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Degree or no Degree

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Hi guys,

 

I was just curious about this.

 

In order to have some success (i.e. employers to look at you) is it necessary to have a formal College Degree in the field?

 

Or

 

Is it possible to build a portfolio out of experience and apply with that only?

 

What has been you all's experience?

 

Thank you

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Moving to Job Advice.
 

In order to have some success (i.e. employers to look at you) is it necessary to have a formal College
Degree in the field?

It helps a lot! Is college a problem for you? Or maybe I should ask how old you are.
 

Or Is it possible to build a portfolio out of experience

Anything is possible. But you may be using the word "experience" incorrectly.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/m83.htm
 

and apply with that only?

Applying is easy. The hard part is getting the interview and the job. You should read this forum's FAQs.
http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16
 

What has been you all's experience?

As one who received and filtered resumes, I can tell you that the degree is important, if you don't have
professional experience.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/m87.htm Edited by Tom Sloper

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You will get experiences of both sides here. There is no one single path that is 'right'.

 

In a nutshell, you would have a degree in a related field and a portfolio to show that you can produce work of a particular standard. The degree also helps with VISA issues if you are thinking about working overseas at any point in your career. It is possible to gain employment without a degree but you have to be exceptionally good and/or network very well to get past the resume filter.

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It helps a lot! Is college a problem for you? Or maybe I should ask how old you are.

 

I am 30 years old. College is just a tad harder now (not impossible) just harder because we dont have any Video Game courses in our local university besides Computer Science. Secondly, I have two kiddos under 2 yrs old a wife that cant be left alone at home due to some medical issues. So If I do, It would have to be a college that offers the degree online rather than a traditional brick and mortar. Which depending on the industry, Online degrees can sometimes be considered less "attractive". I dont know know if that is still the case or if it true in the Video Game Industry.

 

 

Applying is easy. The hard part is getting the interview and the job. You should read this forum's FAQs. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16

 

This is an incredible resource, thank you very much I will definitely take a look at all these. 

 

Anything is possible. But you may be using the word "experience" incorrectly. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/m83.htm
 

 

Yes, I was. I do stand corrected. I meant to type skill. I understand in the hiring process experience means if I had worked in the field.

Edited by stryfe1986

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I am 30 years old. College is just a tad harder now


Of course. That's why I asked. It is not expected that a 30-year-old go back to college. What you need to
do now is build a portfolio, work on some indie projects with other people, build some contacts, and do
some networking. There are articles on sloperama and here in this forum's FAQs.

a wife that cant be left alone at home due to some medical issues.


Are you saying you need to work from home? You mentioned "employers." Employers don't hire people to work
from home.

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Do you have a degree in any subject? If you do, then in quite a few cases, that will pass through resume filters even if it is in an unrelated subject.
 

 

I left halfway through my education because of finances and I at time had a small break into the Film Industry which became my focus then. Added some more detail on Tom's reply.

 

 

Of course. That's why I asked. It is not expected that a 30-year-old go back to college. What you need to do now is build a portfolio, work on some indie projects with other people, build some contacts, and do some networking. There are articles on sloperama and here in this forum's FAQs.

 

I see. You know I dont have much skill yet in design and this is due to my college experience. I initially went to a private tech school named Collins College in AZ (I am from TX) that i saw an ad for on a GameInformer, but when I got there, the presentation and department for game design was so poor and the presentation was dull and boring that it didn't feel like the college was interested in expanding or "selling" the program. Henceforth I switched majors to Film and Motion Picture in Media Arts, left halfway through due to finances and getting a small break into the film industry. However, I did learn to use some software such as Photoshop, Maya, Sound Editing, and a tad of 3DS Max, although it's been over 10 years since I last touched any of those programs. Forwarding to today, Collins College has since closed its doors, lost accreditation, and from the graduates that I stayed in touch with from the Game Design dept., they state that some employers have gone to the trouble of adding "Collins College students need not apply" on their ads and have experienced some backlash when asked about their education, to the point that one of them in particular has decided to completely omit it from his resume. I currently doing an extensive research and tutorials for the Unity Engine and its feeling really natural from what I have seen and followed through with. I do intend on sticking with it and really learn to use this engine. 

 

which brings me to the next question? What engine is the right engine? I understand all of them are different and usually each have their own language (scripting) but when it comes to building a portfolio. Should I expand into other engines besides Unity when its appropriate? or should I just mold my skills in Unity and specialize in it? I have always envisioned taking the specialty of Level Design.

 

 

 

Are you saying you need to work from home? You mentioned "employers." Employers don't hire people to work from home.

 

Completely understandable. I did go ahead and read some of your articles that focused on the education aspect and the "work from home" possibility. I would imagine by now some publishers would opt for this type of position. Of course, that is just wishful thinking. If I am able to justify a position in the industry with moving to their location then its definitely considerable in our situation. The problem with not being able to leave home becomes an issue when I would have to devote 4 years into a college setting where I would have to be away for an extensive amount of time, with projects, or other considerable work the courses would assign. When it comes to employment, its different because I would have a set schedule (for the most part) where i can make things accommodating at home.

Edited by stryfe1986

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1. I dont have much skill yet in design
2. What engine is the right engine? ... when it comes to building a portfolio.
3. I did go ahead and read some of your articles that focused on the education aspect and the "work from home" possibility. I would imagine by now some publishers would opt for this type of position. Of course, that is just wishful thinking.
4. If I am able to justify a position in the industry with moving to their location then its definitely considerable in our situation.
5. The problem with not being able to leave home becomes an issue when I would have to devote 4 years into a college setting
6. When it comes to employment, its different because I would have a set schedule (for the most part) where i can make things accommodating at home.


1. Design is entirely different from programming and level design and graphics and narrative. You need to make sure you understand the difference between all the specialties in game development.
2. "What engine to use" is a For Beginners question, not a Job Advice question. Go back to FB to ask that question.
3. You should not engage in any further wishful thinking.
4. Where do you live now? Are there any game companies within daily commuting distance? See gamedevmap.com.
5. You do not need to go back to college now. It would be impressive if you did, but nobody expects it of candidates of your age.
6. Okay. See question 4 above.

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When it comes to employment, its different because I would have a set schedule (for the most part) where i can make things accommodating at home.

 

 

Depends on the company. The game industry is historically bad at "predictable schedules".

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