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tls284

Game Programming Job: CS or IT degree?

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tls284    138
Couldn''t figure out which forum to post this in.. I''m currently a Junior Information Technology major at college. If you''re unfamiliar, this is a cross between communications, business, and computer science, split evenly. It focuses on preparing students for using technology in the workplace, such as server/network administration, web design, etc. It also seems better geared for middle-management from the communications and business aspects, which I''m finding rather useful and like the prospect of. I do have a heavy focus on computer science courses, but if I continue on this track I will not be taking matrices/graphics/high-level-algorithm courses. Will this keep me from getting a programming job in a game company? Or is it advisable to make the switch to Computer Science, even if it extends my stay for a semester or two? I should also say, because I''ve learned this is important for people trying to enter the industry, that I will have a substancial game put together by the time I''m looking for a job. I like writing games and I''ve been working on one for a few months now, with over 6,000 lines of code written and will be playable in a month or two. Any input is greatly appreciated!

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RajanSky    100
Hmm, personally I would recommend doing CS but of course I may be biased since I am CS myself. Wait no, I''m CompE, but whatever, I''m taking all CS classes anyway =P hehe

Many companies say they require a CS degree. Though I believe that generally they will take you if you have a related degree like yours. From what I have heard, one of the main things about having a degree is that it shows that you can stick to something and get it done.

If you learn business I think that''s actually pretty useful, because generally people going into this industry don''t have business on their minds, and that seems to be a reason that so many projects don''t do so well. I guess if you know business you would have an edge. On the other hand, you *have* to know your computer science really well if you want to be a programmer. Try to take as many relevant CS courses as you can, and definitely keep up with coding on the side. Again from what I have heard, it is useful to have some experiences under your belt even if they are not in a professional setting.

Anyways hope that helps a little! I don''t know much about it since I myself am working on getting my first job in the game industry, but I have heard other people talk about their experiences so maybe this will be somewhat useful =)

Good luck!

Raj

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gmcbay    130
A fair number of people who work in programming (and games especially) aren''t college graduates. Having any degree at all may be a bonus.. the real qualities that will get you in are determination and talent (and a great demo wouldn''t hurt!).

However, having a CS degree would be much more of a bonus than having an IT degree. I''d say go for the CS degree if its only a matter of a semester or two extra.

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Davaris    118
Yeah just having a degree won't get you a job. You'll need a an awesome demo as well. Some of the idiots out there are even asking for Masters Degrees now. Hello Microforte!

[edited by - Davaris on October 1, 2002 7:54:37 PM]

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RajanSky    100
Yeah, that master''s degrees requirement is pretty nuts, isn''t it!?

Do you think that they would be okay if you had a Masters degree in some other area, such as an MBA?

Raj

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
I''m getting a BA in comp sci which at my school is about the same as your IT degree. I like programming games, but its not something I want to do for a living. I just want to work 9-5, 5 days a week and make a good salary (to me good is 40k) and have the rest of my time free for family and fun.

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DannerGL    122
In general, a CS degree has the potential to prepare you better for type of work you might do a programmer. That said, as someone who graduated with a CS degree, I don''t feel my degree prepared well enough for programming games or doing graphics. It provided me with a good basis for programming which I think is key for doing any sort of programming (knowledge of data structures and basic algorithms). However, there is a lot I needed to learn on my own to understand the type of programming game developers do.

If you have a good basis for programming and you''re willing to learn a good deal of "special purpose" game programming on your own, you should be okay.

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