Graduate Degree

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SilverXCIV
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Graduate Degree

Postby SilverXCIV » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:54 am

What the hell Greg you haven't even completed your A.A.S yet and you're thinking about this? Well yes I was looking through the portfolio of work at the university I plan on transferring to, and this got me thinking about a master's degree. The piece that really got me thinking was by the chair of my college's art department when he was pursuing his M.F.A in studio art (mainly graphic design I believe).

I've been considering going higher than a bachelor's since I was in high school, but it's kind of slipped from my sight now that I've started college, or at least it had until the other day. I don't know how much good it does someone who's becoming a design major. It's a career that's always at work because with capitalism comes advertising, publication, new businesses needing things made, and without people realizing it has really become big part of our economy.

There's also the cost factor. The way that I've handled college I've pretty much cut the cost in half by doing community first and then a state university second. As I said before the one I have highest priority towards has a program that would help me. The cost after completing a masters would be about the same as if I had gone to this university for four years total instead of 2 at community and 2 at university. Should I take that financial triumph and run, or should I get the next highest degree for the price of the one below it?

I'm not sure if a masters of fine art would help me in the business world but it does seem to open positions towards education. This is something else that I've considered teaching the skill that I've loved learning. If I had a Masters then that opportunity would be available, but not very likely if I didn't.

So with these things in mind does anyone have input for this?
Formerly known as Bluelink Greg

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FightingTorque
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Re: Graduate Degree

Postby FightingTorque » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:01 am

As it happens I'm pretty much in the same boat. I'm halfway through my Honours year in Computer Game Applications Development - just five months to go! - and I'm increasingly uncertain whether I want to go into the industry at all at the end of it. Essentially, I see four ways forward (well, five, if you include unemployment, which I hope to hell it doesn't come to):


~ A full-time games industry job - which depends on a good degree, and also putting a convincing portfolio together. Unfortunately, experience has taught me that I'm a piss-poor programmer, and worse I have virtually no motivation to improve. Also, this semester included a module called Game Professional Awareness, taught by an ex-Realtime Worlds employee whose sole purpose now seems to be advocating the games industry as the single worst place on this or any other planet. Horror stories abound of unpaid 80-hour working weeks, publishers pulling choke chains on developers' creativity and the resulting cycle of appealing to lowest common denominators (boobs and/or guns), mass layoffs immediately after projects finish, relentless cloning and piracy issues, the Dilbert Principle... plus the fact there isn't a single trade union for game developers. Anywhere.

~ An MProf (Masters) in Game Development - if I get a First or Upper Second degree this year. Also, if I have any interest in games, which is nebulous at best just now. Would also require a summer job to get a little more money saved up.

~ An MLitt (Masters) in Creative Writing - again, requires a First or Upper Second this year, as well as passing an interview at the "other" uni in Dundee. This sounds more my thing, in theory, but doesn't seem to have as promising a career path. Also requires extra money, as above.

~ A non-industry job - stacking supermarket shelves full-time would hardly be ideal, but it might be the break I need to revisit the options above. (Starting my own game studio *might* count as non-industry, but even then I'd undoubtedly need to save up the investment or receive a grant from the Prototype Fund, which at this rate I'll never get.)
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SilverXCIV
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Re: Graduate Degree

Postby SilverXCIV » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:55 am

I feel really fortunate after reading your college experiences FT. There isn't any solution that I could propose, but all I can say is take into consideration what would make you happy as well as what will be a sustainable career. Ex employees of a company don't seem like the best choice to speak about the work of a game developer; sure they're experienced but they also seem to be bitter about the subject. If anything this is a sign that you should not work where they did.
Formerly known as Bluelink Greg

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FightingTorque
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Re: Graduate Degree

Postby FightingTorque » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:27 pm

Heh, he didn't leave Realtime Worlds - it collapsed around him. Its bankruptcy was the biggest loss to the Scottish games industry in years. A number of startups have sprouted from its remains, but they almost exclusively make iPhone apps and free-to-play browser games. The only real "triple-A" company left in this country is Rockstar, and that's slowly emigrating piece by piece to America.

It's not quite as bad as I make it out to be - I always tend to get a bit melancholy late at night. It is true, though; it sounds like an unpleasant and/or unreliable place for a job within a corporation (then again, where isn't these days?) and even more unpredictable and costly to start out on your own. Plus you look around at things like the abuse hurled at Anita Sarkeesian over gender issues, or the NRA's bullshit attacks on games after the Sandy Hook shootings, or the ugly money-grabbing business practices of Zynga and the like, and it's exhausting to witness from the outside, let alone be a part. Is it a surprise the average developer spends just FIVE YEARS in the industry?

The main reason I didn't leave earlier was because I couldn't decide whether I was simply not cut out for making games and wasn't motivated to continue in that field beyond uni, or whether it's a personal flaw in that I am just lazy and unmotivated in doing anything big with my life. I still don't know the answer, and that's why I'm still here.
"Little bug, little bug... I might mistake you for a grain and put you in my cereal..."
Princess Agitha, LOZ: Twilight Princess

NINTIMIDATING
NINVINCIBLE
NINTENDO


J'écris, donc je suis

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SilverXCIV
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Re: Graduate Degree

Postby SilverXCIV » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:23 pm

I had convinced myself that Graphic Design was going to be my thing since my junior year of high school. I confirmed this my senior year when I went to a vocational tech school that's part of my county's public school system. I found something that I enjoy a bit more than average, and pays very well on average.

There are a lot of game studios over here in the states, maybe Scotland isn't the right place for a career such as that? Bethesda who is responsible for the Elder Scrolls series is about an hour away from where I live.

As I said before if you reconsider you career study choices it would be best to think about what you truly enjoy, and can provide you a means to sustain yourself.
Formerly known as Bluelink Greg

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Ironbob
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Re: Graduate Degree

Postby Ironbob » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:52 am

Advice as somebody who has seen what the industry is like, dont do it unless you are extremely passionate about gaming. It's a very high stress job and not just because of the work you do but also you don't know if you'll have a job in a week. My wife currently works at a studio that was founded by a bunch of ex Microsoft gaming people who were laid off. She doesn't know if she is working next week, it depends if they can secure a contract tonight. The big studios are hell to work for, Nintendo has a horrible rep among employees. They tend to pay less and make you work more so there are a lot of disgruntled ex Nintendo employees.

The gaming industry is cruel, my wife is a graphic designer she loves what she does. But she works two jobs right now since gaming is just too unstable and we need to both have a steady income. We are opening our own business and she is starting to take on free lance work. She is starting to do chalk board art for other companies and starting to build a portfolio of work like that. She also thought about getting her BFA and MFA but really unless you plan on teaching, they are basically useless when trying to find a job.

So don't go into gaming unless it's something you truly love and you are willing to weather the storms that come with it.
Chillax, it can't be that bad.

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Darrel
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Re: Graduate Degree

Postby Darrel » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:19 am

That's so cool Iron, that you're opening up your own business! I hope it flourishes!
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