Yes, the degree will likely be considered "worth more," all other things being equal. This industry is filled with excellent developers who don't have a degree, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to get a job without one. Especially in the current job climate.
Josh is 100% right about this.
Without a degree if you want to get into programming you will have a hard time finding anyone who will give you a interview without a stellar portfolio and glowing recommendations or work experience. The Degree is pretty much just a stamp on your resume saying I went to school for this and I should know my stuff, this gets you to the interview.
If you plan on going into game design, this is an extremely rare and hard position to get without any experience in the games industry, if you have a CS degree then you will already have a huge advantage over anyone who doesn't. A designer who knows how to code and script and understands programming limitations can be a huge help over someone who has no idea.
I have heard from others that a degree really just shows that you can stick with something and finish it. I was just thinking to myself that I could spend 2 or maybe 4 years getting a degree in a computer science that would teach me programming, and level design etc, or I could just straight learn programming and level design etc. The latter seems more efficient, less costly, and less time consuming. I mean if I wanted to be a nurse and the college required me to take classes in Greek myth, English comp, calculus I wouldn't see how that would correlate to my wanting to study nursing.
A degree in Computer Science will open up other jobs than just in the game industry. A lot of companies will not even look at software engineers/programmers who do not have a Computer Science/related degree (you would not even be granted an interview).
For game development having a wide variety of courses really does help. I could see how Greek Mythology, English Composition, and Calculus for example could ALL benefit game development.
Here are some examples of the subjects you would study while enrolled in a game design major:
- Programming Languages (Java, C++)
- Computer Interface
- Game Design
- Computer Graphics
- Operating Systems
- Art Appreciation and History
- Writing Composition
- Cultural Studies
- Physics (motion, aerodynamics)
- Computer Networks
- 3D Animation
- Software Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence
- Modeling and Sculpture