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Old 11-14-2012, 07:19 AM   #1
Vigi
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Default Which MSc to choose?

Hey guys,

i've bumped a lot of times into this community whilst doing some research on the game industry, regarding jobs and their qualifications. So I decided to register here and ask you a few questions, as you all seem quite competent and friendly.

So first off - I'm 20 years old and currently I'm taking classes in Computer Science at a german University. I'm in the 2nd year of this 3 year bachelor. I've been playing with the idea of doing something game-related later on (best case: graphics/engine/gameplay programmer) - to transform my dream into reality, so to speak . So I started to look around eventually.
In Great Britain, I found a MSc in 'Computer Games Technology' at a few universities. (for example here). The duration made me wonder though - it's only 2 semesters (From my understading, a master degree is obtained after at least 4 semesters).
Also I did not find any profound statistics on beginners salary in the game industry other than GB, there it's estimated around 18000-25000 pounds (22-30k ), which seems quite low to me, compared to other programming / development jobs in the IT sector (about 35-45k here in Germany).

So here are my questions now:
Which graduation do I need to get a good start into the games industry, actually does graduation weigh that much in this sector at all?
Am I better off specializing to game technology or is a common MSc in Computer Science better / enough?
Are the salaries I listed realisitic? What about carreer advancement oppertunities? (I'd like to know facts about Western Europe, USA is not that relevant for me at the moment)

In conclusion here's what I have to decide with and I'm all happy about your help with this dicision:

Graduate in Computer Science BSc. then
  1. Computer Science MSc at my University & trying to get into game development by myself (learning C++, graphics programming etc in private-study) or...
  2. Computer Games Technology MSc (or something similar) and then directly trying to get into the industry or...
  3. Study both MSc (I mean... it's just 3 years...) or...
  4. Study CS MSc and apply as a graphics programmer somewhere else

You're welcome to comment anything, and I'd be very pleased, if someone helped me by answering my question,

Thanks all,

Viktor

PS: Sorry if my english sounds funny...
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
tsloper
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Default Re: Which MSc to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigi View Post
Which graduation do I need to get a good start into the games industry
does graduation weigh that much in this sector at all?
Am I better off specializing to game technology or is a common MSc in Computer Science better / enough?
Are the salaries I listed realisitic?
What about carreer advancement oppertunities? (I'd like to know facts about Western Europe, USA is not that relevant for me at the moment)
In conclusion here's what I have to decide with and I'm all happy about your help with this dicision:
Graduate in Computer Science BSc. then
  1. Computer Science MSc at my University & trying to get into game development by myself (learning C++, graphics programming etc in private-study) or...
  2. Computer Games Technology MSc (or something similar) and then directly trying to get into the industry or...
  3. Study both MSc (I mean... it's just 3 years...) or...
  4. Study CS MSc and apply as a graphics programmer somewhere else
Hi, Vigi.
Game salaries are lower than salaries in other tech industries. I don't have any links for you to game salaries in Europe in particular - you can take a look at http://www.gamecareerguide.com/featu...urvey_2011.php and you can make some adjustments.
Game employers don't typically require a Masters degree. A bachelors degree and a portfolio are usual. If you get the Masters, you'll still need a portfolio of games you've made.
When you have a decision to make, I recommend that you make a decision grid: http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm
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Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done. www.sloperama.com

PLEASE do not use this website's PM feature to contact me.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:13 PM   #3
Vigi
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Default Re: Which MSc to choose?

Okay, thank you for your answer.

As for the decision grid: I'm at points 2 & 3 - gathering information But thank you for your advice anyways

In the survey I could not find any comparison to other industries but gaming, yet 48000$ for an average across all levels of expirience in Europe is significantly low ... (in USA, the figure is 85000$...)

So if I chose the way of a game programmer, my personal experience with creating games (my skills, some game I eventually programmed) is far more important than my degree?

Thank you,

Viktor
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
tsloper
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Default Re: Which MSc to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigi View Post
So if I chose the way of a game programmer, my personal experience with creating games (my skills, some game I eventually programmed) is far more important than my degree?
Hi, Viktor.
The degree is important - it doesn't have to be a Masters.
The portfolio is important.
In other words, both are important.
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Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done. www.sloperama.com

PLEASE do not use this website's PM feature to contact me.
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