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Is NJIT a worthwhile school for game programming?


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#1 jonaakey   Members   -  Reputation: 111

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:47 PM

Just wondering.



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7443

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:06 PM

Just wondering.

 

So this is just idle curiosity?


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

#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 16161

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:37 PM

They have a computer science department that offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees. They are accredited.

 

So in that respect, sure, they have a degree program that will satisfy the HR checklist.  A student who applies themselves to their studies can learn the topics they need to know to succeed in game development.

 

 

 

There are many more questions to ask. One of the biggest is the matter of cost:  Can YOU afford that school, or will your personal situation be better off going to a less expensive school?  A quick search of their site shows they charge almost $10,000 per semester for undergraduate degrees. That is a lot of money.

 

I look at the tuition rates to two local schools, their tuition this year is $2300 per semester at one school for undergraduate degrees, another school charges $1825 per semester. Those are in-state tuition rates; if you are from another state you can move here, attend a community college for a year, and then transfer over to the university and get the resident rate.

 

Is the education at NJIT four or five times better than the education at other schools? I seriously doubt it.  Shop around, and don't forget to consider smaller state schools across the country.  Just because a school is popular in the town you happened to grow up in does not mean it is the best deal for you.


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#4 jonaakey   Members   -  Reputation: 111

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:07 PM

They have a computer science department that offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees. They are accredited.

 

So in that respect, sure, they have a degree program that will satisfy the HR checklist.  A student who applies themselves to their studies can learn the topics they need to know to succeed in game development.

 

 

 

There are many more questions to ask. One of the biggest is the matter of cost:  Can YOU afford that school, or will your personal situation be better off going to a less expensive school?  A quick search of their site shows they charge almost $10,000 per semester for undergraduate degrees. That is a lot of money.

 

I look at the tuition rates to two local schools, their tuition this year is $2300 per semester at one school for undergraduate degrees, another school charges $1825 per semester. Those are in-state tuition rates; if you are from another state you can move here, attend a community college for a year, and then transfer over to the university and get the resident rate.

 

Is the education at NJIT four or five times better than the education at other schools? I seriously doubt it.  Shop around, and don't forget to consider smaller state schools across the country.  Just because a school is popular in the town you happened to grow up in does not mean it is the best deal for you.

Well, the money is an issue to be dealt with, but in many other ways NJIT would be a hell of a lot more convenient for me than a lot of other game programming schools.



#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7443

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:15 PM


Well, the money is an issue to be dealt with, but in many other ways NJIT would be a hell of a lot more convenient for me than a lot of other game programming schools.

 

So now you're considering two criteria for this particular school: convenience and cost.  Actually, I guess three, but "worth" is very vague and subjective. I recommend you consider additional criteria (and additional schools) and make a decision grid. See this forum's FAQs.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 12 November 2013 - 06:16 PM.

-- 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.

#6 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 16161

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:54 PM

Well, the money is an issue to be dealt with, but in many other ways NJIT would be a hell of a lot more convenient for me than a lot of other game programming schools.

Another criteria change is "game programming schools", it was "school for game programming".

I strongly recommend you attend a traditional school and not a game school.

The standard degree is computer science. There are many schools with a traditional CS degree that offer some courses focused toward game development specializations; they may offer courses discussing AI, animation systems, content pipelines, or other aspects of game development. It is important to know that these schools focus first on the broad subject of computer science and can help you learn enough to become a competent programmer. They may offer additional content in specialized fields, but that is in addition to the core computer science content. You can use the degree to continue in any subject, or continue to graduate studies, or for many other fields.

Then there are the schools that offer either unaccredited degrees, or accredited "trade degrees" that are not in computer science. Some of these schools -- such as Full Sail -- offer some Computer Science content as a part of their trade degree. When it comes to deeper content and non-major material they either have sparse or missing content. The degree is nearly useless outside of the industry, and even inside the industry they are not as strong as a traditional school. While these degrees can help you get a job you should know that game schools are still largely shunned by HR.

 

Our studio tried to give the graduates a chance and hired a few people from the schools, including graduates from Full Sail which is one of the highest rated game schools. While some were moderately skilled the majority were quietly let go during one year's annual spring layoffs. I know one of them who was attempting to get into graduate studies and the universities refused to accept Full Sail's program as sufficiently rigorous for graduate studies, there are just too many missing subjects for the advanced research.

I know about fifteen people who attended specialized "game schools", only three managed to thrive in the industry, and one of those three told me how he felt he made the wrong choice and should have attended a traditional school. There was a time when I would give a cautious non-recommendation about game schools as a personal preference. I have revised my opinion and now recommend that game schools should be avoided. They are generally expensive and they don't offer a broad enough education.


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#7 jonaakey   Members   -  Reputation: 111

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:11 PM

 

Well, the money is an issue to be dealt with, but in many other ways NJIT would be a hell of a lot more convenient for me than a lot of other game programming schools.

Another criteria change is "game programming schools", it was "school for game programming".

I strongly recommend you attend a traditional school and not a game school.

The standard degree is computer science. There are many schools with a traditional CS degree that offer some courses focused toward game development specializations; they may offer courses discussing AI, animation systems, content pipelines, or other aspects of game development. It is important to know that these schools focus first on the broad subject of computer science and can help you learn enough to become a competent programmer. They may offer additional content in specialized fields, but that is in addition to the core computer science content. You can use the degree to continue in any subject, or continue to graduate studies, or for many other fields.

Then there are the schools that offer either unaccredited degrees, or accredited "trade degrees" that are not in computer science. Some of these schools -- such as Full Sail -- offer some Computer Science content as a part of their trade degree. When it comes to deeper content and non-major material they either have sparse or missing content. The degree is nearly useless outside of the industry, and even inside the industry they are not as strong as a traditional school. While these degrees can help you get a job you should know that game schools are still largely shunned by HR.

 

Our studio tried to give the graduates a chance and hired a few people from the schools, including graduates from Full Sail which is one of the highest rated game schools. While some were moderately skilled the majority were quietly let go during one year's annual spring layoffs. I know one of them who was attempting to get into graduate studies and the universities refused to accept Full Sail's program as sufficiently rigorous for graduate studies, there are just too many missing subjects for the advanced research.

I know about fifteen people who attended specialized "game schools", only three managed to thrive in the industry, and one of those three told me how he felt he made the wrong choice and should have attended a traditional school. There was a time when I would give a cautious non-recommendation about game schools as a personal preference. I have revised my opinion and now recommend that game schools should be avoided. They are generally expensive and they don't offer a broad enough education.

 

I know I'm replying to a post that is months old, but I'd just like to say NJIT is not a, "game design school," but has more of a focus on traditional CS degrees, like you were talking about.

 

Which brings me to another question: What if you go to an Institute of Technology that is generally considered a good school, does not have a focus on game programming, but you decide to take game programming as your major anyways.  Is that even possible?

 

Again, just wondering.

 

Thanks,

jonaakey.

 

EDIT: I'm not talking about NJIT specifically anymore, just in general.


Edited by jonaakey, 06 January 2014 - 12:14 PM.


#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7443

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:45 PM

1. What if you go to an Institute of Technology that is generally considered a good school, does not have a focus on game programming, but you decide to take game programming as your major anyways.
2. Is that even possible?
3. Again, just wondering.


1. Fine.
2. At some schools, maybe. At other schools, maybe not. There are electives in most majors -- what you do with those electives is your choice (that's why they're called electives). So on paper, the degree will be the name the school gives it, but what you did with it is add your own focus.
3. So this is just idle curiosity? You really don't have any purpose behind this question?
-- 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.




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