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Koobazaur

Liberal Arts degree and software development

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I am currently a college freshman at a small university in California and I am facing a difficult academic choice right now. I am passionate about software and game development, having been working with technology and enjoying programming for several years now. The problem is, the school I am attending right now offers only a liberal arts major. I am wondering if such a degree would be a big barrier from entering the software development industry (specifically in the area of programming) in the future. The reason why I am at such a University is primarly because financial reasons. I was pondering transferring to a different school to pursue a Computer Science degree, but that would be a big financial burden upon me and my family, and I am not certain if it would be worthwhile, especially considering I have received a full-ride scholarship for 4 years at the University I am currently attending. My plan, if staying, would be to take extra courses during summer in the field of Computer Science, continue teaching myself related concepts as I have been in the past and look for internships in this field. Still, since my school offers only a Liberal Arts degree, those would not count towards it. I have sent a similar inquiry to some developers in the area but so far received only one reply. I figured I might as well try asking here, as I know some people in the industry post here. Would having theoretical software development knowledge, but a Liberal Arts degree significantly limit my chances in the future? Or is it not a big enough a deal to warrant changing schools (and losing my financial assistance) over it? I know that a lot of the people in the industry come from all sorts of backgrounds, but when browsing jobs and internships, I would say some 95% of them flat out require a computer science degree. EDIT: I wasn't exactly sure which forum to put this in and I figured this may be the closest match. feel free to move it if necessary.

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Koobazaur,

I feel for you.

Quote:

Would having theoretical software development knowledge, but a Liberal Arts degree significantly limit my chances in the future? Or is it not a big enough a deal to warrant changing schools (and losing my financial assistance) over it? I know that a lot of the people in the industry come from all sorts of backgrounds, but when browsing jobs and internships, I would say some 95% of them flat out require a computer science degree.



Yes it would, but does it stop you? No. Will it be harder? Yes.

I have a Bachelor in Fine Arts but I'm a lead programmer on a large title. I've been working in the industry for years now. I got the gig by spending all my high school days programming. When I was in university I still programmed. I went the route I did because I didn't want to go and studio CS - I was more interested in Art.

You need to be able to prove yourself and you may need to take some first jobs at sub-par salary but once your prove yourself it won't matter. No one asks me where I went to school anymore - it's not an issue.

Just make sure you work hard at your liberal arts degree and be committed to finding those jobs. If you have a great demo this will really help.

Best of luck.

/S

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Quote:
Original post by Koobazaur
Would having theoretical software development knowledge, but a Liberal Arts degree significantly limit my chances in the future? ... when browsing jobs and internships, I would say some 95% of them flat out require a computer science degree.

No, your "chances in the future" are not significantly limited by any particular degree. With a degree, your future is likely to be better than without one.
And yes, all the game programming jobs want you to have a CS or CE degree. Other game jobs do not require those particular degrees. That said, it is possible (although possibly more difficult) to get a programming job without one of those particular degrees.

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You have extra work ahead of you as Sphet as stated you are going to have to make lots of connections ie friends before you graduate.
If anything a degree shows prospective employers that you can stick with something for a length of time in most cases 4 years.

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