Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Blackheart

How far should you take your education.

This topic is 4422 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I've seen a few posts in this forum about the value of a education in the game industry and everyone seems to agree that having a degree is the way to go. My question is: how far should you take it? I've already got a bachelor's (4 year degree) in CS from the University of Maryland, and I've got the opportunity to take it further, possibly getting a master's degree. The thing is, I don't really want to. I'm sick of school and ready to move on. I've never been a stellar student, and I'm not very interested in a career in academics. What I would like to do is try and find an entry level job somewhere in the industry. I'm not a 3D guru or anything like that. I understand most of the basics and I've written programs and demos ranging from simple games (pong, a Tetris clone, a Scorched Earth clone, etc.) to a simple 3D engine and a crude ray tracer. Do you think going for a master's degree is worth it? Will it make that much of a difference, or should I go ahead and put my resume out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
If your plan is to get into games, you have two options: with a 4-year CS degree you have a decent shot of getting a job, especially if you have some game-related demos to back it up (or any type of software, if you're looking to get into tools).

The other option, to get the masters degree, is twofold: a masters of CS from a normal college won't help that much more than the 4-year as far as a job goes, but a masters from a school like DigiPen will give you that real-world game training as well as the degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It really depends on if you want to become a pro in the gaming industry. it also depends on what job you want. if say, you want to become a lead programmer, than i'd say go for it. however, if you want to be a designer, than it's probably not worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
In my opinion, don't continue with school unless you want to. If you don't enjoy it, you won't get as much out of it, and it may very well end up being a wasted of both time and money, and infinitely more importantly, you just won't be having a good time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anonymous is probably right here, you can learn programming stuff without an education, but a degree will look good on your resume.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm in the same kinda spot...I can do an honours course(additional year) with a focus on games programming, or I can just graduate with my four year degree but no game focus...personally, I'm sick of university -- I suppose it doesn't help that all my friends are already out working on this that or the other, but to be honest -- if it helps me get a great job, or gives me a chance to improve my skills that I might not have otherwise...I might just go for it.
As for masters -- I read some disturbing reports lately that imply that companies hesitate to employ people with higher (see: Masters or pHD) qualifications. It was backed up by some flimsy excuses that apparently people with the brains and skills to take on a Masters or pHD were not the kind of people who complemented a workflow and thus weren't good for business. That they should stay in academia.

All that said, it seems a little confusing :S.

~Shiny, finding it hard to decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's my opinion:

As far as getting a job goes, you'll be fine with a bachelor's, a master's would help, but a PhD isn't worth it unless the position you want specifically requires a PhD. Graduating "with honors" is nice because it's one more star next to your name (like "with distinction" or other awards), but it's not worth going out of your way (i.e. an extra year just for that) to get.

In another direction entirely, if all you got out of your undergrad was a bachelor's degree, then I think you missed out and you should definitely get a master's to have a second chance at college. Seriously, even if I end up with a job that doesn't require a degree, I won't regret a single minute or dollar spent on college.

As for it being harder to find a job with a graduate degree, I think it comes down to two things:

1) You are overqualified for a lot of positions. They're not going to want to hire you because you "command" a higher salary than they will provide for the open position and who would have felt right about hiring Einstein to teach 5th grade math?

2) People with "lesser" degrees (or without a degree) are sometimes hostile to those with a higher degree. My dad has a degree but works in the postal service (where most don't have a degree, even in administrative positions) and has received some flak from above for it. (EDIT: Heck, when I was looking for an apartment, one landlord told me he thought grad students have their heads in the clouds and don't study anything worthwhile after it came up that I was a grad student.)

I think there may be some truth to saying PhD's should stay in academia, but that's because many of them study their subject for its own sake. However, I'd say most of them either want to stay in academia or are looking for a research position (which not uncommonly require a PhD), so that's not typically a problem. I don't think it's anywhere near true for masters students, though.

EDIT: I realize this doesn't change the fact that a master's degree might make it harder to get a job. Also, if you want context, I'm currently PhD track, although I'm pretty certain I don't want to end up in academia. [rolleyes]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!