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Old 06-25-2008, 09:41 AM   #1
jillduffy
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Default U.K. game programming crisis?

http://education.guardian.co.uk/high...287204,00.html

I'd love to hear comments and reactions to this article, particularly from our community members living, working, or studying in the U.K.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
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Nearly all degree courses in video gaming at British universities leave graduates unfit to work in the industry, campaigners warned today.
Agree to an extent. Better ones are turning but the vast majority do leave graduates unfit to work in the industry. 95% sound a little high.

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The UK studio sector is facing a serious recruitment crisis, compounded by the decline in the number of maths, physics and computer science graduates, the campaigners warned.
Can't comment since I am not in a recruitment seat but given the physical size of the industry, I don't think there is that large of a crisis if any.

The Post graduate course I did (which isn't Skillset accredited), the year I attended 95% of us are in the industry as programmers. The other 5% is unknown because simply I lost contact with them.

The flipside is to ask why graduates should choose the games industry. After all, most other industries for the same trade is most likely pay more and have (arguably) better job stability.

Maybe there is something that the Government and the Industry can do to change this to make it a much more attractive career path.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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Did you go through a Skillset accredited program, Yaustar?

The majority of the claims this article makes are in reference to unaccredited programs.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jillduffy View Post
Did you go through a Skillset accredited program, Yaustar?

The majority of the claims this article makes are in reference to unaccredited programs.
No, I didn't. The BSc would have been part of the 95% in my opinion but the MSc belonged in the 5%.

Edit: There is also the argument the ones that do make it into the industry would have done regardless of which course they did. The course helps but it is not the deciding factor.

Last edited by yaustar : 06-25-2008 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:16 AM   #5
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I'm surprised that there's no mention at all in the article of one big problem with recruitment in the UK at the moment, which is that many good people are choosing to work abroad instead of staying in the UK - the work in other countries is simply often much more attractive than in the UK, and that's not the fault of the education infrastructure, it's the fault of the industry itself...

UK games companies can blame the lack of educational standards all they want for their recruitment problems, but that's not going to change the fact that people in the UK games industry are generally very under paid and very over worked... It's changing slowly, but a more forward thinking work culture in the industry would go way further to fixing recruitment problems than sticking a 'Skillset' sticker on a few more college prospectuses...
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by zenobuk View Post
I'm surprised that there's no mention at all in the article of one big problem with recruitment in the UK at the moment, which is that many good people are choosing to work abroad instead of staying in the UK - the work in other countries is simply often much more attractive than in the UK, and that's not the fault of the education infrastructure, it's the fault of the industry itself...
At the moment, other countries governments are offering taxbreaks to games companies, something that the industry in the UK is trying to convince the government to do.

Regardless, it still doesn't change the fact a lot of 'games' degrees are poor quality.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:57 AM   #7
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Someting similar to this was on the BBC and GameIndustry.biz a few days ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
No, I didn't. The BSc would have been part of the 95% in my opinion but the MSc belonged in the 5%.
The straight Computer Science BSc I am doing at the moment is quite pathetic too to be honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
There is also the argument the ones that do make it into the industry would have done regardless of which course they did. The course helps but it is not the deciding factor.
I totally agree.

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Originally Posted by Article
Many students also undertake work placements, team-based projects and internships within industry to get experience at studios.
Really? This is news to me because I couldn't find anywhere that offered technical internships except the Microsoft group and BlitzGames. I even travelled up to the London Games Career Fair in order to talk to professionals about potential placement opportunities.

I suppose game-specific degree may have closer ties to the industry and therefore more opportunities for students.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Adrir View Post
Really? This is news to me because I couldn't find anywhere that offered technical internships except the Microsoft group and BlitzGames. I even travelled up to the London Games Career Fair in order to talk to professionals about potential placement opportunities.

I suppose game-specific degree may have closer ties to the industry and therefore more opportunities for students.
EA, Rare, Blitz, Frontier, Codemasters IIRC all offer internships but the number of places are small compared to the demand.

Other companies also do them but offhand I can't give a full list of companies.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
EA, Rare, Blitz, Frontier, Codemasters IIRC all offer internships but the number of places are small compared to the demand.

Other companies also do them but offhand I can't give a full list of companies.
Indeed, although it doesn't matter now anyway. I'm getting coding experience outside the industry.
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