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Is a Masters in IT enough?

Posted by desnachos on Sat, 25/02/06 - 11:41 AM

I am an international student applying for Masters in IT/CS at Melbourne Unis. My interests in game development is immense. Assuming I get an admit, is the course curriculum substansial to move into the games industry? What are my career prospects in games on completion of this degree? I didnt apply for a pure games degree cuz i wanted to keep t options open.
Deeply appreciate any help

Unis applied to:
Uni of Melb
Swinburne
Monash
La Trobe
Deakin
RMIT


Submitted by lorien on Tue, 28/02/06 - 1:49 AM Permalink

An MIT is for people without a background in computing (at La Trobe at any rate). If you have a computing background you would probably be better off with a Masters of Computer Science (also a postgrad coursework degree, but more advanced than an MIT).

You can do some games subjects in an MIT or MCS at La Trobe.

Career prospects: it would depend on how good the work you can show to employers is I think. But I'm not a games industry employer.

These coursework postgrad degrees involve doing 3rd/4th year undergraduate subjects with extra assignment questions/tasks and longer exams. Sometimes there is a small thesis and research component too- it depends on the course and uni.

Submitted by desnachos on Tue, 28/02/06 - 8:42 AM Permalink

Thanks a lot Lorien! i do hav a computing background. But once I get an offer letter for the MIT, is it possible to change to MCS when I get to the Uni?

Submitted by lorien on Tue, 28/02/06 - 10:05 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by desnachos
Thanks a lot Lorien! i do hav a computing background. But once I get an offer letter for the MIT, is it possible to change to MCS when I get to the Uni?

Should be possible. I'm surprised none of the uni administrations suggested it.

One thing though: at La Trobe the semester started yesterday. You need to hassle all the unis ASAP or you will miss the organising into groups for software project subjects.

Submitted by desnachos on Fri, 03/03/06 - 4:21 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by lorien
One thing though: at La Trobe the semester started yesterday. You need to hassle all the unis ASAP or you will miss the organising into groups for software project subjects.

Yes Sem 1 must have started yesterday. But I have applied for the July intake. (I finish college only in June [:)]) I will be sitting for an admission interview with La Trobe representatives on the 17th of March at Chennai, India.
Thanks again for your help Lorien.

Submitted by jimellis on Wed, 05/04/06 - 5:53 AM Permalink

hullo,

I can't speak for the Aussie games scene exactly, but from what I understand most companies like to see demo's and innovation. It's not really about qualifications ultimately, although, yes some co's won't employ unless you have at least a degree. (shows commitment I suppose)

Demo's, experimentation, graphic innovation and lots of it is from my understanding of watching programmers over the years, much more important. Lets face it you could get the qualifications but without that demo or that "spark", you're right back where you started.

By the way I'm an artist not a programmer - but I've been around in the industry for a while and "tried" to work with programmers (Artists Vs Programmers) and just wanted to shove my 5 cents in...or so...there..ahem...I'll shove off now :-)[:p]

Submitted by Rosco on Wed, 05/04/06 - 8:59 PM Permalink

If you are really interested in working in the games industry as a programmer, then you should enroll in the Games programming course at the Melbourne AIE. Though you are too late as the year started for them in February. It is a great course for uni graduates who know programming and really want to get into the industry. For a one year course I'd advise it to anyone wanting to be a games programmer. The classes are small and the teacher is great and ex-industry.

Unlike universities the AIE course is designed to give you a knowledge of how to program for games, IF you take it upon yourself to work hard and apply yourself IF you will get a job out of it as it is one of the first places industry goes in Melbourne for recruits. Depending on the university post grad research course you enroll in, you should find out what is involved in assessment. Is it a written paper or project? Or both? And what the weighting for the grading is? University is about research and depending on your supervisor's background you maybe shackled into a certain area and in the end may not have the final piece that will get you a job. Oh and Masters of Research is either 1 1/2 to 2 years as well. Plus HECS etc, you should weigh up your options.

If you want to know what a company is looking for, you should try and get into contact with a HR person from a games company and get some info. I know the entry for Melbourne AIE was a couple of programming tests to see how good your coding is: structure, logic etc etc and a general knowledge test just to see what your background is and your personality. This, I think generally reflects industry though to a limited degree. Personality is pretty important since people are going to need to work with you and you with them.

Oh, and if you've got an ego you may as well do something else.

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 05/04/06 - 9:47 PM Permalink

[;)] Several uni courses are designed for games also. A masters degree tends to make a person far more employable accross the whole field of computing than a diploma of computer game development.

These are coursework masters degrees desnachos is talking about btw Rosco. Research degrees are completely fee free (not even GSF anymore), but much harder to get into.

Have a look at Rosco's profile desnachos. Lots of info there to tell you why you should take his/her advice...

Submitted by Rosco on Wed, 05/04/06 - 10:25 PM Permalink

So you want credentials or advice?

Qualifications:
Bachelor of Multimedia - Monash University
enrolled in Masters of IT (research) while lecturing at Monash for four years in Narrative, 3D, Web, Multimedia, was unit leader for several of the units, blah blah blah, both undergrad lecturing and post grad lecturing for Masters by coursework in IT at Caulfield, for both Faculty of Art and Design and Faculty of IT.

Left Monash and worked at Deakin, setting up their game degree units, was co-head of Games Development course, since I didn't have a Phd. Left for personal reasons.

Taught at AIE Melbourne in Game Art Stage 1 for one year and saw the whole process of stage 2 plus the industry coming in to employ the students.

Now in Korea, teaching English and studing art and getting outside of my box.

Oh and never finished Masters because all it gives you is more research and employment at University not Industry savvy.

Starsign Aquarius, born year of the rabbit and right handed.

A title means nothing its the advice you give which is more important.

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 05/04/06 - 10:51 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Rosco
So you want credentials or advice?

Qualifications:
Bachelor of Multimedia - Monash University
enrolled in Masters of IT (research) while lecturing at Monash for four years in Narrative, 3D, Web, Multimedia, was unit leader for several of the units, blah blah blah, both undergrad lecturing and post grad lecturing for Masters by coursework in IT at Caulfield, for both Faculty of Art and Design and Faculty of IT.

Left Monash and worked at Deakin, setting up their game degree units, was co-head of Games Development course, since I didn't have a Phd. Left for personal reasons.

Taught at AIE Melbourne in Game Art Stage 1 for one year and saw the whole process of stage 2 plus the industry coming in to employ the students.

Now in Korea, teaching English and studing art and getting outside of my box.

Oh and never finished Masters because all it gives you is more research and employment at University not Industry savvy.

Starsign Aquarius, born year of the rabbit and right handed.

A title means nothing its the advice you give which is more important.

I didn't tell anyone "this is where you should go", or even "don't go here" unlike some [:)]

I also said "Career prospects: it would depend on how good the work you can show to employers is I think. But I'm not a games industry employer" and nor are you [;)]

This thread isn't about research degrees, it's about coursework masters.

Submitted by Rosco on Wed, 05/04/06 - 11:55 PM Permalink

Yes, I do see what you wrote so there is no need to quote yourself. and if you decide to quote me maybe you should actually quote my text and not use your own that you make up yourself, you should know this since you are a researcher and have to write papers. If you are going to make agruments/statements make sure that you actually back them up properly. (insert lame smiley here).

Well since it's about course work post grad then the units are of course are the most important thing and if the material is just revamped units to 'look' like games orientated then I would recommend looking elsewhere.

Since the real context of the post is about employment I am giving my opinion on all educational fronts and not just about university,(from my experience) so I use the words 'recommend' 'opinion' 'advise' etc and have not used 'go' or 'don't go'. And yes I'm not a games industry (you so brilliantly quoted again) so there was no mention of 'do this and you will get a job', just "IF you take it upon yourself to work hard and apply yourself IF".

From your other forum posts you seem to be the one doing the 'do/don't go there' enough for the both of us.(insert even lamer smiley here).

Oh and why quote my whole post? (insert the most lame smiley here).

Submitted by lorien on Thu, 06/04/06 - 12:44 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Rosco
and if you decide to quote me maybe you should actually quote my text and not use your own that you make up yourself,

You mean like "then you should enroll in the Games programming course at the Melbourne AIE" I take it. Didn't really seem to need much backup because it's in the same thread a few posts higher. You seem a little pissed-off Rosco.

quote:
Well since it's about course work post grad then the units are of course are the most important thing and if the material is just revamped units to 'look' like games orientated then I would recommend looking elsewhere.

I'd say "maybe" as my humble opinion on that, and the reason why is games haven't developed in isolation from the rest of software development, and imho game-only courses are a slippery slope employment wise. But I agree the actual units are very important and should be checked carefully.

quote:
Since the real context of the post is about employment I am giving my opinion on all educational fronts and not just about university,(from my experience) so I use the words 'recommend' 'opinion' 'advise' etc and have not used 'go' or 'don't go'.

Could you explain how when you say "you should enroll" it is different to "you should go" then? I'm a little unclear... I don't see those softening words in you posts btw. Edit: except for "advise" once.

quote:
And yes I'm not a games industry (you so brilliantly quoted again) so there was no mention of 'do this and you will get a job', just "IF you take it upon yourself to work hard and apply yourself IF".

Which is pretty much what I've said above.

quote:
From your other forum posts you seem to be the one doing the 'do/don't go there' enough for the both of us.(insert even lamer smiley here).

I'm an AIE Canberra graduate. I had a very bad time there, as did many of my classmates. I know quite a few advise people to go anywhere else, that isn't the point I'm making. The point I am making is you are rather off-topic, desnachos said "I didnt apply for a pure games degree cuz i wanted to keep t options open"

quote:
Oh and why quote my whole post? (insert the most lame smiley here).

Because it's often done on sumea is the only reason.

Submitted by Rosco on Thu, 06/04/06 - 8:26 AM Permalink

Hah. Guess you finally worked out how to quote properly, and with me being pissed off, I wasn't the one that decided to launch an attack on someone's post because they didn't have any information about themselves and a subject topic that someone seems to have issue with. I'm just responding to your comments in a civil tone, without using smiley's.

Even though I'm not an English major I do believe the word 'should' is not a word that is a strict command. 'You should cross the road at a crossing' 'You should read the exam before you begin' etc, etc. I'm sure many people don't really follow these 'shoulds' except for maybe the last one because students are forced into a reading time.

When you decide to quote as well, make sure you don't take the quote out of context, a nice media trick. "If you are really interested in working in the games industry as a programmer, then you should enroll in the Games programming course at the Melbourne AIE." Frankly, this is my opinion and if he is interested then that is what he should consider. My only mistake is not actually writing 'try to enroll' as it is actually quite tough to get into it, Matt is a real hard arse for accepting quality students. You seem to use ??opinion?? a lot to defend you own statements so I may as well too.

Ho hum. I do know that your an ex-Canberra AIE student, I'm sure anyone who reads the forums would know that since you very quickly to 'respond' to any positive post about AIE no matter which campus, take this thread for example.

Even though you think that my post is off topic, I beg to differ -

"Assuming I get an admit, is the course curriculum substansial to move into the games industry? What are my career prospects in games on completion of this degree? I didnt apply for a pure games degree cuz i wanted to keep t options open."

I'm giving him another option and I think I am responding a little more directly to his questions of 'substantial course curriculum to move into industry?? and 'career prospects', it??s just not the university option. If he really is interested in employment then a course aimed for employment is what he is looking for, not a research/course work degree. If it is vice versa then it??s up to him to say. He maybe just keeping his options open because he does want a university post grad degree above employment in the games industry, and I say bravo to him if this is true, an excellent decision.

If desnachos said he just wanted to be a researcher in games development and not mention the words 'industry' and 'career prospects' I wouldn't have posted anything and started this lovely little discussion which I must say is rather more amusing me than actually angering me, enough rope.....

If I am off topic, then maybe it should be denachos who says I??m off topic since it??s his thread anyway, not yours. So 'off topic', I say neigh to you sir.

You lorien should take your time when you post, think of the following: make sure you don't contradict yourself; be certain that what you write is correct when quoting and that you fully understand the context of a statement; don??t make repeated quotes with no real point to them and don??t take them out of context; oh, and more importantly act in a professional manner. You are after all representing La Trobe University. I??m sure your supervisor will inform you of this, it was the first thing mine did.

Anyway, why get your panties in a knot since desnachos seems to have already made an appointment for a La Trobe placement? And with enrollments generally down in IT I'm sure he won't be knocked back, International student and all...ker-ching.

And finally one last thing, my post was a response to desnachos not to you. It is up to desnachos to take on any advice I may give him, you gave 'your' opinion and I gave 'mine', most civilized forums are of this fashion.

It is always best to be well informed when making important decisions, otherwise people would be just invading countries willy-nilly...oh wait.

But now if you really want my honest opinion on how to get a job in the games industry, I'm sure this is 100% guaranteed.....

....have some talent and don't be a jerk.

Oh, this is fun.

Submitted by lorien on Thu, 06/04/06 - 9:46 AM Permalink

All I'm going say to that is I've actually made it plain plenty of times that the teachers I had at the AIE (Seb Perri and Gareth Davies) were talented and Seb in particular was good as a teacher, but neither of them was a programmer, and my diploma is in Software Design... The difficulties have been with management, and are (I hope) over now the AGDC is no more. Nice way to introduce yourself. Notice that I don't post at all in threads such as "feedback from AIE students 2005".

I hear (not through sumea) that Melbourne AIE is pretty good, and they have some very cool teaching staff afaik. I strongly suggest people look around carefully, look into the individual subject details, think about what they want to get out of the course and choose accordingly.

Be aware that a diploma will not help for research study, which can be as industry targetted or commercially irrelevant but interesting as you choose and a university approves.

Submitted by lorien on Thu, 06/04/06 - 9:56 AM Permalink

I also suggest don't listen to a programmer about art or an artist about programming...

Submitted by Rosco on Fri, 07/04/06 - 7:24 AM Permalink

I wasn't really intending to introduce myself, it just called for it from your 'smug' response, I was just expecting a one post thread.

Yes, you are at least right about your last post, I'd just listen to someone who knows what their talking about and can actually phrase it properly.

Submitted by lorien on Sun, 09/04/06 - 10:54 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Rosco
I wasn't really intending to introduce myself, it just called for it from your 'smug' response, I was just expecting a one post thread.

And your first post in a thread about postgrad degrees called for a 'smug' response imho, which is why you got one. Let's just leave it at that.

Submitted by Rosco on Mon, 10/04/06 - 6:07 AM Permalink

Really I thought it was all harmless and just an opinion. Maybe you just think everything deserves a smug response, but that's just me.

Submitted by lorien on Tue, 11/04/06 - 12:16 AM Permalink

No, I don't think everything deserves a 'smug' response at all, but some of your statements did imho. They wouldn't have if you had used more of those softening words and not been anonymous.

Submitted by Rosco on Tue, 11/04/06 - 6:56 AM Permalink

What does it matter who I am? Or the fact that I never filled out my profile. Not everyone lives by titles or feels the need to tell everyone who they are. (Thats the true meaning of humble). If you wanted to know who I was, you could have just asked nicely. I could have been anyone, at any position level with any company/organisation/university. Though I don't think that would even bother you, since you have previously even believed your opinion is even higher than a games CEOs. You should face facts, that there are people out there who know more, experienced more, and appreciate things more than you do.

I really don't think you should be using imho either, you are far from humble. If you were you would have not posted anything, not jumped on your high horse, not went on about AIE and your past, actually.....not even went on about yourself as that isn't even humble. The only humble you should have is a piece of pie. IMAO would suit you better.

And 'softening', I thought I already defined what softening is and isn't. If you beleive those to be harsh words you should get out of your egg shell, take off the pink cotton wool jump suit, and stop letting your mom wash your face.

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 12/04/06 - 11:46 PM Permalink

It matters to me when people who work or have worked in the education/training field give public advice on educational/training issues without making it clear where those opinions might have formed. That's why my profile has that info- it's part of being humble actually: saying "here's what I think, but here's where I work, so be sure to listen to other opinions".

As for not posting about the AIE: if I hadn't wouldn't I be saying that the sorts of issues I've posted about are OK with me?

Would you rather I hadn't said that I have a diploma in software design and that it was an artist who decided whether a programming team was competent? Or that I hadn't raised issues about the relationship between Micro Forte and the AIE that found some expression in the student NDA we signed? Or I hadn't made a loud public protest when those same people who have given themselves a stand 20% larger than anyone else could buy at the AGDC, decide to let their own students in for free while reducing developer prices, increasing student prices for everyone else, and shortening the conference by a day all at once?

Do you think those sorts of things are OK?

Submitted by desnachos on Mon, 08/05/06 - 10:06 AM Permalink

GOT ADMITS!!

Hi guys ... thnx for all your advice however twisted it may hav been! [:)]
im happy to announce, I hav got admits at:
Monash - Master of CS (minor thesis)
Swinburne - MIT
La Trobe - MIT
Deakin - MIT

I need to knw if this information is correct plz:
Monash Uni is coming out wit a Game Development course in 2007 I was e-mailed by one of t staff der...
She said even if i join this July 2006 i can shift to tht course next yr when its introduced! Is this possible? And is it worth enrolling with Monash, knowing Monash hasnt got much experience in games...
I'm quite bent on Monash but if it hasnt got the content and at the end of the day as you guys said if my end product is not enough to get me tht good job or even to acquire the right skills .......

Your advice plz asap
thnx in advance