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kaktusas2598

Had I chose right degree?

11 posts in this topic

Hello, for long time my goal was to become programmer (ultimate goal is game programmer). I have been learning and writing C/C++ for about 3-4 years. I finished high school and applied to Computer Enginnering degree. I still don't know if I have chose right degree. I was thinking about computer science a lot, but it was late and now I'm here. As many of you probably already have stepped into game programming, I have simple question to you: was my choise right? Is Computer Engineering is right way to start in my path? Or do I have to wait until next year and apply to Computer Science Degree? Thank you.
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I have no idea what will work for you. It's going to depend a lot on your motivation, goals, and your means to achieve them. Conventional wisdom would suggest that you do what you can to get the BSc as it will leave more paths open to you. But it doesn't necessarily mean you have to go the conventional path to that BSc if your circumstances are special.

For me, 17 years ago, I took a 2 year computer engineering diploma. It covered lots of cool electronics and micro-design stuff that I always had a strong thirst to find out. I never regret the knowledge I acquired from the course and from what I hear it was far more interesting than what I would've gotten from the other 2 year course my co-workers took that focused more on databases and development process. Other than some typical C++ programming classes, I don't use any of what I learned in my IT job. From what I understand, if I took the CS degree route, I would've gotten the education that I did get, plus what my co-workers got, plus a bachelors degree. It would've been another 2 years and tuition.

I don't make a lot of money but I'm comfortable and generally happy here in my chosen IT field. I don't think I'm in a position to try to get in with a major game studio but I believe I have enough knowledge to try to produce my own solo projects. I could probably take a couple courses to go the management route and make more money but I'd rather be a programmer than worry about project costs and office politics.

That's my experience. Your results will probably vary. Edited by kseh
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The general entry ticket for game programmers is a Computer Science degree.

A Computer Engineering degree will get you a job at an electronics company designing microchips.

Which job do you want?
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Hi,

The most direct route is that you drop the Computer Engineering and find a good game development school. However, Computer Science has its own advantages, such as being able to land a programmer job easier to earn a living while you learn game development on your own time, which is the safest route.


Clinton
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I'm currently a major in game programming at my college and it's been going pretty well. I have an internship for a mobile development company and I have an IDGA (international game developers association) membership. However, I have friends who major in other degrees (such as Computer Engineering) and currently are out in the indie world doing great! It all depends on where you go and who you know. Gaming schools are better to network with other people in the industry, thus opening a LOT more doors. Although you could probably get very detailed knowledge with other degrees such as Computer Engineering. So honestly it can also depend on if you just flat out want to be in the gaming industry and nothing else, or if you want to be an ENGINEER, and the gaming industry is something you want to do for a bit in your life, but not for the rest of your life.
So in MY opinion:
Gaming related degree - more networking opportunities, more open doors to get in the industry
Programming related degree - more in-depth knowledge of computer science/engineering, more opportunities other than this industry

Hope it helps :)
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If your degree has C++ programming in it, then I think you will be fine. My degree was Software Engineering and that had absolutely no game development in it, just C++ and I managed to scrape myself into the industry ;)

Apparently I have heard that some of the worst degrees to get into the game dev industry are the game dev orientated degrees. This is because they often only teach the students a single platform (such as Unity) and as you can guess, these do not have the same lifespan as generic C++ for example.

What is probably still most important is a good portfolio, such as loads of games you programmed on a website. Edited by Karsten_
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[quote name='kaktusas2598' timestamp='1353713521' post='5003602']
I still don't know if I have chose right degree.
[/quote]
Relax. Stop worrying.

Getting is a degree, any degree, is what's important, and in a computer-related field is even better. Some of the most successful people I have met in the field majored either in physiscs or in English literature.

The fact that you can stick it through and be able to focus despite external distractions, and have learned how to learn on your own, is what a degree proves. It is not job training.

When I am acting as a hiring manager, I glance once at their resume to check that a person has a degree (and preferably in a computer-related field), but spend most of my time reviewing what they've done outside of academia. So if you want to be a game developer, develop games. It's that simple.
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Just to chime in quick, I finished my degree in computer engineering and I've only ever worked in software development, games and otherwise.
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[quote name='kaktusas2598' timestamp='1353764988' post='5003742']
Thank for all of you [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] You really inspired me to move on. And Yes, my degree has C and C++ programming modules [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] All of the rest I will learn myself.
[/quote]

That's good. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

We know that people are looking for someone who completes projects not matter what, as said earlier in this thread. Commitment is obvious if it is there, so stay with your decision and finish your degree. You are right; the rest you can learn yourself - one way or another. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Clinton
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