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Old 05-08-2008, 07:29 AM   #1
jfmoneymaker
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Hi Guys(and girls),
I am new to this forum and have tons of questions but first I'll tell you My situation. I have a Job as a Sales manager at a Subaru Dealership. I hate my Job! It pays well but it sucks. I went to fullsail my senior year in highschool to tour the school. I loved it and planned on enrolling in a Game Development Bachelors Degree. I did not go because of a chic(who I am not with anymore). I am now married and have an 18 month old little girl. I am still young(22) and think that if I am going to go after this I need to act now. The program at full sail is accelerated. 126 credit hours in 21 months. I will not have a lot of time for work. Not to mention I know a little about hardware having a IT guy in the fam. However I know nothing of programming. Therefor I will have to concentrate hard at school to learn this. If I apply for aid, and my wife doesnt work(in school) can I take out a student loan also to pay for the rest? Then will I have enough left for living expenses(babys are not cheap)? Also, Will I be ready for a career after I graduate(assuming I bust my ass). Thanks for your help guys!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:28 AM   #2
yaustar
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For the money related questions, I honestly don't know. Gshonk can probably help you out there.

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Also, Will I be ready for a career after I graduate(assuming I bust my ass).
There is no guarantee. I have heard stories of Full Sail graduates failing to find jobs for a variety of reasons and others just walking in.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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Oof. That's a tough one!

Let me get this straight: The plan is that neither you nor your spouse would work for almost two years, while raising a baby (congratulations, dad!), and then you would get a job in the highly competitive field of game development upon graduation and be mired in loan debt.

Honestly, if it were me, that's not the kind of risk I could handle. Unless you have some other major source of income, you are putting yourself up for several huge risks at once. One risk -- okay. Two risks -- that's iffy. But this is like four or five risks all mashed together.

Schools like Full Sail, where you get an 'accelerated eduation' as you put it, are not only demanding intellectually and financially, but they are full-time jobs in and of themselves. Full Sail will be a minimum 40-hour a week committment.

Full Sail students: Feel free to back me up here.

Another route you might consider: keep your job and your income and instead of pushing yourself through a demanding educational program, push yourself a few extra hours a week to put together a really strong resume and apply for game-related jobs near you that you might be qualified for. Some ideas: QA lead, sales or marketing at a publisher (you have a sales background already), community manager.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
jfmoneymaker
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Yes I do see your point. They did offer to hire my wife at Full Sail as she works part time now doing administrative work. I did not know this but they are the second largest employer in the Winterpark/Orlando area. That would help. Ill just say that if it is not IMPOSSIBLE I still may look into what I mentioned before. Comming from someone who already works 65+hours a week now, I would not mind the hours. I just do not like doing what I am doing now. At my age, I look ahead and see my future in the business I am in and it is not very fulfilling. I want to MAKE or CREATE something. I have a friend who with no prior experience went to full Sail for a Game Development degree and now works as a Lead Programmer for Kings Isle entertainment Inc. in Ausin. (He was supposed to be my roomate when I backed out and didnt go to school back then, and yes I am kicking myself)
Pulling 65,000 a year and loves it. I want that! Financially, I have checked and I will only have like 2000 a month from my loans to live on.
plus the money from my wife. It would be hard but it also should be worth it. You still think I am crazy?!? LOL maybe I am......
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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Hey there, I am currently in my last 2 months of Full Sail so if you have any questions feel free to ask. I'm not sure what I can add that your friend hasn't told you or the people here have already said. If you have anything specific feel free to ask.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:00 PM   #6
Dapps421
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Smile Future Full Sail Student, looking for advice

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Originally Posted by Gshonk View Post
Hey there, I am currently in my last 2 months of Full Sail so if you have any questions feel free to ask. I'm not sure what I can add that your friend hasn't told you or the people here have already said. If you have anything specific feel free to ask.
Hello Everyone,

I'm brand new to this forum, and noticed that there are some graduates of Full sail here. If you don't mind I have a few questions and concerns about the school itself. I am currently working in retail, I'm not happy with my job and found out I am eligible for the Masters in Game Design degree. I have a BS in Business Management. Should I drop the roughly $50,000 on this degree? How does the industry percieve Full Sail graduates? If you don't know could you hint me in on a way to contact HR departments of various developers? I am positive that I will learn everything that I want to and more I am expecting to commit the next 12 months to the school and be prepared for 70 hour weeks if need be. When I get out my student loans will be almost $2000 a month, is it realistic of me to hope that I will have a job in the industry that will allow for at least that much? Any input would be greatly appreciated. I am leaving on July 4th. THANK YOU!

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Old 05-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfmoneymaker View Post
I have a friend who with no prior experience went to full Sail for a Game Development degree and now works as a Lead Programmer for Kings Isle entertainment Inc. in Ausin.
You are heavily assuming that you will get the same result if you walk the same or similar path. This is not the case. While it is possible to get the same result, you also have to consider the worse case scenario.

What happens if you can't find the job you want afterwards?
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:02 PM   #8
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What happens if you can't find the job you want afterwards?
Consider that one carefully... I have a BSc (Honours) in Computer & Video Games development. During my final year I was the programmer on two contract games - one went on display at an exhibition for the "Cultural Capital of Europe", the other was an educational program used in schools throughout Austria. I graduated with a fairly good grade, thinking that getting a new full time job would be fairly easy with all of that... instead it was more than 8 months of constant applications before I landed a job in the industry, and even that was only as a minimum wage mobile games tester. Which took me 10 months to work my way out of, down into the programming team. In that position I worked on some pretty epic titles... Sonic the Hedgehog, several classic Atari games (super breakout, pong, asteroids deluxe), a Monkeyball game, 2 Lemmings games. but still... after leaving that job (the company was aquired, & they dropped all of the employees in our office) it took another 4 months to find a new job, and again that was only a 6 week testing job.

So you see even with experience, qualifications & a lot of contacts in the industry, you can still go for a long time where you can't get a job, or can't only get a low pay one. Plan for the very worst, hope for the very best.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:20 AM   #9
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If you don't know could you hint me in on a way to contact HR departments of various developers?
Same way you contact anyone else. Email and phone. Look at the careers section of company websites for contact details.

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is it realistic of me to hope that I will have a job in the industry that will allow for at least that much?
See all the above replies. In summary, you can't guarantee you will get a job at the end of it. You can 'hope' you get a job at the end of it but with 50k in fees, you may want plan what you could do if you don't get a job in games.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:54 AM   #10
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If you are the same person that emailed me, I sent you an email back last night
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