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Fredalbob

Game companies pay your tuition... For a price?

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Hello, I am currently 16 years old and have been studying game design, computer repair, as well as general programming for about 7-8 years now. I am finally getting to that turning point where I need to figure how I'm going to make my way into the game industry. Right now I'm currently located in Arizona and plan on going to Collin's College. As much as I would love to take out a loan... *Sarcasm* I just don't want to be stuck in debt the rest of my years. My father suggested that maybe one of the smaller gaming industries that are in need of employees might pay for some of my college if I sign a contract to work for them for 2-3 years. Does anyone know if this may be possible or not? Thanks, Jake

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I may be wrong - and I'm in the UK, not the USA, so my advice may not apply where you are - but I expect that most games companies are inundated by interest from heavily-indebted graduates that they wouldn't consider paying for anybody else's tuition.

It's more likely (though whether it's probable, possible, or very unlikely, I couldn't say) that such an arrangement might exist in more conventional computing areas. Then you can use your education from there to apply for games jobs later.

[Edited by - Kylotan on April 28, 2010 9:33:12 AM]

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It's quite unlikely. Better to take out the loan -- most people cannot afford to pay for college out of pocket and fund it either through loans, scholarships or a combination of both. It's basically a fact of life.

If you were to go after an agreement like you're proposing, that's not any different than a loan, except what you're paying the interest with is your time which, by the time you graduate, is worth much more both in terms of opportunity cost and quality of life.

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A quite a few normal IT employers will pay for some college, assuming you've already had enough to get hired in the first place(some cases it's just around $600 a year, the joke being guess how many classes I'm taking every year).

Some companies just blatantly have their own training programs for their programmers. However in most cases this is more along the lines of taking their blue collar workers and training them in a legacy language like COBOL.

Edit:

You could always look at the reserves or active duty. If you've been able to teach yourself programming starting at 9 or 10 you should have very few problems getting a ASVAB score to get into some of the "Most Awesome Programs" in the country. The Navy Nuclear program is amazing high school graduates start their pay higher than most college graduates before any training, get access to the 3rd or 4th best school in the country, and after leaving the service access to some really cool jobs.

Then again it's a major decision, you're talking about 4 to 6 years where it's very hard to just quit. If you do think about the military spend 12 or so hours studying an ASVAB book you'll raise your score by quite a bit(classic case of mostly testing how well you can study).

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Quote:
Original post by Fredalbob
I...plan on going to Collin's College.
2. As much as I would love to take out a loan... *Sarcasm* I just don't want to be stuck in debt the rest of my years.
3. My father suggested that maybe one of the smaller gaming industries
4. that are in need of employees might pay for some of my college
5. Does anyone know if this may be possible or not?

1. Good!
2. */Sarcasm* It would be only until you pay it off, not your whole life.
3. You mean "companies" not "industries."
4. Unlikely.
5. Anything is possible.
Take the loan, go to college. Read the FAQs here on the Breaking In forum (where I moved your post to)

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Quote:
Original post by Fredalbob
My father suggested that maybe one of the smaller gaming industries that are in need of employees might pay for some of my college if I sign a contract to work for them for 2-3 years. Does anyone know if this may be possible or not?

I'm afraid I have never heard of game companies doing this, mainly because they don't need to. The world is full of wannabe game developers who are willing to pay their own way through college with student loans/scholarships/part-time jobs. It is simply easier for the game companies to hire these people than to bother doing a deal with you to pay for your schooling (especially as they have no way of knowing if you will actually complete the course).

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You could always do anything else that gives you time to program in your spare time. Work on some small realistic projects that show your skills and walk into a job without a degree. I guess these days in the USA you have to have a Degree to get a game job?

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Outside of the silicon valley boom days, it's always been very difficult to get a programming job without a degree. Now that we're in pretty much the opposite of those days it is pretty much impossible.

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Thats their loss then, there are many talented programmers without degrees or degrees that are not programming that I would employ here in the UK based on what they show they can do and how well they interview.

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Just be aware that you will have considerably less debt if you chose to attend ASU, or even less if you chose to stay at home and attend CGCC for a year first (they offer Computer Science courses that transfer directly to ASU). Just because it's not a game-related degree doesn't mean you can't use game-related projects in class and work on games outside of class.

But yeah, the days of getting a job in your desired field first and having the employer pay for your degree are long gone. The better way to secure some employer funding for your education is to attend school and apply for internships. Several of my friends and other former classmates scored deals where they worked full time during the summer and part time during school. I don't know if they all got tuition reimbursement as well, but they did get a steady paycheck throughout the rest of their academic career and gained quite a bit of experience to boot.

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