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Careers in the Midwest and advice on current path

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I'll try to keep this clear and as short as possible. I will list my questions about careers in the Midwest which will be followed by my current goals and path. Consider the overarching question of "Can I be successful with my goals using my current path while staying in the Midwest?"

Midwest Career Questions;
1.) There do not seem to be many job opportunities pertaining to the gaming industry over here. Do you have links other than gamedevmap that could help? Possibly for internships?

2.) Are there any Midwest success stories I could read about? I feel like I'm stranded on an island over here...

3.) Any other advice on finding a job in this part of the US (specifically MO)? I really don't want to have to move to the coast.

My goals in order of near to far;
A.) Find an internship with a game company before graduating college (Fall of 2018 is my graduation goal)

B.) Graduate with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science.

C.) Find a job in CS (preferably game industry) that will provide a stable income. (I wish to have a family so this is important)

D.) Save money from this stable job while increasing my skills to eventually transition into starting my own game studio/company. I have big plans for this and I WILL do this. It's an idea that has yet to be done in the game industry and I see a need for it. Although, I admit, it's going to take a LOT of work.

Current path:
After taking a year off from college, I changed my degree to CS and started again in January 2016 (just completed my first semester in this degree. this is my 3rd degree change and I plan on sticking through to the end on this one, especially since I'm really enjoying it). I have been using GameMaker in my spare time and created some games using the tutorials so that I can grasp the necessary concepts. I want to start making games now so that I can have a portfolio for future job interviews. What kinds of games are good for portfolios? I'm assuming something harder than a tutorial game but not a full blown shipped game? (Although that'd be pretty awesome if time permitted :D ) What will make me stand out in the MidWest? Any links to games I can view to get an idea of portfolio goals or just some tips as to what would be sought after? Also, do I need to be learning languages outside of school? We used Ada in my beginner classes and next semester will be Java I believe. I don't want to take on more challenges than I can handle though.
And then what do I do once I graduate? I'm really afraid that I won't find a job here in the game industry. CS careers unrelated to gaming are really intimidating to me, partly bc I have no knowledge of what my options are and partly bc it seems boring compared to working on games. I just don't want to end up either jobless and unable to help provide for my family, or stuck in a career that I hate.

I apologize for the amount of questions but they all correlate to each other so I felt it best to post in one go. Again, the overarching question is "Can I be successful with my goals using my current path while staying in the Midwest?"

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Still not a problem.  Once you've completed your degree, move to a development hub.

 

While moving is hard, not having a job because of your location is harder. 

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I hear lots of good things about the scene in Omaha; it's just anecdotal (and probably biased - hi Dave) but it might be a lead worth chasing.

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Unfortunately that website shows me even less opportunity.


Yes. And considering both sites, if none of those companies hire you, you have the following choices:
- Move.
- Start your own company.
- Stay where you are and wait for something to change.

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