Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
CryoGenesis

Help Choosing A University Degree

This topic is 2522 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

*Sorry if i posted this in the wrong area*

Hi, I'm at that annoying stage in my life where I have to make decisions that could pretty much alter the future of my life. One of the decisions I have to make is What University Course Do I Want To Take? Its a bit early for me to be asking this now but I reckon that if I think about it now it wont be so hard to choose in the future.

I'm deciding between two:
Bachelor of Computer Science
or
A Specialised Game Development (programming) degree (also bachelor of science)

I live in the uk and there are a lot of university's that do a specialised degree, surprisingly.
When I'm older I really want to have some kind of job that involves developing and making games.
That is the main reason I would take the specialised degree along with the fact that I would probably enjoy it more than the BCs degree.
But, I have heard that there is a lot of competition in the games industry and I'm told that it would be hard, even with a degree, to get into the industry which is why I'm told that the bachelor of computer science degree would be better for getting into other areas of programming if the main plan did not work.

So what I want to ask is basically this.
Which degree would be best for me or for getting into the industry?

other information:
I'm not one of those people that learnt to program just so they can get a job making games. I taught myself to program in Java and C++ so I could make games as a hobby in my spare time and to be honest its probably one of my most favourite things to do. By the time I've started the university course I probably will have a massive portfolio of hobby projects which I believe helps getting known also.
I would rather be an indie developer than work for a giant games company but I would love to work for a company like bethesda (Ive pretty much spent half my life playing games like the elder scrolls series and fallout) and it would be an honour to work for a company whos games I love to actually play. The reason I would rather be an indie developer is that it lets me make the game that I want to make and a world that was dreamt up by me :)
But in saying that I could still make games as a hobby as well as a full-time job.
Im very determined to get the job that I want and will work hard to get it. In saying that Im teaching myself directX to make some 3D games and experiment with 3D stuff (seeing as most games nowadays and in the future will probably 3D using directX).

Anyway please give me some feedback but nothing like "its too early for you to choose now" - or something similar =)

Gen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Get the generalist degree. Always.

Game developer degree might be more fun, and in some cases is quicker to get, but in the end a "plain ole" CS degree is just as likely to get you the game job, and a hell of a lot more likely to get you a non-game job if the whole game job thing didn't work out.



One thing to keep in mind, just because schools offer programs for it, doesn't mean there is demand for the program they provide. Ask a half a million un/under-employed English Lit majors, or Philosophy grads out there...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the generalist degree. Always.

Game developer degree might be more fun, and in some cases is quicker to get, but in the end a "plain ole" CS degree is just as likely to get you the game job, and a hell of a lot more likely to get you a non-game job if the whole game job thing didn't work out.



One thing to keep in mind, just because schools offer programs for it, doesn't mean there is demand for the program they provide. Ask a half a million un/under-employed English Lit majors, or Philosophy grads out there...


Ditto.
You probably won't have as much fun with the non Game developer degree since it will be many more math, physics, theoretical computer science classes you will have to take but you will be better prepared to tackle any project since you will be used to solving difficult, hard problems biggrin.png
For example, if start working with 3D it'll be way easier since you will already have taken Linear Algebra so the terminology, i.e. dot product, vector space, etc. will be review and you'll be able to actually focus on the programming.

P.S. This assumes any decent/accredited US BS Computer Science degree program which is assumed to cover most of the following:
III. THEORY AND MATHEMATICAL BACKGROUND — 40%
A. Algorithms and complexity

  • Exact and asymptotic analysis of specific algorithms
  • Algorithmic design techniques (e.g., greedy, dynamic programming, divide and conquer)
  • Upper and lower bounds on the complexity of specific problems
  • Computational complexity, including NP-completeness

    B. Automata and language theory

    • Models of computation (finite automata, Turing machines)
    • Formal languages and grammars (regular and context-free)
    • Decidability

      C. Discrete structures

      • Mathematical logic
      • Elementary combinatorics and graph theory
      • Discrete probability, recurrence relations and number theory

        IV. OTHER TOPICS — 5%
        Example areas include numerical analysis, artificial intelligence, computer graphics, cryptography, security and social issues.
        Note: Students are assumed to have a mathematical background in the areas of calculus and linear algebra as applied to computer science.

        I don't know about UK requirments, but I know that I have friends that went the non BS CS route i.e. game programming or Information Systems or even Computer Networking that didn't have to take any classes that cover any of the above subjects so are clueless when I mention discrete math or algorithmic complexity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You probably won't have as much fun with the non Game developer degree since it will be many more math, physics, theoretical computer science classes you will have to take but you will be better prepared to tackle any project since you will be used to solving difficult, hard problems biggrin.png
[/quote]

Not always true. There are some degrees in the UK such as 'Computer Science with Games Technology' or similar. The entrance requirements are higher, and you do the same modules as CS students (mathematics, theory of computation, etc..) in addition to a couple of game-specific modules.

Although you won't go wrong with a plain CS degree, for sure. Is there a specific course you're looking at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is now in Breaking In, where the topic of education belongs. Cryo, it's recommended that you back out to the Breaking In forum and read the FAQs. See Getting Started at upper right in the Breaking In forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not one of those people that learnt to program just so they can get a job making games. I taught myself to program in Java and C++ so I could make games as a hobby in my spare time and to be honest its probably one of my most favourite things to do.

You just described the majority of the programmers in the industry smile.png

As for the general topic: Seems like you're doing fine teaching yourself the programming side.
Use the degree as an opportunity to learn more in different areas such as math.
The other replies already sum this up quite nicely, nothing much to add there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the advice guys.
I think I would probably take the CS degree then but either way its still a bit early for me to choose right now so I do have a bit of time to decide :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!