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Opinions on trying to still get my bachelor


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#1 Rld_   Members   -  Reputation: 1328

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:03 AM

Hey guys,

The title might be a little misleading or unclear, but let me try to describe my situation here:

6 years ago I started a course in business information technology, during this education I figured that this wasn't the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so after 2 years there, I got accepted into a "game development" course as a programmer. So far, everything is all good and fine, but about a month ago, the shit hit the fan so to say..

I live in the Netherlands and our government decided to take on people that study for to long and fine them 3000 euros once they get into their 6th year and well.. because of a delay in my current course and the 2 years of the previous one, I will get this fine for the coming 2 years (if not longer).

This is only 1 part of the problem and one I could probably get over. The mean problem I am having here is that the government funds us (I guess it's like a scholarship or something like that) and that funding is ending for me in 2 years and well, it will take at least 2 years for me to finish and if I don't finish, all the money I got is turned into a loan and it is a lot of money together with the fine!

There is no guarantee I will finish this school within the next 2 years and even if I finish, there is still a lot of money involved for the degree I am getting. Although this degree (or college) has made a little name in the dutch games industry (and neighbor countries) I am not sure if the degree is worth the money involved.

So if you were in this situation where every month, the debt gets raised higher and higher, you have been able to build up a somewhat decent portfolio, but you don't really want to throw away those years to not get a bachelor degree. What would you do?

I still have half a year to go with course material that teaches me stuff and half a year internship that might add to the experience. The last year is specialization and graduation which are basically projects and research on your own, which I do not really need my college for.

I'm struggling to decide and I am asking the opinions of various people and I think various views can get me a better picture. Once college starts again (summer break now) I will ask my teachers about their opinion (as most, if not all have worked/are working in the industry).

Thank you for your time!

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#2 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6564

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:11 AM

I am not sure if the degree is worth the money involved.

Finish it and try to motivate yourself to do it quickly.

A degree is more or less a ticket to a job and, from my experiences, have a major impact on the starting salary. Though in job it isn't important any longer and job experiences are more valuable, it is harder to get one without degree.

What would even hurt more is to abort a degree after ~6 years. Many people (HR) might think, that you are not capable of executing a task in time and budget.

#3 Rld_   Members   -  Reputation: 1328

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:52 AM


I am not sure if the degree is worth the money involved.

Finish it and try to motivate yourself to do it quickly.

A degree is more or less a ticket to a job and, from my experiences, have a major impact on the starting salary. Though in job it isn't important any longer and job experiences are more valuable, it is harder to get one without degree.

What would even hurt more is to abort a degree after ~6 years. Many people (HR) might think, that you are not capable of executing a task in time and budget.


Very true, the problem however is not mainly my motivation. For example (although I can't fully blame college for everything) they changed some rules in following certain courses, where my plan was to have an alternate route (which was valid at that point in my course) resulted in a year delay.

The problem I have is not the willing, the problem is that I know an error is in a small corner at this course and sometimes not even (fully) my own fault and if I don't make it within those 2 years, I have no way of paying for college and the rest of my expenses without getting a job. I do have a degree in ICT on a lower level, so getting a job in itself isn't a problem, I just want to focus on the games industry :)

It also depends on the willingness of my college to cooperate to broaden my chances of succeeding. But I want to explore every possible option, I might overlook a simple idea :)

#4 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2650

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:04 AM

I do have a degree in ICT on a lower level, so getting a job in itself isn't a problem, I just want to focus on the games industry


Focussing on the games industry is all and fine but paying your way by a part-time job also is a way of demonstrating through a resume that you are willing to work in order to achieve your goals regardless of the job type (though utilising your degree within the job would be sensible).

#5 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1681

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:52 AM

I am currently working part time studying part time(CS program). I can tell you that it is not easy. So if possible then do as Ashaman73 suggests above. If not possible then you can do as me working part time and still end up with your degree. Also the idea of giving students a fine because students get delayed is horrible, but that is the reality you face and there you should accept that fact if you cannot by any means finish your program within two years.

Your situation is pretty much like this:
  • finish within 2 years and no fine and you have a degree and no debt.
  • finish after 2 years and pay the 3000 Euros and you have a degree and a huge debt.
  • Drop out and you do not have a degree and no debt, which means you will have to make some great products to get into the game industry
Well that pretty much sums that up. The choice is yours alone and no one can help you take that decision as it all comes down to what you find to be the best road for you and how you want your life to evolve.

Some thoughts on debt:
  • People go to the bank and borrow money to buy houses and cars.
  • People go the bank to borrow money in order to start up companies.
  • Could the debt be accepted if you see it as an investment in your future?
  • Could it be better to be without debt and then go back to work and making games in your spare time?
  • Debt is only bad if you won't be able to pay it back in a reasonable time.
  • Debt is bad if your degree won't make you earn enough money to pay it back in reasonable time.
So that is where you stand. A decision has to be made.
  • How do your future looks like with this degree?
  • Will you get a job after graduation that earns enough revenue to pay back the degree in like 10 years?
  • What are the chances in percent?
  • What kind of job positions and salary do graduated people from your school get?
  • What are the unemployment rate for graduated?
You should try to contact former students, student counselors and look up statistics where appropriated.

Hope that helps out a little.

Edited by Dwarf King, 01 August 2012 - 06:54 AM.

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#6 Rld_   Members   -  Reputation: 1328

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

Thanks for the replies! It is much appreciated.

Anyway, I did some more digging and found out (potentially, waiting for confirmation) some info that might soften the impact should I not make it in these 2 years.

The way the dutch government works is, it gives you money and if you get your degree the money will be a gift, if you don't get your degree you will have to pay it back. There are all kinds of rules and exceptions to it, but I will not bore you with it.

My situation and options are as following:
  • I stop now and I have to pay back what I got so far.
  • Finish within the 2 years: 4 years of that money is gifted, the rest is counted as a loan.
  • Finish after 2 years: this is where I found something out. If I get my degree within 10 years of my study (so 3 more after these 2 years) the first 4 years is still considered a gift, so I only need to pay back the money I got after those 4 years where it is counted as a gift. If I will not make it after those 10 years.. well I need to reconsider if this is actually something I should do :P
This last thing is something I just found out and makes my choice actually a bit easier as the money involved will be greatly reduced (there is some serious money involved, hence why I am worried).

After those 2 years, borrowing the money might be an option, but that depends on how long it takes for me to finish to be a valid option or not. I think it might be more of an option, as I should be at the end of my study anyway, to start working.

Although its still a lot of money involved, it seems that the option to go on has gotten some shining lights in it now. Thanks for the replies guys! Even just the notion of "go for it" helps me to push forward :)

#7 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1681

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:28 AM

Well go for it! Posted Image

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 





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