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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed a ton of advertising on TV, radio, and internet recently for private schools offering expensive gaming degrees for making someone a game developer.

An aquaintance of mine who is rather old and nowhere in his life signed up for one at the tax payers expense after getting himself fired from his last job. That's another story for another day.

What I want to know is, are these schools the scams I think they are? Most people I know who go to "art" or "culinary" or other "specialty" schools such as uphostery repair end up making sandwiches at Subway.

Judging by the number of private schools heavily marketing this at a time when many people qualify for tax payer funded education seems kind of suspicious. I doubt any of these people will actually find work in the field they are studying.
 

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Depends on your skill, if it is something you are actually good at, instead of just kinda liking the idea of being a game designer, you can make damn good money, and if you need a degree to get the job, those schools may be useful to you.
 

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Judging by the number of private schools heavily marketing this at a time when many people qualify for tax payer funded education seems kind of suspicious. I doubt any of these people will actually find work in the field they are studying.
This really depends on the person and the school.

Full Sail in Orlando has an amazing reputation and is fully certified and accredited as a college. But Universal Studios is in Orlando...and that allows for them to help place their students int he industry.

At least you credits transfer if it doesn't work out.

That being said. If you choose a major with a limited amount of jobs...you can kind of expect the competition will be high...and I would imagine the Gaming Industry has their choice of very talented people to choose from.
 

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It is not just programming. There are a ton of different skills involved in creating games. But from my reading of it, it is like the movies. You have to both have talent and a work ethic.
 

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It is not just programming. There are a ton of different skills involved in creating games. But from my reading of it, it is like the movies. You have to both have talent and a work ethic.
Not to mention creativity in story line. There are a lot of technical issues at hand...You simply have to know what you are doing to get in this industry.
 

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Here in the Bay Area, there is Expression New Media. They have a rigorous program and they work aggressively to place their top students. I know several very qualified people to come out of their game audio program. They now work at Sony, Electronic Arts, and Sledgehammer/Activision.

One cannot get a notion that they would like to try game development and expect to succeed. As said above, it is incredibly competitive.
 

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I'm curious what the percentage of graduates find jobs in the field.
I would think some of these programs are too new to even come up with placement figures. :dunno:
 

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Gaming is a big industry and most people just don't realize how big. As a whole, it generates more revenue than Hollywood. It's been on a steady rise for several reasons, but not the least of which is that kids who played games grew up to be adults who spent money on games for themselves and their children and because it's cheaper than ever to play.

It was bound to have its own degree focus sooner or later, just as film does. The bulk of work that goes into games are the same basic skills you'd find in other fields. The difference is that you often have more integration with other skills, and there is a lot of practical information specifically for gaming that can be communicated in a classroom.

There are a lot of worthless gaming school programs, but there are also some great ones. The good ones have a lot of respect in the industry and work hard to help with job placement opportunities. They may get a raised eyebrow from people who are ignorant about these things ("You learned to make games? We need serious workers."), but the fact is that people who graduate from the better of these programs come out with a more practical, well-rounded education and more ready to work (in a number of industries) than a whole lot of other degrees--pretty much any liberal arts degree, for starters. And if the game industry doesn't work out for you, you have the skills, experience on your resume, and ability to fill in the checkbox that says "bachelors" on a job application to get a job outside the industry.
 

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I'm curious what the percentage of graduates find jobs in the field.
I would think some of these programs are too new to even come up with placement figures. :dunno:
I don't have statistics handy (I've seen some in the past, but don't recall even what they looked like), but Full Sail University, for example, is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which has minimum standards for post-graduation employment to maintain accreditation (70% employment rate for graduates is the minimum, which isn't saying much, but it's better than a lot of old scams.).

I know that graduates from Full Sail and some other programs are getting placed from hearing people in the industry talk. I just don't have numbers. Employment in the gaming industry is FAR more about what's in your portfolio than where your degree is from, though, and the good gaming degree programs are certainly structured for that reality.
 

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OK, everyone I know who went to ITT Tech, The Art Institute, Diving Academy, Basket Weaving University is making $12 in low level service jobs. Yes, the jobs for gaming are out there, but programming is not an easy gig, and it takes a person with serious talent and skill to succeed in the field from what I've seen.

I doubt many of the people who sign up for these courses (like this guy who is a hardcore gamer and thinks it will be like getting paid to play video games) have the talent or the work ethic to succeed in the field.
 

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I have noticed a ton of advertising on TV, radio, and internet recently for private schools offering expensive gaming degrees for making someone a game developer.

An aquaintance of mine who is rather old and nowhere in his life signed up for one at the tax payers expense after getting himself fired from his last job. That's another story for another day.

What I want to know is, are these schools the scams I think they are? Most people I know who go to "art" or "culinary" or other "specialty" schools such as uphostery repair end up making sandwiches at Subway.

Judging by the number of private schools heavily marketing this at a time when many people qualify for tax payer funded education seems kind of suspicious. I doubt any of these people will actually find work in the field they are studying.
Nailed it.

I keep seeing ads on TV for 'The School of Culinary Arts'....while SO MANY restaurants have gone out of business.

MOST people NO NOT qualify for any 'paid schooling' . Places like this school are preying on the millions who are out of work, and desperate...and have not thought it through.

I just shake my head when I see those ads.

There is another ad I've seen a lot: 'Be a health care aide, or a dental assistant'. And they show somebody walking down a hospital corridor, wearing scrubs, or standing around a dentist's office.

Hospitals are laying people off, because so many people have lost jobs with paid health insurance. Bed census; the number of people in hospitals every day, is still down from 2007 levels.

Same with dental patients: fewer people have dental insurance, than before the economy went into the crapper.

Many people who USED to have jobs with medical and dental insurance now have jobs that DON'T.

They aren't hiring entry level people, people who have just graduated from schools with 1 year, or less, of 'specialized training' and no real degree, because there is a pool of experienced people, who have been laid off, that they can hire for the same entry level wages.
 

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I remember when Full Sail was a gimmick, advertising in the back of Mix Magazine, etc. Back in the bad old days someone who came to us from Full Sail would start exactly where someone else off the street started - cleaning toilets or wrapping hundreds of feet of signal, speaker or power cable.

Times have changed.

'Drew
 
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