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SinanDira 04-12-2012 03:43 PM

What is degree's long-term effect on a career?
 
Greetings. I am a high school graduate since more than half a year and did not take my educational decision yet. I am currently working with my brothers on our first game project to establish our business as an independent game development studio.

Past a few weeks, I have considered taking a degree in one of game design, game art, animation or interactive multimedia; most of which contain technical aspects (mostly programming) in addition to art. But then I came to the realization that independent work doesn't actually require one!

As far as I can understand, in the video game industry, a degree in a game related field is most important for jobseekers without work experience.

This conclusion makes a degree worthless for me, in the scenario where I work with my brothers independently and learn on my own. And since I am currently moving in this path, I need to know, what can the gain or loss of a degree in a related field alter for me on the long run?

I am not quite sure on the decisions that I am going to take later in life. I may seek employment, I may stay independent, or even work freelance. Thatís why I want to ask about the following possibilities.

- Let's say that I want to get employed after 4 years of independent game development with at least 1 project. Could the loss of a degree or professional certification lower my chances with the majority of big game firms? What about a second project and >5 years of experience?

- Despite the entry level gains at a firm, if I decide to stick to employment there and advance to higher positions, could the loss of academic education (while still having the industrial experience, of course) hinder my advancement or relatively lower my gains?

- What about my respect? A degree, especially a postgraduate, definitely yields some prestige, which could come in handy giving me priority over other equivalent employees or at least just give my thoughts and opinions more respect, which would definitely be awesome!

- And does my education even show up and have any importance when I actually am independent, but want to offer my studio's services to a customer or to cooperate with a bigger game development firm?

I can't think of other questions right now, but any additional thoughts are more than welcome!

Thanks in advance.

tsloper 04-12-2012 05:40 PM

Re: What is degree's long-term effect on a career?
 
Hi SinanDira, you wrote:
Quote:

1. What is degree's long-term effect on a career?
2. I have considered taking a degree in one of game design, game art, animation or interactive multimedia; most of which contain technical aspects (mostly programming) in addition to art.
3. But then I came to the realization that independent work doesn't actually require one!
4. I am not quite sure on the decisions that I am going to take later in life.
5. Let's say that I want to get employed after 4 years of independent game development with at least 1 project. Could the loss of a degree or professional certification lower my chances with the majority of big game firms?
6. What about a second project and >5 years of experience?
7. Despite the entry level gains at a firm, if I decide to stick to employment there and advance to higher positions, could the loss of academic education (while still having the industrial experience, of course) hinder my advancement or relatively lower my gains?
8. does my education even show up and have any importance when I actually am independent, but want to offer my studio's services to a customer or to cooperate with a bigger game development firm?
1. In general, it means you'll make more money over your lifetime.
2. I don't necessarily recommend those degrees. Read http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson34.htm
3. True.
4. Exactly! Not getting the degree could have a negative impact, should you later decide to go for a job.
5. With only one project in your portfolio: yes.
6. Your chances improve a little, then. Only two projects and less than 5 years? That's not very good.
7. Yes.
8. No.

yaustar 04-13-2012 01:40 AM

Re: What is degree's long-term effect on a career?
 
Not having a related degree can be problematic if you try to migrate to another country to work.

SinanDira 04-13-2012 10:10 AM

Re: What is degree's long-term effect on a career?
 
Thank you for the information. I have read various articles on your website, Mr. Sloper, and they were very helpful!

Right now, it's clear for me that the need of a any degree is non-existent if I want to take on the adventure of being completely independent. However, a bachelor degree doesn't only grant more respect in general, but is a must-have for fulfilling the minimum social respect need where I live.

So, the need, the prestige, the richer choices that a degree grants on the long run, and the academic life experience are 4 reasons for me to still consider taking a degree, not to mention that the right degree should be passionate enough to be a joy to study.

If I take a degree, a much cheaper and less time-consuming choice than a respected and rich multimedia/game/animation degree for me, to take while still working, is a part time online bachelor in management, marketing, graphic design, or even a branch of computer science (I am bringing up a lot of suggestions because I still need to discover what my passions are; I know that I am late, too).

- If I take any of those 4 (or more) bachelors, and it was accredited, is it possible to continue with a master in any of the fields of animation, video game or interactive multimedia design/art/programming?

- So let's assume that I graduate with any of those 4 bachelors, with an independent game development experience of 4-5 years and at least one commercially published game, if I decide to seek employment, how much could any of those 4 bachelors affect my chances? I.E. How much are those degrees respected and needed?

- Well, I guess that all or at least 3 out of 4 definitely have job opportunities, but how am I likely to be accepted for an art or design position with any of them? And how would I compare to other workers with more relevant degrees?

tsloper 04-13-2012 10:47 AM

Re: What is degree's long-term effect on a career?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SinanDira (Post 28223)
1- If I take any of those 4 (or more) bachelors, and it was accredited, is it possible to continue with a master in any of the fields of animation, video game or interactive multimedia design/art/programming?
2- So let's assume that I graduate with any of those 4 bachelors, with an independent game development experience of 4-5 years and at least one commercially published game, if I decide to seek employment, how much could any of those 4 bachelors affect my chances?
3- I.E. How much are those degrees respected
4- and needed?
5- Well, I guess that all or at least 3 out of 4 definitely have job opportunities, but how am I likely to be accepted for an art or design position with any of them?
6- And how would I compare to other workers with more relevant degrees?

1- Yes. Anything is possible.
2. A lot.
3. It depends on who the respecter (or disrespecter) is, and what the situation is.
4. It depends. Needed by whom, for what?
5. If you want an art job, get an art degree and build a spectacular portfolio. If you want a design job, get any degree, choose an entry pathway, and build an excellent resume.
6. That depends on you.

SinanDira 04-21-2012 11:02 AM

Re: What is degree's long-term effect on a career?
 
Okay, Mr. Sloper, thank you very much for the help. :) I was going to ask more questions but found out that I don't need to.

If I have any concerns in the future, I'll sure ask here!

And I like your clean and simple way in answering questions by the way. :P


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