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Aggie15151

Question About Graduate School?

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I have a simple question that goes out to all that are in the industry. I''m am graduating from college this year with a double major in Computer Science and Business Administration, and I was looking to go to graduate school. However, I''m not sure where I should go, or maybe even if I should go. Perhaps someone could enlighten me on what employers in the gaming industry would look for that would help me.... Thank you in advance for your help, "Aggie"

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It depends on the type of company you''re applying to, and whether you want to make more money or not.

2 years experience is worth WAY more ca$h than a Masters, ~$20k more. And unless you get a grant/scholarship/workstudy, it''ll actually cost you money to get a master''s on your own; many employers will pay for some or all of your tution (of course it''ll probably take you longer...)
But that''s not the game industry. The impression that I have, in general and much so to this specific area of work, is that degrees are not worth as nearly as much University would like you to beleive. And that''s because most people in industry know how pathetic the education is.

How many complete & functinal programs did you write in school? Programs that actually did something remotely useful and some what complicated? I wrote 1, maybe 2. (A unit conversion program doesn''t count; a threaded AVL template doesn''t count; a find-your-way-through-the-ascii-maze doesn''t count) Those exercises barely help you learn to design a program, implement it, and most importantly maintain it.
I don''t have any direct experience (other than having my resume ignored). But all the game coding position want to know what projects you have work on, see working examples, & some of your code.

In other words, a degree doesn''t seem to be enough. And a PhD. won''t make a difference, because you won''t have done anything yet.
I imagine it couldn''t hurt though, if you had experience to go with it.

...
MIT requires 2 years work experience to apply for their masters program, though most universities don''t...

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I agree with Magmai that experience is worth much more than gradudate school, but I don''t think they are exclusive either. Alot of people take internships while they go to school, getting the best of both worlds.

To get a good job from me, you don''t need to demonstrate that you can program in C,C++,Java,whatever -- or that you know how to diagram and write a doubly-linked list in your sleep. You need to show that you can solve an actual problem: read a book to learn what you need to know, work out the design issues, write and debug the code, and actually ship something usable. That''s way outside the scope than any class project you''ll write.

As Mark Twain said: "Don''t let school interfere with your education."

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ok. So I''m in college, about to graduate, and am also considering grad school. Originally, I had no intention of setting foot near a school again, because the classes really don''t teach much. The only usefulness of classes I think are that they force you to explore areas you might not have considered learning much about otherwise.

But here''s the thing(s). I have a job. I work part time developing commercial windows applications, it''s fairly interesting, I am "forced" to learn a lot, and we design, maintain, all that nonsense. It''s really great because I get to try out concepts that I just learn from school related work in a "real world" environment.

But school isn''t just about classes. I do a lot of independent research, too. I get college credit for a lot of the things people on this board are doing in their "spare time." I get guidance and advice from (some) professors who know a hell of a lot more than I do.

That is why I am considering grad school. I''m not even considering the "value" of a graduate degree. It''s obvious that paywise, you get more from experience than a degree. Believe me, some of the people graduating, a lot of the grad students, total assclowns. Lame consulting companies hire them up like popcorn so they can train them in the latest frontpage activex plugins and pay them $52k a year to start (<-Actual figure from anderson consulting).

Anyways, I don''t want a lame fulltime job where I have little freedom or time to work on my own. I''ll probably submit my resume for some interesting positions but I doubt I''ll get much back. But after grad school, with a masters, an interesting body of research, and several years of "experience" at my current company, they might take me more seriously. And if not, what have I lost? Potential income? Who cares. I spent 2 years doing cool shit, not being a corporate slave doing boring crap.

Anyways, like I said I was considering grad school. That''s why I was considering it. You guys have pretty much covered the reasons not to consider it. The big ''if'' I think is how seriously part time experience is considered "experience." My goal is to avoid having to do anything dumb or boring for the first few years of my career.

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Another problem with grad schools is that you learn a lot of theoretical stuff. I don''t know any grad schools that teach, say, "COM and Aggregation." And i can''t think of a single time when calculating the big O running time of an algorithm has actually helped me in real world programming.

But, if for example, you are going to grad school to learn about 3d graphics, the math and theoretical stuff you learn will be invaluable.

DmGoober

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