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College advice?

Discussion in 'PC/Console Gaming' started by Kluge, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Kluge

    Kluge Observing your world for over 50 years

    My friend's kid wants to design video games and is a high schooler getting ready to pick a college and curriculum.
    I told him I'd ask the experts, which in this case is you.
    His grades are adequate for an appointment to a US military academy, he's been told, but he doesn't want to commit.
    College majors (for the cheap ones) are non-descriptive, like engineering/computer science.
    I thought maybe an art major would have the building blocks for game stuff.
    What's the best route? Are there any specialty schools that go directly to the subject?
  2. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    The school that I'm attending right now, George Mason University, offers two paths:

    As you might suspect from the names, the difference is one of emphasis. The BFA degree focuses on the artistic components of game design, while the ACS Game Design degree is more technical, and has the same curriculum foundation as the BS in Computer Science degree. It also has more rigorous math and science requirements than the BFA degree. But even ACS students take some AV courses.
  3. Kluge

    Kluge Observing your world for over 50 years

    Those are great links. $25K per year tuition for out-of-state isn't so bad compared to some NY schools.
    The art portfolio requirement for admission is enough to set back a few dreamers.
    The website says they get 17000 freshman applications and they accept 2500, another speed bump I'd bet.

    Thanks for the reply :)
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The training anyone gets from game coding can be applied in any field. It's the toughest field to master but once you do, you can write your own checks.
  5. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    But remember, they admitted me. :D I think they like a healthy percentage of out-of-state students so they can collect the higher tuition.
  6. LtC Dan

    LtC Dan No horse too dead to beat

    Full Sail in Winter Park, FL also has programs for gaming. My kids are both at The Art Institute of Atlanta; one is in Game Art and Design, and the other is in Visual and Game Programming. They seem to like it.
  7. Kluge

    Kluge Observing your world for over 50 years

    More good links, but it would bother me that so many people were trying to get into the same field.
    Good thing I'm too old to be a kid.

    Many thanks!

    P.S. Ethics, when I was job hunting, one of the things that hurt me was I wasn't anything specific, every job I had seemed to be, "I learned a lot of ____ while I was (something else) so can I be a trainee for your ____ position?" Sometimes even after getting a job I felt like my skills were a chunk of swiss cheese, a lot of cheese, but a few gaping holes, too. If I were a kid again, even without patriotism as a motivator, I think the military would at least stamp my resume' with a real, tangible job descriptor that could avoid the french-fry-college-applicant step in a lot of companies, and maybe avoid some of the "I thought you would know that" events. Does that make any sense? I don't disagree, I'm sure game coding is tough and cutting edge, but like football stars, maybe they should have something non-glamorous to show they can count beans, too.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Oh don't worry. The ratio of kids actually getting in and succeed past one year is dismal. We've started out with 89 students, by the end of the year we had 12.

    Nah, military is not an option. Here's what's wrong and what to do about it. The problem is this majoring in school stuff. It's the old ways of doing things.

    See, in the old world, you specialized in one thing. If you went in to IT coding, you sat in an office or a cubicle and created code from a manager that wanted this or wanted that. You didn't care what was driving it, neither did the manager wanted you to care. He/She just wanted you to code.

    In today's world, that would not work. You NEED to know the business side of things. So when you major in Coding, for example, I would throw in as much credits in to ANOTHER field with as much gusto as you are throwing in to your major, for example finance.

    Here's the scenario:

    Both John and Pete wants to work for investment banking as an IT professional.

    John studies Java, CIS, etc... as his major. He does enough to understand how to code and why some methods are better than others.
    Pete does the same and that's all Pete is doing. Pete believes in mastering CIS and he believes that this is what sets him apart. Being awesome java programmer that every company in Wall Street wants.
    John, on top of his IT form, goes with similar energy in to finance and economics. He studies and knows as much as he knows Java, C#, etc...

    When both Pete and John graduate, who do you think will get the job at Morgan Stanley?

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