I would recommend taking online classes.
When I was in the military, online classes were pretty much my only option.
I recently got out of the military, and there were no universities near where I am living that teach anything to do with gaming. So I looked online and found quite a few online colleges that have very specific courses in game programming or game design.
The online courses may cost slightly more then normal brick and mortar schools, but you save money on gas/transportation and I find them more flexible when it comes to assignments, giving you more free time for a part time job, or practicing the skills you're learning.
The only argument I've heard besides cost is the "I like being around other people to ask questions".
This is true, but imo, only to a certain extent. Especially since we live in the age of social media/emails/forums/web conferences, etc. In my experience in online schools, I haven't felt "alone" or lost.
In the end you get the same piece of paper, and you still have to back up your diploma with your own portfolio to show off what you know.
I would also add that the universities in my area that had some sort of "tech" or "visual design" program, they weren't really about "gaming" specifically. You might get sucked into a degree plan that only gives you a handful of courses that actually tie into your gaming career desire. For example, you might get a few classes in programming languages, but then you also get classes in Networking, hardware engineering, business systems, things like that. Things that might have little or nothing to do with your intended career choice.
Or maybe you take an art degree path, and you get some 3D modeling or photoshop classes that would be nice, but then you also end up with classes like oil painting, basket weaving and photography, which might have nothing to do with what you want.
I'm by no means an expert, but I personally wanted to get into a college that had as many Video Game Oriented classes as possible, and had the least amount of side fluff. So I guess all I'm trying to say is don't settle for a degree plan with classes that are "sorta whatcha want". Go all out and find the university or online college that offers the most amount of classes in gaming you can find.
Last edited by Bigbeef : 11-25-2012 at 05:58 PM.