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Computer science degree in MIT? Will I get inside the game industry?

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Hello, I registered to this site a long time ago but got carried away with schoolwork and such, but I was asking a question.

I am 15 yet I'm doing great with my grades and keeping up to get my GPA high and straight A's.

But as much as I love having good grades, I was wondering about what college should I take. I hope in this community people won't scream to go to Full Sail University for a $100,000 for a game design degree, I was wondering what colleges are also recommended to do for game design. And do those colleges have good expectation of actually doing well in the game industry.

Also on side of that, I was wondering that If I get a degree in computer science in MIT if I choose to go there will It be a boost on doing well on the game industry?

I hope I could get a reply as soon as possible, thanks.

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MIT is not a magical ticket into any industry; maybe into certain academic circles, but you'll still have to work extremely hard, learn a lot, do lots of extracurricular work, spend a huge amount of money, and invest several years in the degree itself - if you get in.

It's a laudable goal to go to a high-end school like MIT, but you should carefully consider if it's really worth the hefty tuition and other demands (mostly centering around admission - competition into MIT is extremely fierce). You can get just as good an education in many other schools, for less money and with less stress for getting in.

I don't know of very many employers who really care that much about which school you go to, as long as it isn't Joe Nobody's Obvious Diploma Mill Web Site Dot Com that prints your degree. It's much more about proving that you can learn and work in a demanding, structured environment. As long as you have the skills and discipline and work ethic, you have as much of a shot into the industry as anyone else.

I will reiterate though that no degree is a guaranteed ride into the business, regardless of where it comes from.

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MIT is not a magical ticket into any industry; maybe into certain academic circles, but you'll still have to work extremely hard, learn a lot, do lots of extracurricular work, spend a huge amount of money, and invest several years in the degree itself - if you get in.

It's a laudable goal to go to a high-end school like MIT, but you should carefully consider if it's really worth the hefty tuition and other demands (mostly centering around admission - competition into MIT is extremely fierce). You can get just as good an education in many other schools, for less money and with less stress for getting in.

I don't know of very many employers who really care that much about which school you go to, as long as it isn't Joe Nobody's Obvious Diploma Mill Web Site Dot Com that prints your degree. It's much more about proving that you can learn and work in a demanding, structured environment. As long as you have the skills and discipline and work ethic, you have as much of a shot into the industry as anyone else.

I will reiterate though that no degree is a guaranteed ride into the business, regardless of where it comes from.


Thanks for the reply, though I too never heard that the game industry caring about the degree of the people. But since off ton of people wanting to be a game designer, developer, I would want to find a way to get more above than everyone by showing a degree like M.I.T. And I know that MIT is competitive and expensive, but thanks to my scholarships I could go to a University like that. Also I do a ton of curricular activities and AP classes that might make me have a chance to MIT; I think my biggest chance is because I'm from Argentina and there's less than 10 that students in Argentina in MIT, and they would like to get more diverse students.

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1. I was wondering about what college should I take.
2. I hope in this community people won't scream to go to Full Sail University
3. I was wondering what colleges are also recommended to do for game design.
And do those colleges have good expectation of actually doing well in the game industry.
4. Also on side of that, I was wondering that If I get a degree in computer science
5. in MIT if I choose to go there will It be a boost on doing well on the game industry?
6. I am 15 ... I hope I could get a reply as soon as possible, thanks.

1. Nobody can tell you that. YOU have to decide. (It's YOUR life, after all.) Read FAQ 34 (scroll up and click the FAQs link).
2. Don't worry, we won't. Read the numerous FAQs about "game schools" and "game degrees." Like FAQ 44, for instance.
3. Any college is fine. Read FAQ 3.
4. Wait, which is it -- do you want to go into game design or programming? Read FAQ 7.
5. My crystal ball is broken right now, but if you want, I could do a Tarot reading for you...?
6. Well, since you're 15, you've got time, so you don't have to be in a hurry! (^_^)

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Thanks for the reply, though I too never heard that the game industry caring about the degree of the people. But since off ton of people wanting to be a game designer, developer, I would want to find a way to get more above than everyone by showing a degree like M.I.T. And I know that MIT is competitive and expensive, but thanks to my scholarships I could go to a University like that. Also I do a ton of curricular activities and AP classes that might make me have a chance to MIT; I think my biggest chance is because I'm from Argentina and there's less than 10 that students in Argentina in MIT, and they would like to get more diverse students.


I'm afraid I may not have been clear enough...

It doesn't matter where your degree is from. Having an MIT piece of paper will not give you an appreciable advantage over someone with a Backwoods Community College piece of paper, if you have the same skill sets.

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[quote name='UMULAStudios' timestamp='1316057457' post='4861872']
Thanks for the reply, though I too never heard that the game industry caring about the degree of the people. But since off ton of people wanting to be a game designer, developer, I would want to find a way to get more above than everyone by showing a degree like M.I.T. And I know that MIT is competitive and expensive, but thanks to my scholarships I could go to a University like that. Also I do a ton of curricular activities and AP classes that might make me have a chance to MIT; I think my biggest chance is because I'm from Argentina and there's less than 10 that students in Argentina in MIT, and they would like to get more diverse students.


I'm afraid I may not have been clear enough...

It doesn't matter where your degree is from. Having an MIT piece of paper will not give you an appreciable advantage over someone with a Backwoods Community College piece of paper, if you have the same skill sets.
[/quote]

Except that you know a bunch of MIT grads... that sort of networking is something I'd consider a highly appreciable advantage.

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Only if those grads get into good, relevant positions... at which point you fall back to the original question: did the degree itself make the difference?

If you want to go into academic circles, then yes, it can be a huge advantage for sure. For industry, especially the games industry, networking is really only useful insofar as your contacts are already well-placed in the business. I don't see it being advantageous to know a lot of other unemployed people, regardless of where they went to school.

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There are a bunch of MIT grads in the game industry. I know, because I sat with them at lunch at GDC a couple years ago. (No, I'm not an MIT grad.)
So you both have valid points.
An MIT degree isn't a guarantee of anything, but it does give you a connection to others who matriculated at the same alma mater. That's not without value, but you can get the same thing at any other school. A Carnegie Mellon degree connects you to other CM grads. A USC degree connects you to other Trojans. And so on and so on. One of the co-founders of Vicarious Visions (Guitar Hero) went to my alma mater (I read about him in the alumni magazine), so if I run into him sometime, I can mention that to him, and that might mean something to him. At the very least, it's an ice breaker.

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As has been said, the degree itself it not really as strong as personal drive.

My friend here in Japan studied hard, got high grades at UCLA, then ended up at the bottom of a tiny game company back in Tokyo where the bosses don’t like him.
I on the other hand dropped out of high school, got a diploma at a 2-year community college, and have ended up working in France, America, Thailand, and Japan (current), in a senior position with companies such as Ubisoft and Eidos Interactive. I worked at Morgan Stanley for a whole day! (Long story short, financial programming is not my cup of tea. *shudders at memories of Linux machines disconnected from Internet*)

The only reason anyone ever even looked at my diploma was to be sure I could be hired overseas legally. My old boss once told me, “I’m tired of these kids from the major universities. They think they are special because of their universities so they ask for a higher wage. I wouldn’t mind except that I constantly see brilliant people coming from crap schools and crap people coming from major universities. A good school just doesn’t mean anything.”

What is in your portfolio makes the real difference.
I code in my spare time constantly, while my friend has no motivation at all (he lifts weights and tidies up his room all the time). Even with his UCLA degree he fails every interview (I also fail many, but not as many). Thinking his UCLA degree would be of use to him, he started applying at major companies.
After 2 months without luck he lowered his standards to mid-sized companies.
After 6 months without luck he basically dropped his standards and finally found a small game company.


That being said, my friend met some Japanese at UCLA and among them he is the only one with a poor job. The other 3 all got into major companies such as Sony, Honda, etc.
And, any motivated person in his position would be able to use those contacts to get a better job, but….


However, Argentina is not particularly well known in the video-game industry. It absolutely will be necessary for you to get out of there. Most universities will do, but if you can get MIT then I say go for it, but keep in mind that a less-demanding school can actually be better as long as you know how to use your time. That is, a 4-hour-per-day college is more helpful than a full-day MIT course if you can use your spare time to make demos, build your portfolio, and hone your skills.
And remember to make contacts while you are there.


L. Spiro

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Enh. If all your friends were good enough to get into MIT/CMU/Stanford in the first place they're more likely to be employed or well placed in business. If it's worth the added headache/tuition is debatable, but certainly you have far better networking opportunities as the 50th percentile at an exceptional school than being the shining star of ITT.

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