Are degrees for degree sake, worth it? (Rant)

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Natural-Trash5
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#1
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#1
Last year I wanted to do a game dev degree but I soon found on multiple forums here that it's generally not worth it and Computer science graduates are preferred for the games programming role than game dev graduates. However, it is unfortunate that I hated my A-level computer science course. The teacher was monotone, never smiled and I found the subject matter draining. It was the theory, I found the most draining, the programing was alright.

With this in mind, I'm applying for both Mechanical engineering and games/software engineering. Then on the side, I can pursue the risky unpaid stuff that actually gives me joy in life. Because while my gut is telling me I'm going to hate the **** soul-draining 9-5, at some point, I have to accept that I have to grow up and that money is what keeps us all alive. Furthermore in the UK, it seems that employers still respec that piece of paper called a degree.
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artful_lounger
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#2
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Just do the degree you actually want to study and make a point of making yourself employable. At the end of the day the degree you study is not going to usually make you more or less employable than another option unless it's specifically required for accreditation purposes in a particular field (e.g. engineering, healthcare professions).

Note that for the games industry as well, games programming is just one area of a very large industry. Games programmers are not games designers nor game artists, and all three broadly fall into various definitions of "game developer". If you don't like programming and CS then don't do it - approach the industry from another direction which suits your interests and strengths.
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Blue_Cow
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#3
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Finding suitable work experience during the degree to build up your CV is especially hard for something like games dev. Not that many studios in the UK and ones that do exist seldom offer internships. Why is it that you want to go into game dev? I know a few people in the industry and it isn't as great as it sounds re: pay and hours.
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Natural-Trash5
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#4
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#4
(Original post by artful_lounger)
Just do the degree you actually want to study and make a point of making yourself employable. At the end of the day the degree you study is not going to usually make you more or less employable than another option unless it's specifically required for accreditation purposes in a particular field (e.g. engineering, healthcare professions).

Note that for the games industry as well, games programming is just one area of a very large industry. Games programmers are not games designers nor game artists, and all three broadly fall into various definitions of "game developer". If you don't like programming and CS then don't do it - approach the industry from another direction which suits your interests and strengths.
Thank you for this. I don't know how some people have 'Passion' for stuff. If you have it in something how did you find it?
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Natural-Trash5
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#5
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Finding suitable work experience during the degree to build up your CV is especially hard for something like games dev. Not that many studios in the UK and ones that do exist seldom offer internships. Why is it that you want to go into game dev? I know a few people in the industry and it isn't as great as it sounds re: pay and hours.
I think I like programming games. I did a small project in my gap year and found it rewarding. However, it is true that I might be more caught up with the way it seems than the way it actually is. In a spoilt way, I don't like the idea of 9-5.
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Blue_Cow
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Natural-Trash5)
I think I like programming games. I did a small project in my gap year and found it rewarding. However, it is true that I might be more caught up with the way it seems than the way it actually is. In a spoilt way, I don't like the idea of 9-5.
I'm glad you don't like 9-5 because in the games industry it's more like 9-9.
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artful_lounger
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#7
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(Original post by Natural-Trash5)
Thank you for this. I don't know how some people have 'Passion' for stuff. If you have it in something how did you find it?
Well I started the wrong way around, doing what you are thinking and starting an engineering degree because it has "good prospects". I then realised it's no better or worse than any other degree unless you specifically want to be an engineer, which I quickly discovered I didn't, and my mental health ended up falling apart over the course of a couple years forcing myself to try and do that degree despite hating it.

In the end I left the course, spent a few years working in random jobs, then by chance did an OU module in Greek language which I really enjoyed - I figured since I liked it, I'd just try and continue doing that kind of stuff, which led me to my current CertHE at SOAS where I'm studying Sanskrit! I've no idea what I might do afterwards but, crucially, whether I study Sanskrit, Greek and Latin, engineering, or underwater basketweaving, my job prospects are basically the same and dependent on my work experience and how well I translate that in an application, not what subject I studied.

Figuring out what to do in terms of a job is another matter entirely but that is some ways off and I have a decent admin role (i.e. better than customer service work or something) I'm working in for the meantime so that's fine. You just need to get out of the mindset that degree = career when it really doesn't; a degree doesn't even = a job unless you're studying medicine!
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