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bluealien1

Choosing a college program, help please.

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Hey everyone, I'm looking around for colleges to apply to, and I am interested in programming. I would of course like to program games when I get out of college. I have heard that employer's, even for game development prefer a degree in programming rather then a game programming degree for whatever reason. Is this true? Also, if you have any schools to recommend in the New England(or not too far out of New England) area it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, -blue

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MIT, carnage mellon, brown, boston college, Yale, Harvard is up that way isn't it. Go to the best college that will take you. Game schools get paned around here because as the old saying goes "all work no play makes joe a dull boy" pretty much applies, and more over "all game programming no art history majors to pal around with makes joe a one trick, no imagination programmer".

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Quote:
Original post by stonemetal
..., carnage mellon, ...


I guess it's a typo, but that one just made my day ...

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oops.. :) thats Carnegie Mellon and I thought I was doing good to not spell it melon though I guess that would have been even funnier.

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I would like to add that Yale probably isn't the best choice for CS. I go to a very small liberal arts school right next to Yale, and I have sat in on a couple of classes there. Yale is a brilliant school, probably just not for CS. (We destroyed them at the ACM Competition :) ).

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Yeah definitely go to a good traditional college and begin a Computer Science major. If you decide for whatever reason that the program is not right for you, you can switch majors rather than have to switch schools.

Also if you graduate with a degree that has "game" in the title, and ever want a non-game programming job, some employers won't take you seriously - no matter if that's fair or not.

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OP wrote:
>Choosing a college program, help please.
FAQ 25: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson25.htm

>...heard that employer's [sic], even for game development prefer a degree in programming rather then a game programming degree for whatever reason. Is this true?
FAQ 44: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson44.htm

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Do you have hot keys assigned for your article references, Tom?

In general a CS degree is recommended over a specific game programming degree. This is, of course, assuming that you do extracurricular game programming beyond your CS degree.

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Choosing a College
Weigh your options. Start with money. Which colleges can you afford to attend without living in 10 years of debt post-graduation? Just because a college costs $30,000 per semester to attend does not make it better qualified than your local $2,000 per semester state university.

Choosing a Degree
Instead of thinking in terms of what people are going to want to see, think about what you want to see. Choose a degree that will benefit you, personally, in the long run. What do you enjoy doing? Figure that out and choose the degree that complements your interests the most. Do not listen to anyone who says, "The only way to achieve X is to get degree Y." Thought like this is extremely limited and usually completely naive.

In game development, this is especially true. There are an incredible amount of positions available on game development teams. Think about it for a second. There's marketing, advertising, business management, financial management, accounting, visual artists, audio artists, game designers, level designers, general programmers, specialized programmers, network programmers, database programmers, database administrators, network administrators, and plenty more. Those are just the positions I thought up out of the blue, but I guarantee there's more that varies depending on the development studio.

That said, it's fairly obvious that every position in the above selection does not require any specific degree. Getting a degree in business will not mean that you cannot be a network programmer. Getting a degree in visual arts does not mean you cannot be the financial adviser.

Recap
Choose the most affordable and convenient university that will adhere to your interests the most. Again, do not take advice from others saying, "You have to go to X college to get Y degree to do Z job." It just doesn't work that way.

Once you've decided on the college, choose the degree that will benefit your interests and passions the most. Just getting a degree says a lot about a person, regardless of whether it's in Aerospace Engineering or Journalism.

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Quote:
Original post by Justin Rebuilt
Choosing a College
Weigh your options. Start with money. Which colleges can you afford to attend without living in 10 years of debt post-graduation? Just because a college costs $30,000 per semester to attend does not make it better qualified than your local $2,000 per semester state university.


This bit is terrible advice. (though choosing what you like is very good advice)

1. While the tuition does not directly influence the qualifications of a school, it will rather proportionally effect the money the school has to spend on professors, facilities, and all the other things it needs to educate you better. Further, a pricey school is often a sign of desire or prestige which rightfully or not will impact your prospects during hire and your salary once hired.

2. As #1 alluded to, a better school means quicker hire out of college and increased salary. The money you'll gain will offset the added debt.


The idea that CS101 at Podunk U will teach you the same things, just as well as CS101 at CMU is a fallacy. It is not a rock solid rule, but in education you do generally get what you pay for. Your college education is the most important investment you will ever make, and will influence 40+ years of income. Don't skimp on it.


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