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First of all, hello to everyone - this is my first post. I have been thinking about a potential career in this industry for a fair bit of time, but have only recently been actively trying to find out more. Just for a bit of background, I have a BSc in Biology from a few years back and worked in unrelated fields as a Project Coordinator for a few years. I recently returned to University to try and find something more interesting as a career path. I've been studying Applied Physics for the last six months with great success but I'm constantly thinking about Game Programming and Design. My questions pertain to the level and amount of training I would require to successfully enter the industry at the most junior of levels. I've been looking at some programs, most notably those at Full Sail and Digipen, which seem geared towards Game Creation, as well as some other College Diploma programs in New Media and also a full-blown Computer Science degree. My main question is this: Would doing a full-on four-year degree make me more competitive for employment as a game programmer than the shorter, more condensed programs offered at Full Sail and/or Digipen? I understand an employers desire to see candidates with Bachelor's degrees but also wonder how much of that is based on non-related factors like the roundedness of an individual. That is something I got during my first degree and I would much rather focus my studies on the most marketable and crucial material. I have a very solid background in Maths - up to differential equations and have taken a few discrete math courses as well, so I'm really looking for some advice as to what would allow me to attain my goals in a shorter period of time. Please, don't misunderstand me as wanting to hurry this through; If I need to study for four years to learn the requisite skills, I will - but at 28, I feel that I am already behind as compared to many other hopefuls and would welcome any ability to accelerate the process. In terms of hard work and commitments, I have no problems with completely dedicating myself to any course of study, as long as I know that I'm focusing myself in the proper direction. I see many college courses around Toronto that seem to promise to make you an award-winning developer in fourteen months, but I have to believe those claims are to be taken with a rather large grain of salt - if it was that easy, surely everyone would be doing it. I'm just concerned with wasting my time doing something that is not as productive as it could be. For example, I've looked at the Digital Media program offered by York and while interesting, there doesn't seem to be too much "meat" to it - a majority of the courses offered are Sociology courses that look more at the effects of games on society rather than the creation of the games in the first place. If anyone can offer me any suggestions as to what the nature of my studies should be, I would be extremely grateful - I feel that this is an industry I truly want to be a part of and am just missing some crucial information about how to get to where I want to be. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my admittedly long-winded post! Hope to hear from you, Mark

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If you want to become a programmer, study Computer Science.
If you want to become a designer, you don't need another degree. You just have to break into the industry in any job.
Start by Viewing Forum FAQ (see link above), and ask further questions after you've read all the articles that bear on whatever questions you have.

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