college/university for B.S in Business Computer Information System. I would like to get a B.S in computer sciences or computer game designed, but none of these two degrees are offered in this university. My question is: Does it matter what type of degree you have in the computers technology field for getting a job in the game industry? Or the potential employer only cares that you have an degree and know how to apply the knowledge learned?

Hmm, well first of all, it would be good to keep your correspondence with developers (and everyone, in general) punctual. The following:

"Does the type of degree in the game industry is important for a potential employer?"

Isn't what I would call valid English. ;)

And secondly, stop simply dreaming of "getting a job in the game industry" - study the roles, single out a profession, and dream of becoming that. Your education path most closely matches that of a game programmer, so ask whether the course you're taking up will be conducive to getting into the industry as a game programmer. Your attitude right now suggests you have a passion for games, the gaming community, and whatever game ideas are swirling around your head - but no passion for the arduous mental labour involved in any of the roles specific to game development.

I suggest you start making small games, maybe a Tetris clone or a 2D platformer, from scratch - no outsourced physics libraries or game engines - learn the physics and graphics programming and the mathematics involved, etc, and start to have a passion for that merely for what it is, even if you don't finish a game in the process. It's a very interesting and challenging (read: mind-shatteringly difficult) field, but there is a very good chance that you won't find it interesting like the vast majority of other gamers - in which case, you should not become a game programmer.
Video game programming teams need people who are interested in advanced computer science, mathematics, physics, rendering, etc, not silly things like video games. ;)


On your degrees, I guess it depends on what they consist of - no dev company wants to employ a glorified systems administrator as a game programmer, for obvious reasons. The same problem pops up for other degrees (especially those nebulous "games" degrees), but with computer science there's at least an assumed list of aptitudes associated with such a qualification.
So, you might want to explain your qualifications in greater detail in your résumé; and, if you want us to give you some idea as to how directly the course you're planning on entering matches a role in the industry, you might want to give an overview of the units, etc, of which it is constituted.

On first impression, I'll be honest: business IT largely takes place on virtual machines (JVM, CLR et al), deals heavily with database management servers and "business classes/logic/solutions", may involve learning some sort of obtuse and backward 4GL at some point, etc - and it's more interesting, powerful and rewarding than most people give it credit for, but I wouldn't really call it game programming material.
Pending a deeper explanation of the course, I'm inclined to advise you to find a university that offers a computer science degree.

#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8642

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 03:17 PM

Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Hmm, well first of all, it would be good to keep your correspondence with developers (and everyone, in general) punctual. The following:

"Does the type of degree in the game industry is important for a potential employer?"

Isn't what I would call valid English. ;)

Well...
1. Possibly English isn't the OP's first language.
2. How do you figure the word "punctual" belongs in there?

#8 Fenrisulvur   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 03:40 PM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
1. Possibly English isn't the OP's first language.

You're right, I didn't contemplate this one. I don't think scribbling random numbers into the location field buys the OP a lot of leeway here, though.

EDIT: is that string of numbers intended to be the zip code of El Centro, California? I'd expect some sort of prize for guessing that.

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
2. How do you figure the word "punctual" belongs in there?

Sorry, I had the term "punctuation" in mind (whereas "punctual" seems to directly relate to "punctuality"), and intended "grammatically accurate" or some variant anyway. Turns out I was way off-course.

#9 becoolnike   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:09 AM

Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Quote:
Original post by becoolnike
Hi there! I recently finished my 2 years computer information systems college degree. And I want to transfer to a 4 years college/university for B.S in Business Computer Information System. I would like to get a B.S in computer sciences or computer game designed, but none of these two degrees are offered in this university. My question is: Does it matter what type of degree you have in the computers technology field for getting a job in the game industry? Or the potential employer only cares that you have an degree and know how to apply the knowledge learned?

Hmm, well first of all, it would be good to keep your correspondence with developers (and everyone, in general) punctual. The following:

"Does the type of degree in the game industry is important for a potential employer?"

Isn't what I would call valid English. ;)

And secondly, stop simply dreaming of "getting a job in the game industry" - study the roles, single out a profession, and dream of becoming that. Your education path most closely matches that of a game programmer, so ask whether the course you're taking up will be conducive to getting into the industry as a game programmer. Your attitude right now suggests you have a passion for games, the gaming community, and whatever game ideas are swirling around your head - but no passion for the arduous mental labour involved in any of the roles specific to game development.

I suggest you start making small games, maybe a Tetris clone or a 2D platformer, from scratch - no outsourced physics libraries or game engines - learn the physics and graphics programming and the mathematics involved, etc, and start to have a passion for that merely for what it is, even if you don't finish a game in the process. It's a very interesting and challenging (read: mind-shatteringly difficult) field, but there is a very good chance that you won't find it interesting like the vast majority of other gamers - in which case, you should not become a game programmer.
Video game programming teams need people who are interested in advanced computer science, mathematics, physics, rendering, etc, not silly things like video games. ;)


On your degrees, I guess it depends on what they consist of - no dev company wants to employ a glorified systems administrator as a game programmer, for obvious reasons. The same problem pops up for other degrees (especially those nebulous "games" degrees), but with computer science there's at least an assumed list of aptitudes associated with such a qualification.
So, you might want to explain your qualifications in greater detail in your résumé; and, if you want us to give you some idea as to how directly the course you're planning on entering matches a role in the industry, you might want to give an overview of the units, etc, of which it is constituted.

On first impression, I'll be honest: business IT largely takes place on virtual machines (JVM, CLR et al), deals heavily with database management servers and "business classes/logic/solutions", may involve learning some sort of obtuse and backward 4GL at some point, etc - and it's more interesting, powerful and rewarding than most people give it credit for, but I wouldn't really call it game programming material.
Pending a deeper explanation of the course, I'm inclined to advise you to find a university that offers a computer science degree.



I have made some 2d games, and security software, but more security software than games. I even published some security software and sold. I even have some open source engine, and software. And have written several tutorials for the Spanish community.


I do have good skills already but not the enough education ( I think).

I know a 4 years college degree is better than a 2 years college degree. But i have heard about some good programmers that works for a company that have only a B.S in mathematics not a B.S in any computer field.

Correct me if I am wrong? Am I?

#10 jsnape183   Members   -  Reputation: 149

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:32 AM

That is correct. Go look at some job postings for the position(s) you would potentially want upon obtaining your degree, this will give you a good indication as to what most companies want.

#11 Atrix256   Members   -  Reputation: 510

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:35 AM

Its more rare than it used to be, but you can get in even without a degree if you have proven experience.

I myself have no degree but am a professional game developer. I did 5 years of business programming beforehand but just saying, your level of experience / education sounds comparable to what mine was when I was looking for my first game dev job.

Besides the business dev i was a hobbyist game programmer as well so was working with game dev technology and had some demo code and to show prospective employers.

#12 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8642

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:56 AM

Quote:
Original post by becoolnike
I do have good skills already but not the enough education ( I think).

I know a 4 years college degree is better than a 2 years college degree. But i have heard about some good programmers that works for a company that have only a B.S in mathematics not a B.S in any computer field.

Correct me if I am wrong? Am I?

What is you really want to know? What is your real question? Is it these:
- Can I do the minimum required of me and just get [some minimum degree]?
- Can I manage to get the job without having to get [some required degree]?

Is that what you're really asking? Read these:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson49.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson30.htm

If you really have "good skills already," maybe you should go ahead and start building your portfolio, and/or making even better stuff for your portfolio. And make sure you also read these:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson24.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson27.htm
-- 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.

#13 becoolnike   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 06:05 AM

You are right Tom Sloper, what I need is finished my B.S and keep working on my portfolio with advanced projects. So I can better odds when looking for a game job.



#14 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8642

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 06:29 AM

Quote:
Original post by becoolnike
You are right Tom Sloper, what I need is finished my B.S and keep working on my portfolio with advanced projects. So I can better odds when looking for a game job.


Sounds like a good plan to me.
-- 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.

#15 emilym   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:19 PM

I believe that a bachelor’s degree is more valuable than associate’s degree. In fact, I remember reading on the U.S. Department of Labor website that more and more employers are looking to hire computer or IT professionals who have at least a bachelor’s degree and the ability to adapt to fast changing technologies. I think you are doing the right thing by transferring to a four-year computer science program. If you are looking for college offering comprehensive curriculum and training with a 4-year computer degree, you can check the <a href="http://www.collegeamerica.edu/computer-science-degrees.html">Computer Science program</a> offered by CollegeAmerica. I have heard a lot about this college and its career-oriented degrees.

[Edited by - Tom Sloper on March 8, 2010 9:19:53 AM]

#16 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8642

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 03:22 AM

Quote:
Original post by emilym
you can check the <a href="http://www.collegeamerica.edu/computer-science-degrees.html">Computer Science program</a> offered by CollegeAmerica. I have heard a lot about this college and its career-oriented degrees.

You sound like a spammer. The site moderators don't look kindly on thinly disguised advertisements.





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