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I am going to take a course in Game Development with Programming, something amongst those lines, and I'm wondering what university I should pick

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Hello!
 
I applied for Southampton Solent University for their Computer Games (Software Development) and I am feeling self conscious about whether or not it's a good course to take, how much employability it will provide me and so on. This is why I'm asking for serious advice about whether I should try to apply for a better university in the UK and if so, which.
 
I'm not from the UK so I am not the most informed, I did visit Solent (the University), though, and it was an amazing experience. I loved the university, or the campus, I should say, and even met some friends that I may end up sharing a home with in our first year (they're applying for Solent too). Still, I keep worrying that I won't get a job and waste my future even if I'm good at it, because of the credibility of the course (which I don't know if it's good or bad).
 
I'm applying through this agency in my country that helps us with all the paperwork and Student Finance and there's the possibility that I can take the English exam there (which would be less expensive than taking the official English exam), and they only have that "deal" with some universities, which is a concern of mine, although I'm not restricted to applying to those they have that "deal" with. Passing the exam (whether it's the official one or the agency one) is not something I'm too concerned about, I don't think it's too incisive so I feel pretty confident.
 
I know it's really short notice, since the applications need to be sent by January 15, but I just really feel like I'm throwing away my future and I am feeling anxious about it, because I don't want the only thing I'm good at to be a "flop" (academical "career"). (Okay, that's just a rant)
 
I want to further include that I am a transgender girl and I'm 17. My grades are above average, classified as A(-?)(18,3/20), I assume. I included this info because I would like to enlist in a friendly environment, even though I don't really think I'll have a hard(er) time because of that (compared to where I live).
 
Thank you in advance! And sorry for the big chunk of text! My apologies for any english incorrections (both gramatical or spelling).
 
P.S.: Oh, I'd also like to say I want to learn programming, not really art or design, although I don't mind that. I'm pursuing Game Dev. because I want something more creative than just Computer Science (and I also love gaming), in case that affects any suggestions. Thanks again!
 
P.P.S.:Also, I'd like to know about living conditions and prices (generally speaking) because that's something I need to bear in mind aswell. Thank you!
Edited by Josh Petrie

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hi hi

 

I am regular CS, don't do much game-dev, it's an interesting field for spending my free time on.

 

From what I understand here, anything game-dev is highly competitive. Basically, every kid on the block likes to play games, and thus also do game-dev (which is a bad reason, playing and programming is as much related as eating and cooking or as learning and teaching, ie almost nothing but the topic). As a result the market for employees in game-dev industry is over-satured. You need to be really really good for a job.

 

I would suggest you look at a larger area than just "game-dev". In the end, programming is mostly equal everywhere, it's just the application that changes. I don't know why you think game-dev is more creative than other areas. It may be less sexy perhaps, but eg putting down a Mars rover on the planet next door, and successfully drive it there for a long time needs a lot of creativity too (or did you think that would not need heaps of software???). Don't discard topics because it's not game-dev related. Keep an open mind, try to learn as much as you can, and get surprised by what other areas exist in programming land. Maybe you'll find stumble on something else that takes your heart :)

 

Sorry, don't live in the UK, don't know about prices, etc.

 

Good luck in your choice!

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My experience is primarily in the US, so may not be as directly applicable.

 

But here, the credibility of the institution is rarely a deal-breaker, especially if you're only talking about an undergraduate degree. I would be more concerned with the quality of the program - my experience with "game focused" degree programs is that they're generally not an obviously better choice that something more traditional like, say, computer science. But I don't know anything about this school you're talking about.

 

Go to the best, most-interesting-to-you school you can afford. You'll get far more out of the educational experience than if you went to the "best on paper" school in the country but hated it because it wasn't that interesting for you. Since you get out of your education something proportional to what you put in, you want to be engaged. That will translate to a better experience, and better learning, which in turn will translate to making you slightly more employable when you finish.

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I've got a few friends who went to Solent uni (not to do game dev so I can't comment on their specific course) and they really enoyed their time there.

I did a uni course called Games Development in Swansea which was mainly focused on C++ programming and so sounds very similar to what you've applied for and I have now been working as a programmer in the games industry for 5 years.

I think if you work hard and put in the time then you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a job when you're done. When you come to find a job people will care more about the skills and potential you show than which uni you did your course at.

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Im from the uk and graduate a game programming course from bolton uni a couple of years ago.

Personally I managed to line up a games job for when I finished, but alot of people ended up going into gambling software to help improve their portfolios.

I would say there doesnt seem to be much if any uni bias when applying they just look for firsts and seconds.

In terms of cost of living the south is generally expensive and the north is abot cheaper, but wages do reflect this (20k position in the north was equivalent to a 26k position in the south)

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