Should I avoid limiting myself to a single aspiration?

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egomonad
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Hello,

I am applying for Computer Science and I wish my career to be that of game development and nothing else, but if that were to fail I would instead do software development. Is it okay if in my personal statement, like on an opening line where it matters, I limit myself to said single aspiration (of game development)? I could mention farther in the personal statement that I have back-up plans such as software development or engineering. Also, the courses I'm applying to are relevant to but not exclusive to game development. If within an opening line or the whole personal statement I only highlight my exclusive aspiration of game development, should I expect certain admissions tutors to consider me too narrow-minded? Note, I am 100% sure on my single aspiration, in that it's not a case of not being able to think of anything else I might be good at, but game development is most definitely the best choice. Any ideas?

Kind Regards, monad
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alleycat393
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(Original post by egomonad)
Hello,

I am applying for Computer Science and I wish my career to be that of game development and nothing else, but if that were to fail I would instead do software development. Is it okay if in my personal statement, like on an opening line where it matters, I limit myself to said single aspiration (of game development)? I could mention farther in the personal statement that I have back-up plans such as software development or engineering. Also, the courses I'm applying to are relevant to but not exclusive to game development. If within an opening line or the whole personal statement I only highlight my exclusive aspiration of game development, should I expect certain admissions tutors to consider me too narrow-minded? Note, I am 100% sure on my single aspiration, in that it's not a case of not being able to think of anything else I might be good at, but game development is most definitely the best choice. Any ideas?

Kind Regards, monad
You don't need to talk about your career aspirations at all. You need to show an academic interest in the subject and a broad range of interests within it so that admissions officers know that you have a realistic idea of what will be taught. Being narrow minded at this stage is not a good idea as a lot can change over time.
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egomonad
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(Original post by alleycat393)
You don't need to talk about your career aspirations at all. You need to show an academic interest in the subject and a broad range of interests within it so that admissions officers know that you have a realistic idea of what will be taught. Being narrow minded at this stage is not a good idea as a lot can change over time.
The reason I wish to explain my career aspiration is to demonstrate the extent of my passion for game development onto the rest of my life (so to show my enthusiasm). Also, most of the modules in the courses I'm applying for are ingredients to game development (and also other things), where some of the rest may serve as knowledge for my back-up plan and also to generally expand my understanding.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by egomonad)
The reason I wish to explain my career aspiration is to demonstrate the extent of my passion for game development onto the rest of my life (so to show my enthusiasm). Also, most of the modules in the courses I'm applying for are ingredients to game development (and also other things), where some of the rest may serve as knowledge for my back-up plan and also to generally expand my understanding.
Your PS is about your academic interest in the subject and is not a job application. As I said before you need to demonstrate a broad interest in the subject and not just focus on one thing.

Just tagging in PQ who's area of expertise this is.
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egomonad
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Your PS is about your academic interest in the subject and is not a job application. As I said before you need to demonstrate a broad interest in the subject and not just focus on one thing.

Just tagging in PQ who's area of expertise this is.
From my understanding, from school to college to University to a career choice, what you are learning and doing becomes ever-more narrow. The goal of each stage is to show you more specifically what there is in your chosen interests and let you decide on your specialisation. Even if one is determined to do a single, specific thing it does not necessarily mean that relevant subject areas cannot benefit your career-path or cannot be interesting to you, it's usually quite the opposite. Through having a very specific goal you can derive much greater motivation and persistence to learn whatever is necessary to achieve said goal, so in having a very specific aspiration does one to have the potential to carry greater enthusiasm? Enthusiasm being what the admissions tutors value. I plan to demonstrate branching interests later within my personal statement, but the reason I am applying to university is to fill the gaps in my knowledge and expand my general computer science understanding to have a successful game development career. Being honest and straight-forward in my personal statement leaves me no choice but to explain my reason for applying to a computing course as a stepping stone to a game development career. Everything else is an expansion of my generic understanding to benefit this goal or a back-up plan. With that in mind, am I destined to get into a bad university or employment in general if I am this focused? Is the only way to get into a good university (assuming I have the grades) only achievable through dishonesty or major exaggeration within my personal statement and/or interviews?

I hope the nature of this reply is not mistaken for that of a rant, I'm just presenting the summary of my understanding such that its flaws can be highlighted and thus I can better write my personal statement.

Kind Regards, monad
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alleycat393
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(Original post by egomonad)
...
Really sorry but I don't have the time to read this You asked for advice and as a PS reviewer with several years of experience and someone with loads of uni level teaching experience I have give you some. If you plan to do your own thing anyway there's no point in asking for advice. This is your PS, your application and your future. Good luck!
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PQ
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(Original post by egomonad)
From my understanding, from school to college to University to a career choice, what you are learning and doing becomes ever-more narrow. The goal of each stage is to show you more specifically what there is in your chosen interests and let you decide on your specialisation. Even if one is determined to do a single, specific thing it does not necessarily mean that relevant subject areas cannot benefit your career-path or cannot be interesting to you, it's usually quite the opposite. Through having a very specific goal you can derive much greater motivation and persistence to learn whatever is necessary to achieve said goal, so in having a very specific aspiration does one to have the potential to carry greater enthusiasm? Enthusiasm being what the admissions tutors value. I plan to demonstrate branching interests later within my personal statement, but the reason I am applying to university is to fill the gaps in my knowledge and expand my general computer science understanding to have a successful game development career. Being honest and straight-forward in my personal statement leaves me no choice but to explain my reason for applying to a computing course as a stepping stone to a game development career. Everything else is an expansion of my generic understanding to benefit this goal or a back-up plan. With that in mind, I am destined to get into a bad university or employment in general if I am this focused? Is the only way to get into a good university (assuming I have the grades) only achievable through dishonesty or major exaggeration within my personal statement and/or interviews?

I hope the nature of this reply is not mistaken for that of a rant, I'm just presenting the summary of my understanding such that its flaws can be highlighted and thus I can better write my personal statement.

Kind Regards, monad
If you're applying for a computer science degree then admissions staff are looking for an understanding of computer science and a motivation to get through 3 years of study. Your eventual goals after the degree aren't important (because we know you're likely to change your mind).

If you apply for CS courses with a PS that's very focused on games dev then anyone reading it will assume that you've misunderstood which course you're applying to or will assume you've added their CS course as a "filler" choice on your application for games dev degrees.
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egomonad
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Really sorry but I don't have the time to read this You asked for advice and as a PS reviewer with several years of experience and someone with loads of uni level teaching experience I have give you some. If you plan to do your own thing anyway there's no point in asking for advice. This is your PS, your application and your future. Good luck!
Thank you anyway. The only thing I plan on doing is the career I mentioned, but if I can write my personal statement differently without being dishonest about that then I would appreciate knowing how. Thanks again.

~

If anyone else could suggest anything that would be great, any and all feedback is appreicated!

Kind Regards, monad
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PQ
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(Original post by egomonad)
Thank you anyway. The only thing I plan on doing is the career I mentioned, but if I can write my personal statement differently without being dishonest about that then I would appreciate knowing how. Thanks again.

~

If anyone else could suggest anything that would be great, any and all feedback is appreicated!

Kind Regards, monad
I would advise applying for games dev degrees if your PS is heavily focused on games dev as your motivation for studying.
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PQ
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ETA: and I'd focus your efforts on degrees accredited by the games industry in the UK https://tiga.org/education/tiga-univ...-accreditation

(plus teesside)
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egomonad
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(Original post by PQ)
ETA: and I'd focus your efforts on degrees accredited by the games industry in the UK https://tiga.org/education/tiga-univ...-accreditation

(plus teesside)
I specifically want to do programming and the technical/engineering side of game development for my university course. To understand the technical side of game development better anyway. So some of the accredited courses I do not wish to study as they are game design and art-related, not programming. Note: I know some of them are software development.

The courses I am thinking of studying in the first place were, Computer Science if no specific course is available, but generally most of my choices are akin to `Computer Science (Games, Vision and Interaction)`. My highest aspiring uni has the course: `Computing (Visual Computing and Robotics) - Formerly Titled Games, Vision and Interaction`.

In my PS I can and will demonstrate a strong understanding of computer science. As for the problems with being narrow-minded, I wish to express that my aspiration for a game development career will not change. And this very thing I wish also to demonstrate that my aspiration given its narrow-scope will provide the necessary motivation to get through 3 years of study.

Finally, if I can get the necessary grades would it not be better to study at a better university, with a course like "Computer Science (Visual Computing and Robotics) for game development, instead of the software development/game dev courses?
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egomonad
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(Original post by PQ)
ETA: and I'd focus your efforts on degrees accredited by the games industry in the UK https://tiga.org/education/tiga-univ...-accreditation

(plus teesside)
Also: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=2754811

Most of this thread seems to support Computer Science and even electrical engineering over game-specific courses. I personally think computer science is even more suitable for me because I find maths more natural.
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PQ
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(Original post by egomonad)
I specifically want to do programming and the technical/engineering side of game development for my university course. To understand the technical side of game development better anyway. So some of the accredited courses I do not wish to study as they are game design and art-related, not programming. Note: I know some of them are software development.

The courses I am thinking of studying in the first place were, Computer Science if no specific course is available, but generally most of my choices are akin to `Computer Science (Games, Vision and Interaction)`. My highest aspiring uni has the course: `Computing (Visual Computing and Robotics) - Formerly Titled Games, Vision and Interaction`.

In my PS I can and will demonstrate a strong understanding of computer science. As for the problems with being narrow-minded, I wish to express that my aspiration for a game development career will not change. And this very thing I wish also to demonstrate that my aspiration given its narrow-scope will provide the necessary motivation to get through 3 years of study.

Finally, if I can get the necessary grades would it not be better to study at a better university, with a course like "Computer Science (Visual Computing and Robotics) for game development, instead of the software development/game dev courses?
My response is unchanged
(Original post by PQ)
I would advise applying for games dev degrees if your PS is heavily focused on games dev as your motivation for studying.
(Original post by PQ)
ETA: and I'd focus your efforts on degrees accredited by the games industry in the UK https://tiga.org/education/tiga-univ...-accreditation

(plus teesside)
If you look closely at the Imperial course you'll see it is heavily focused on robotics - there's a reason they changed the title in 2016 when the new competition and marketing rules came into force for UK universities - (after spending 2 years studying exactly the same content as people doing a Computing with Management and Finance degree) - and the industry placements don't look particularly relevant for games industry jobs http://www.imperial.ac.uk/computing/...ts/placements/ and they take fewer than 10 students a year onto their Games pathway....talk to them directly about how many of their graduates of the course go on to games dev jobs.

Even better - speak to games companies in the UK and ask THEM which courses they recommend. If this is what you're 100% committed to then don't spend a lot of time and money studying something that isn't what your future employers recommend.
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egomonad
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(Original post by PQ)
My response is unchanged




If you look closely at the Imperial course you'll see it is heavily focused on robotics - there's a reason they changed the title in 2016 when the new competition and marketing rules came into force for UK universities - (after spending 2 years studying exactly the same content as people doing a Computing with Management and Finance degree) - and the industry placements don't look particularly relevant for games industry jobs http://www.imperial.ac.uk/computing/...ts/placements/ and they take fewer than 10 students a year onto their Games pathway....talk to them directly about how many of their graduates of the course go on to games dev jobs.

Even better - speak to games companies in the UK and ask THEM which courses they recommend. If this is what you're 100% committed to then don't spend a lot of time and money studying something that isn't what your future employers recommend.
For a computing (software engineering) can I then instead mainly speak of how programming is fascinating to me? I would particularly enjoy explaining my desire to use it in terms of game development but I have a genuine interest in it as a tool for more than just game development. Or should I mention ALSO anything of software design (not programming) and any/all of the theory between solid-state electronics and programming theory like hardware etc? So like not focus just on programming or if I just speak of programming for the sake of problem-solving and innovation would that suffice?

Kind Regards, monad
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futuresomething
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I think a single aspiration will kill you, your body needs oxygen, take multiple aspirations
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egomonad
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(Original post by futuresomething)
I think a simple aspiration is will kill you, your body needs oxygen, take multiple aspirations
I have already established that talking mainly of game development in my personal statement isn't good. And I generally have various aspirations aside from the personal statement that I do not wish to focus on in the introduction because it's about computing... On the other hand, my current problem is if talking mainly of programming as opposed to all within computer science, for a computing (software engineering) degree, is too narrow. For the introduction and most of the personal statement that is. You can always go broader but some things are sufficient and can be explained in a way that will appeal to most admissions officers, is a focus on programming one of these things?
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futuresomething
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(Original post by egomonad)
I have already established that talking mainly of game development in my personal statement isn't good. And I generally have various aspirations aside from the personal statement that I do not wish to focus on in the introduction because it's about computing... On the other hand, my current problem is if talking mainly of programming as opposed to all within computer science, for a computing (software engineering) degree, is too narrow. For the introduction and most of the personal statement that is. You can always go broader but some things are sufficient and can be explained in a way that will appeal to most admissions officers, is a focus on programming one of these things?
wow I meant "I think a single aspiration will kill you, your body needs oxygen, take multiple aspirations" as a joke, can't believe I made that many typos lmaoo
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by egomonad)
From my understanding, from school to college to University to a career choice, what you are learning and doing becomes ever-more narrow.
You need to step away from the screen for a while, come back to it afresh and simply read what people have been telling you, because you don't seem to be absorbing it.

Your foundational error seems to be based in the quote above. School to College to University to Career choice is not ever-more narrow. There are many more degree courses available than A level courses, there a very many more entry level jobs available than there are degree courses, and then careers fan out in entirely individual directions after that.

The evidence is that, no-ever how passionately held now, the chances are that they won't be the same by the time you graduate. Because of that variability/changeability of goal, your Personal Statement, as previous posters have tried to tell you is not usefully justified by an end goal. It is better based upon your qualifications, your experience, your interests and then the possibility of future goals.
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egomonad
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
You need to step away from the screen for a while, come back to it afresh and simply read what people have been telling you, because you don't seem to be absorbing it.

Your foundational error seems to be based in the quote above. School to College to University to Career choice is not ever-more narrow. There are many more degree courses available than A level courses, there a very many more entry level jobs available than there are degree courses, and then careers fan out in entirely individual directions after that.

The evidence is that, no-ever how passionately held now, the chances are that they won't be the same by the time you graduate. Because of that variability/changeability of goal, your Personal Statement, as previous posters have tried to tell you is not usefully justified by an end goal. It is better based upon your qualifications, your experience, your interests and then the possibility of future goals.
I think it's more likely that there was a misunderstanding. By ever-more narrow I mean that, the aggregate of everything you learn and do per year, becomes more narrow from school to college to university to career. Not your choices of what you can study and practice, but what you actually end up doing realistically. In school you may be forced to do a diversity of options that are barely relevant to each other, in college you have a selection of a few to several, but in university it's just one field/subject and sometimes joint ones. Careers end up being a very specific application of one particular field. That's what I mean.

In my personal statement I had already planned to speak of my qualifications, experiences and various interests in any case. But for my introduction and/or conclusion I thought it might be worth mentioning: that my passion for a specific career, which is very unlike the vast majority of peers and friends I am in contact with, may serve to boost my motivation for and dedication in study. Any of this make sense or do we still have some form of misunderstanding?

Kind Regards, monad
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by egomonad)
.......
The summary everyone is trying to give you is that life doesn't work out like that, jobs aren't like that and yes, you should avoid limiting yourself to a single aspiration.
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