I'm certain the "I'm just starting out trying to break into the industry" post has been done to death here, so I'm going to refine this post to a few specific, pressing questions the answers to which will hopefully set me on course in the best direction.
Here is a very quick background on me for reference:
-BS in The Music Industry from Northeastern University (Summa Cum Laude)
-Certificate from Berklee College in Studio Production
-Certificate from Berklee College in Music for Film, Television and Video Games
-SAT/ACT Tutor with Academic Approach
-I have a small portfolio that I need to increase, mostly featuring my first forays into various endeavors including cut-scene scoring, commercial scoring, symphonic arrangement and production of classic video game music, and a design document, et alia, for a text-based game I'm working on as my major project right now
-Interested in game audio/music, game design/development, writing (comprehensive), and programming (in that order)
-Not interested in graphic design, production or management
1. Should I pursue additional coursework specific to video games (e.g., game design), or is it a better use of my time to just teach myself and create an excellent portfolio?
2. I like to be a "jack of all trades" and know at least a little bit about everything that goes into game design. In creating my portfolio and enhancing my skill-set, do you think it would be better to be as comprehensive as possible in terms of what I learn and can present, or would I be better served to focus in on a more specific area (probably the audio aspect given my background) and present depth in a particular ambit?
3. I have amassed more literature than I can ever hope to get through regarding the video game industry. Any specific reading recommendations that people have found particularly outstanding or appropriate for someone just trying to break into the industry (something very specific and with serious depth)?
4. I do not currently have my own website. How high up on the priority list would creating a website be, and any recommendations in terms of content that would be looked upon favorably by potential employers? Also, is it worth shelling out the extra cash to get hosting that does not require advertisements, or would a site on a free-hosting service be looked upon without much discredit?
That's all for now. While I appreciate all feedback I would ask that answers that amount to "do both" or "read everything" be withheld--I already understand the extent to which those answers apply, but unfortunately time is finite and I am interested in making good decisions in prioritizing in order to achieve results in the near-term.
This forum is a fantastic resource for someone in my situation and I'm glad to be here and to have the opportunity to utilize it!