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    Hi,
    I am currently a student In College and I will be attending University In September. I am in a dilema about my choices of courses so I thought it'd be good receiving others opinions. I have applied for a variety of courses General Computing, Computer Science and Computer Games Technology. The games course definitely interests me most however it is uncommon therefore I feel a bit undecisive. A lot of people doing Computing chooese Computer Science I'd like to know why, I would really prefer choosing the games technology degree but Is it seen as a good degree/potential jobs from the course?. If anyone who is on Computer Games Technology course can give me an insight of it and possibly people who have graduated and are now in a job.
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    I do a game computing course, only first year but basically it's coding, maths and then more in depth look at computers and stuff that helps with coding.
    Of course you also do a lot of game design and looking into the games industry.
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    Hmm i asked lionhead (fable developers) about this a couple year backs, and this is what they replied:

    Hi Josh,

    I’m a programmer from Lionhead Studios. Thanks for your mail – it’s nice to see a programmer eager enough to seek advice! We get a few emails a year from students asking for help like you did, but usually it’s only artists. I don’t know why this is.

    Before I answer your questions it might help to put my thoughts in some context: I’ve been in the industry for 4 years, Lionhead for 2. This kind of puts me in the “standard programmer” bracket – not junior, but not senior. Obviously there are a lot of guys and gals here with a lot more experience, but I think everyone is able to have an opinion on University education.

    In regards to your choices, I personally opted exactly for Route 2. I did a Computer Games Programming course at the University of Teesside, which was – back then – the best course in the UK for CGP. I enjoyed it immensely, and I definitely got motivated because I knew for sure that everything I learned or did was relevant to my career. I graduated with a First, and moved on to get an MSc from Bournemouth University, also top in the country for (film) computer graphics. I learned a lot here, but it was expensive, and I’m still paying my £12,000 loan on that today.

    If I were to offer you any recommendation, it would be this: Do a degree that motivates you and that you’re passionate about, and then get a job. My motivation for this advice stems from:

    1) Doing a generic computer science degree keeps your doors open, but it means you’re learning a bunch of stuff that you might not be interested in, or you’ll learn loads of stuff that won’t be as useful in your chosen path. The stigma attached to Games courses these days is pretty diminished, and only real snobs would reject you for it. Personally I couldn’t stand to learn Perl or anything like that. I’d be bored to tears.

    2) Don’t do a Masters unless you really, really feel you need to. It’ll throw you deep into debt and will only increase your annual salary by £2k or so. You’ll learn more in one year in the industry than you will in four Masters degrees. I’d only advise doing a Masters if, at the end of your degree, your portfolio isn’t up to scratch or you’re not able to find work.

    3) An industrial experience degree can be hit and miss. Don’t expect a placement at Valve: odds are you’ll probably end up in some crappy studio doing gruntwork on some ****ty Barbie title. Of course, this isn’t always the case, as Lionhead do take interns. I’d still say go for it, but don’t expect miracles.

    I hope that helps you! Feel free to reply with any questions. Good luck with your choice and I hope you enjoy the next four years!

    hope that helps
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    (Original post by Just Josh)
    Hmm i asked lionhead (fable developers) about this a couple year backs, and this is what they replied:

    Hi Josh,

    I’m a programmer from Lionhead Studios. Thanks for your mail – it’s nice to see a programmer eager enough to seek advice! We get a few emails a year from students asking for help like you did, but usually it’s only artists. I don’t know why this is.

    Before I answer your questions it might help to put my thoughts in some context: I’ve been in the industry for 4 years, Lionhead for 2. This kind of puts me in the “standard programmer” bracket – not junior, but not senior. Obviously there are a lot of guys and gals here with a lot more experience, but I think everyone is able to have an opinion on University education.

    In regards to your choices, I personally opted exactly for Route 2. I did a Computer Games Programming course at the University of Teesside, which was – back then – the best course in the UK for CGP. I enjoyed it immensely, and I definitely got motivated because I knew for sure that everything I learned or did was relevant to my career. I graduated with a First, and moved on to get an MSc from Bournemouth University, also top in the country for (film) computer graphics. I learned a lot here, but it was expensive, and I’m still paying my £12,000 loan on that today.

    If I were to offer you any recommendation, it would be this: Do a degree that motivates you and that you’re passionate about, and then get a job. My motivation for this advice stems from:

    1) Doing a generic computer science degree keeps your doors open, but it means you’re learning a bunch of stuff that you might not be interested in, or you’ll learn loads of stuff that won’t be as useful in your chosen path. The stigma attached to Games courses these days is pretty diminished, and only real snobs would reject you for it. Personally I couldn’t stand to learn Perl or anything like that. I’d be bored to tears.

    2) Don’t do a Masters unless you really, really feel you need to. It’ll throw you deep into debt and will only increase your annual salary by £2k or so. You’ll learn more in one year in the industry than you will in four Masters degrees. I’d only advise doing a Masters if, at the end of your degree, your portfolio isn’t up to scratch or you’re not able to find work.

    3) An industrial experience degree can be hit and miss. Don’t expect a placement at Valve: odds are you’ll probably end up in some crappy studio doing gruntwork on some ****ty Barbie title. Of course, this isn’t always the case, as Lionhead do take interns. I’d still say go for it, but don’t expect miracles.

    I hope that helps you! Feel free to reply with any questions. Good luck with your choice and I hope you enjoy the next four years!

    hope that helps
    Thanks for that appreciate it a lot. Out of interest what pathway did you go with?

    I know choosing the Computer Games Technology is definitely the preferred choice for me. However, the CGT course is at a university that has a ranking of around 80 whilst I have an offer from Lancaster for Computer Science. The choice is really going for a University with a high league ranking Computer Science or go to low ranked University and study the degree that I will be more motivated to do.
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    (Original post by Maths94)
    Thanks for that appreciate it a lot. Out of interest what pathway did you go with?

    I know choosing the Computer Games Technology is definitely the preferred choice for me. However, the CGT course is at a university that has a ranking of around 80 whilst I have an offer from Lancaster for Computer Science. The choice is really going for a University with a high league ranking Computer Science or go to low ranked University and study the degree that I will be more motivated to do.
    In the end i'm doing a computer science degree at university of surrey. If i'm honest, a low rank computer games course vs CS at lancaster...you would have to be pretty confident to turn lancaster down. Bear in mind that if you graduate in computer science you will have most of the knowledge that you need to make games and if not, you can always do the masters. If you are going to do a videogames degree then i wouldn't go for one that isn't skillset accredited.

    This is from skillset website:

    There are currently fifteen accredited computer games degree courses:

    BA Game Art Design, De Montfort University Leicester

    BA (Hons) Games Art and Design, Norwich University College of the Arts

    BSc (Hons) Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallum University

    MSc Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallam University

    MComp Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallum University

    BA (Hons) Computer & Video Games, Southampton Solent University

    BSc(Hons) Computer Games Programming, Staffordshire University

    BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming, Teesside University

    BA (Hons) Computer Arts, University of Abertay Dundee

    BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee

    MSc Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee

    MProf Computer Games Development, University of Abertay Dundee

    BA (Hons) Computer Animation, University of Glamorgan - Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries

    MSc Games Programming, University of Hull

    BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology, University of the West of Scotland

    If i were you I would definitely go for computer science at lancaster. A computer games course at a low rank uni is way too risky. You just have to look at the graduate employment rates to realise. Also bear in mind that the games industry is an overrated place to work, and that you will be underpaid compared to your counterparts that go into technology companies (the IBM's, microsoft, intels), the banks (goldman, j.p, bank of america), and the consultancies (accenture, deloitte, capgemini). Truth is that the pay, job security and condition of the industry are so poor that i don't know anyone on my course who is thinking about going into games. It would also be a waste.

    Also bear in mind that the games industry is in decline and that hundreds are being made redundant:

    http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/micro...onhead/0104609

    Article above shows recently that lionhead cut 10% of their workforce recently. One of the most successful british studios.

    If you're really good though, you might be able to find something in canada for example where there is a thriving games industry, but it's best to be realistic.

    Unless you are absolutely sure, that you will happily sacrifice good pay, good working hours and good job security, to work in the games industry, definitely go for computer science. At the end of the day, it gives you more options, better pay, and better knowledge. And you may find something during the course that you would prefer much more than going into games anyway.

    Another article worth checking out: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...reducation.uk2
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    You have changed my whole perspective that I original had, thanks for your input. It would be great If I could hear from a variety of people as It is a massive decision.
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    I read the CGT course at Abertay, spent an industrial placement in the games industry and now work at a virtual reality and visualisation company. Despite what people on here think, there are plenty of gaming graduates working in the industry and a good games course is as academically rigorous as a good CS course. That said, a lot of universities jumped on the bandwagon with games courses and there are some pretty bad ones around. I've personally had to answer the question "but won't you be bored not working on games?" a few times, but other than that, I can't see it stopping me from working in any area of software development that I choose - it's just that I wouldn't want to work in anything that wasn't closely related. Either way, your degree is just one of many factors in gaining a job; your portfolio is more important, and should be improved in spare time to demonstrate your passion for the subject.

    (Original post by Just Josh)
    A computer games course at a low rank uni is way too risky.
    Starting a CS course that you may not find interesting enough to finish is also a risk.

    (Original post by Just Josh)
    If you are going to do a videogames degree then i wouldn't go for one that isn't skillset accredited.
    The game programming course at Derby is better than some of those accredited IMO, but that's a good rule of thumb.

    (Original post by Just Josh)
    Also bear in mind that the games industry is in decline
    No it's not - it's in a period of change. The UK industry is more splintered than it used to be, but there's arguably more opportunities now than there's ever been.

    (Original post by Maths94)
    However, the CGT course is at a university that has a ranking of around 80 whilst I have an offer from Lancaster for Computer Science.
    Ranking hasn't been mentioned in any job advertisement I've seen (hundreds) or interview process that I've undergone.
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    Two completely different opinions, anyone interested in sharing an opinion.
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    Still looking for help
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    Hi,

    I'm Chief Engineer at a software company in Sussex - on here looking for info for my daughter but saw this and thought I'd reply!

    I recruit 4 or 5 grads each year and the things I really look for are the ability to think clearly, tackle problems in a logical fashion and to give a clearly communicated explanation of what you've done and why you've done it. In my line of work, I've found that those things can come from many different courses, but it's usually easier to find them in more engineering focused degrees rather than the generic computer science. The applicants from those have tended to be broad but shallow and therefore more difficult to put to useful work unless they are superstars! A year in industry does tend to give applicants an added maturity, as can a masters through research rather than a simple taught masters.

    As one of the other replies said, go for what inspires you. That is usually easier with a more focused degree, but is also likely to make you work harder, understand more and be more passionate when subsequently applying for jobs.

    Good luck! Happy to answer any specific questions if I can.


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    I started CGT and this is my first year but I am slowly failing because I was disappointed at how the units were being delivered and I was taken completely by surprise not expecting that most of the course was group orientated. Half the course was based around a year-long project and the other for coursework and exams which includes artefacts and evidence of work from workshops and practicals. I, in turn, just didn't want to take part in group sessions because of my bad communication skills.

    I am therefore moving from CGT to Software Engineering because CGT emphasises on the art roles and not just on programming and mechanics of the games, where I enjoy programming and this can become a useful and transferrable skill to the new course.

    Before university, when applying through UCAS, I was in split minds when applying for one or the other. CGT because of gaming hobby, or Software Engineering for a rewarding career which could potentially end up in gaming industry.

    I was told by a careers advisor and lecturer that soft skills like verbal communication were prioritised for applicants who would have better chances of getting into a job, as well as experience which is also usually required.
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    (Original post by nmr1991)
    I started CGT and this is my first year but I am slowly failing because I was disappointed at how the units were being delivered and I was taken completely by surprise not expecting that most of the course was group orientated. Half the course was based around a year-long project and the other for coursework and exams which includes artefacts and evidence of work from workshops and practicals. I, in turn, just didn't want to take part in group sessions because of my bad communication skills.

    I am therefore moving from CGT to Software Engineering because CGT emphasises on the art roles and not just on programming and mechanics of the games, where I enjoy programming and this can become a useful and transferrable skill to the new course.

    Before university, when applying through UCAS, I was in split minds when applying for one or the other. CGT because of gaming hobby, or Software Engineering for a rewarding career which could potentially end up in gaming industry.

    I was told by a careers advisor and lecturer that soft skills like verbal communication were prioritised for applicants who would have better chances of getting into a job, as well as experience which is also usually required.
    Hi, thanks for the reply. I didn't think far ahead as to modules being heavily grouped work, wouldn't exactly be an personal enjoyment of mine, however I could put up with it.

    Most people doing CTF have the same ambitions, working for a games company, designing games! It does make sense especially for a gaming degree that work is primarily done in group. Due to the fact most game development companies work in large team, therefore you are gaining suitable skills for a gaming career.
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    Actually, team work is very important in almost every software job.


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    Hello!

    I take it this thread is not active anymore?
 
 
 
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