Vocational training? Masters?

If you are thinking about going into the game industry, you may find the article below useful.

EA is not the "best" company by any means, but it is the biggest or one of the biggest, so worth listening to what they have to say.





Vocational training for Video Game Programmers?
No thanks!
An open letter to computer science programs.

John W. Buchanan
University Research Liaison Dude
Electronic Arts


Let's face it. Video Games are cool, and they are now part of our everyday life. We can be heroes in rich, engaging worlds; we can be sport stars performing in front of adoring audiences; and we can live in online communities in ever-changing, virtual worlds. Our industry's cool factor is seducing academics into adding video game components to existing Computer Science programs. In this letter, I talk about how we at Electronic Arts perceive the different approaches to incorporating video games into CS curricula.

A senior-level video game course that introduces students to the issues that they will encounter in the industry is an excellent way to incorporate video games into computer science curricula. Post-graduate degrees that have students work in multidisciplinary teams are perhaps the best approach. However, some institutions are offering complete undergraduate degrees in video game programming. These degrees, for the most part, are vocational in nature: their stated purpose is to prepare students for the current industry requirements. Core computer science courses are often replaced with technology-specific courses. This vocational approach does not prepare students to grow with an industry that changes its base technology and its practices every 5-6 years.

lorien's picture

IMHO expecting any undergrad course to produce competent games programmers is being completely unrealistic. And going vocational is a Bad Thing for undergrad (imho). Graduate diplomas and coursework masters make a lot of sense to me because they can add a vocational edge to a solid background. I've suggested it plenty of times before (not on sumea though).

I notice that Carnegie Mellon seem to be only talking about coursework masters for games.