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Old 05-03-2010, 06:42 AM   #1
cloverfield72989
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Default School Listings: The Good and The Bad

I've noticed that the section that lists the featured schools has new bronze, silver, and platinum rankings. Are these really just rankings based on how many clicks they get.

I feel like this part of the site should be better at educating people on legitimate schools that will give them a well reputed education in the videogames industry.

All I've heard is about bad experiences about DeVry and Westwood colleges.
And then they have Flashpoint College listed on there which isnt even an accredited institute.

I think that these colleges shouldn't be listed, but rather there should be a list of well known, reputable colleges/universities that have great programs and good job placement.

If I'm wrong about Flashpoint, DeVry, or Westwood please tell us your positive experience with them.

Otherwise here is my list (not in any order) of some of the schools in my opinion that I have found in hundreds of hours of research and my opinions on them.

USC - very hard school to get into, but excellent program. Lots of big name graduates in the industry. Ex. Jenova Chen (Flower)

Digipen - great school, heavily focused on drawing, portfolio needed to apply

SCAD - heavily focused on drawing, portfolio needed to apply

Ringling - great placement for computer animation degree, heavily focused on drawing, portfolio needed to apply

Full Sail - great school, excellent job placement nationwide, heavily focused on drawing, portfolio needed to apply for game art and computer animation degree

Art Institute - I just have a bad vibe about this one, that they are focused on drawing, do they teach you what it is like to work in the game industry? Doesnt seem like they do according to their curriculum.

Flashpoint/DeVry/Westwood- see above paragraphs

DePaul - Seems like a great school - It's probably the one that I will be going to. They a lot of different degrees that teach you about the game industry.
Only negatives are its insane cost (but its just as expensive as any other school) and that you have to have a high GPA of 3.5 to qualify for transfer student scholarships. (I have a 3.35). The computer animation program is unlike any other program I have researched, because it focuses a ton on the computer part of animation (modeling, texturing, etc.) Plus its in Chicago, which is the best city in the world according to askmen.com ranking of top 50 cities. I want to know more about their job placement.

RIT-I live 45 minutes from here. Its a great programming curriculum, but they are incredibly expensive. 40,000 just for tuition alone. And since New York's financial aid for students just took massive hits from this idiot Gov. David Patterson, it makes it tough if students want to go there. Job placement is a question with Rochester not being near any big name companies.

VFS-Its in canada, and I called them up and it sounds like if you wanted to go for a masters in the USA, then you would have a tough time because VFS isn't accredited the same as the united states and there are only a handful of schools that would accept the VFS degree. It also seems to me that 1 year solely is not enough time to really get into the advanced parts of software unless you were totally devoted to one year of learning and had absoultely no social life-you would have to be studying 24/7. Which would make it hard to have a part time job, girlfriend, and fun...

I have researched graduate programs a little bit, but since I'm not at that level, I'm not focused on these schools. However if I were to list the top
graduate schools some of the programs would be: Carnegie Mellon, USC, Full Sail, and Guildhall (sounds like a really fun program with great placement).

For those who don't know: You have to have a Bachelors degree before you go for your masters degree. A masters degree has no financial aid towards it.
Usually, your BS degree has to be similar to what your MS degree will be.

Well thanks for reading my list of colleges I've researched. If you have any questions about other colleges that I have not listed or ones that I have listed, please ask, as I have seriously spent hundreds and hundreds of hours researching almost all the game schools listed on this website. Also, If you would like to add information about a school or add a school of your own do that as well.

Tony
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #2
Adrir
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In my opinion, the only way such judgements can be made fairly is if an independent body evaluates each game development programme in turn. They would then be able to provide accreditation and/or advice as appropriate. Unfortunately, I am not currently aware of any plans by the IGDA, the US Games Industry, or otherwise to conduct such a task.

In the UK, accreditation schemes are managed by industrial bodies and professional bodies such as Skillset [for creative disciplines] and the British Computing Society (BCS) [for computing disciplines], respectively. To augment the accreditation system, student opinion of each university as a whole is evaluated through the National Student Survey (NSS). These can help students choose the most appropriate university for them. Although, it isn't perfect. In the broader picture, academic courses are often overshadowed by industry-lead practical courses when this system is applied.

I would also like to acknowledge that students are not simply the product of the institution they attend. By this, I mean that many students may excel in "disrepute" environments just as many students may not excel in a "repute" environment. It is my opinion that anyone with motivation and determination can be successful, regardless of their background.

This could make an interesting community project if anyone wanted to make the effort to actually do it themselves. Although, creating a dicotomy of "legitimate" vs "not legitimate" could potentially be libelous; or interpreted as such. I would reccomend that it simply be a directory that documented facts and figures about each institution. It would serve as a tool to help students make the decision of which institution to attend themselves.

As a side note, there is quite an interesting criminal libel case in progress. It seems that any published critical review may pose a risk of being accused of libel thanks to "libel tourism". In a rather odd juxtaposition of circumstances, none of the parties involved live in France, and the book review in question is written in English on an American website, yet they are answering to a French court. Presumably, because the web server can be accessed from France and the laws there are convienient, which is rather interesting. Although it wouldn't be the first outrageously crazy conviction made in Europe; or the UK for that matter.
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Last edited by Adrir : 05-03-2010 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloverfield72989 View Post
1. I've noticed that the section that lists the featured schools has new bronze, silver, and platinum rankings. Are these really just rankings based on how many clicks they get.
2. I feel like this part of the site should be better at educating people on legitimate schools
3. that will give them a well reputed education in the videogames industry.
4. I think that these colleges shouldn't be listed, but rather there should be a list of well known, reputable colleges/universities that have great programs and good job placement.
Tony,
1. I was curious, so I took a look. My guess is that those rankings are not based on click counts. Just guessing here, but I'm thinking that "featured" means "paid."

2. Let's not talk about feelings. My opinion is that a "guide" should provide information based on careful research.

3. "Reputation" is very nebulous. Very hard to quantify. It's doubtful that this wish can be fulfilled in a meaningful way.

4. I don't know if you have any idea how hard and expensive it would be to create and maintain such a list. A committee of industry pros and educators (non-game educators, not affiliated in any way with any school offering game courses) would have to be formed to come up with measurable criteria, and requirements for data gathering. Then the data would have to be gathered and analyzed in a transparent manner. Then the study could be released. Then, at least a year later, it would all have to be done all over again. Every single year.

Your analysis is very nice, as far as it goes. Perhaps the site would like to enlist your help in doing the things you suggest.
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