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applejacks

Choices between 3 colleges

6 posts in this topic

I could really use some help on deciding which college to go for. I've been reading up on C++/C# since I'm extremely rusty, and have spent the last 3 years of my life on PHP and other web languages instead of C++ and the bunch. I love programming, so I'm not really into the artistic or design parts. I just like to make it work with code. I live in Maryland currently, and my choices are the following: -1- Anne Arundel Community College (AACC)'s Game and Simulation Program (2 years, Associates) and then transfer University of Maryland Baltimore College (UMBC)'s Game Development Track (2 more years, Bachelors). They are the closest and cheapest option as for now, but I haven't heard much about this program since it's fairly new. -2- DeVry's University's Game & Simulation Programming I've heard good and bad reviews about DeVry so I'm unsure about this option right now. More expensive than AACC/UMBC. -3- Full Sail's Game Design I don't think this is what I want. I love the programming, not the designing. I would take their Game Development program if I lived in Florida, but I don't and I don't plan on it. So that pretty much just leaves AACC/UMBC, or DeVry. Does anyone have any experience on these programs at all, or have a recommendation for a different college / program for the Maryland area?
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What sort of job or career are you hoping for in the future? It's hard to give you any sort of recommendation that is right for you without a clear idea of your goals. Are games a must or would it be ok to work in other programming?

I would agree that you need to steer clear of Game Design schools if you are wanting to be a programmer. But whether you go to a specialist game school or a more well-rounded one will depend a bit on the sort of career you're aiming for, how far you're willing to move for a job, how much money you need, etc. (Personally I suggest getting a more traditional computing bachelors degree, but that is just one opinion among many.)
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Choosing a degree - http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson34.htm
Game school vs. regular school - http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson44.htm
Choosing a school - http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson25.htm
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Quote:
Original post by Kylotan
What sort of job or career are you hoping for in the future? It's hard to give you any sort of recommendation that is right for you without a clear idea of your goals. Are games a must or would it be ok to work in other programming?

I would agree that you need to steer clear of Game Design schools if you are wanting to be a programmer. But whether you go to a specialist game school or a more well-rounded one will depend a bit on the sort of career you're aiming for, how far you're willing to move for a job, how much money you need, etc. (Personally I suggest getting a more traditional computing bachelors degree, but that is just one opinion among many.)


Games are a must. I know that once i have my degree I can always get a regular programming job if needed since I will still have my bachelors, but I really wanted to work in the gaming industry. I don't have to move far. According to some survey I saw, Baltimore MD is the 3rd or 4th (I forget) largest game-related job area available with plenty of companies (that's 30 minutes from where I live). I'm not concerned too much about the money as long as it's enough to get by on.
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Quote:
Original post by applejacks
I know that once i have my degree I can always get a regular programming job if needed since I will still have my bachelors


Heh!


Even if games are a must, a game specific degree isn't necessarily the way to get there, especially from half rate colleges. Colleges aren't job training and they're not some rubber stamp that frees you from actually having to prove yourself and do some work.

Full Sail is fine enough, but if you're not going to move, I'd look towards good computer science schools in your region. Carnegie Mellon is probably the best/closest to you. UMD had an okay program last I heard, and would probably be a fairly cheap option being in-state and all.

Financial aid is prevalent. Go to the best school you can get into; it's only the most important investment you're ever going to make...
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this is extremely true. I go to a small state school. even though i feel that i am brighter than my cousin (who goes to john hopkins (right in your neck of the woods))), I have had a hard time getting internships etc. my cousin is swatting them left and right, picking up job offers etc, all because hopkins is so well respected.
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I've met more than a couple of people working in the games industry who studied something completely unrelated to games (like psychology).

From what I can tell, actual experience matters a lot so the choice in your school just needs to make sure that you make a lot of games.
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