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Video game courses a waste of time, say computer bosses watch

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    Britain's multi-million-pound computer games industry has criticised universities for offering gaming degrees that fail to equip students for work.

    Some of the country’s leading firms complain that many courses lack vital computing, maths or art and animation skills.

    Their comments will reignite debate that too many universities are offering ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees with little job relevance.

    The number of computer games degrees on offer in Britain has almost doubled over the past three years to more than 80.

    But Skillset, the body that represents the ‘creative media’ industry, has only approved four courses as fully meeting employers’ needs.

    Jamie MacDonald, the vice-president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Europe, said: ‘I can’t remember the last time I employed someone from them.’

    Meanwhile Britain, which gave the world Lara Croft, the heroine of Tomb Raider, is losing its hold on the global games market, worth an estimated £18billion a year. More than 200 British firms

    are backing ‘Games Up?’ – a campaign to highlight threats to the UK industry, such as a shortage of suitable graduates.

    David Braben of the Frontier Developments studio said he was ‘shocked and surprised’ at how little some graduates knew.

    The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills said it was down to the individual institutions to decide course content.
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    Game Development is seen as a "cop-out" however it should be a profession. I considered it as my degree, BUT the course content didn't impress me.

    So I agree with him on that.
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    Hm, I've read quite a number of news reports perpetuating the same (correct) information. Firstly, I hope they don't put people off studying a games degree altogether. Second, I've talked to a number of people on TSR (who want to read a games degree at uni) that haven't heard of Skillset, or their accredited courses. I guess this is down to equal measures of lack of research on their part, and lack of convenient information available. Also, 3 out of 4 of the Skillset approved courses are in Scotland, and 1 is in Wales, which doesn't bode well for attracting the majority of UK's population.

    (Original post by Nitrus)
    I considered it as my degree, BUT the course content didn't impress me.
    What courses did you research?
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    If you want to go into games development then you would be much better served studying computer science or software engineering than an actual games degree. Heck, you'd be better off with a maths or physics degree imo.
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    IMHO the universities offering games degrees ought to revised (and improve) their course content to perhap include the relevant maths + physics content as it is very disheartening to see that games degrees (very specialized degrees) are worse than non-computing degrees like maths/physics.
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    I do feel sorry for students enrolling to a degree and be conned into thinking it's something it's not.
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    Going to the Manchester University Computer Science Open day, they told us that they have strong connections with EA, who have apparentally said, that they mush prefer Computer Science graduates to people who have actually studied games related degrees, and that they find Computer Science graduates have better knowledge and a better way of thinking to people who have studied games degrees.
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    This seems to be a world wide thing. In America they have game dev orientated universities(Full sail, Digipen) that cost tens of thousands of dollers to go to, and are loaded with compulsory math modules. Yet all the reviews and discussions of these schools say that a CS degree is still favoured by employers.

    This indicates to me a degree in "game development" is never going to be taken as seriously as Computer Science by employers nomatter how good it is.
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    (Original post by INTit)
    This seems to be a world wide thing. In America they have game dev orientated universities(Full sail, Digipen) that cost tens of thousands of dollers to go to, and are loaded with compulsory math modules. Yet all the reviews and discussions of these schools say that a CS degree is still favoured by employers.

    This indicates to me a degree in "game development" is never going to be taken as seriously as Computer Science by employers nomatter how good it is.
    on this note, dont you think it would be wise, for say the head of the departments of maybe, imperial, bristol, york warwick....... (kent - bias :teeth:) to get in contact with some of these companies, find out what they would desire sepcifically from a course of this nature and then implement and teach it? that way all of this would be avoided?
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    (Original post by jermaindefoe)
    on this note, dont you think it would be wise, for say the head of the departments of maybe, imperial, bristol, york warwick....... (kent - bias :teeth:) to get in contact with some of these companies, find out what they would desire sepcifically from a course of this nature and then implement and teach it?
    They do. It's called computer science.
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    I would have thought that getting a more general computer science education would always have been seen as more valuable than a specialised game design degree anyway.
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    Yep. I was thinking of looking into games dev courses, but after a bit of looking, its pretty easy to find out that most companies prefer CS gradss. Most will also prefer maths and physics grads to people who have done games dev courses too.
 
 
 
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