GameDev Academia and Masters Programs - Is it worthwhile?

I'd echo vblanco in that many aren't useful, but honestly your degree is nothing more than a check in the box if you learned what you need to know and know how to apply it. The schools can be scummy in their financial practices as well so make sure to do your due diligence in finding out about them.

Background: I have a B.S. in Video Game Development from Full Sail, I used to work for the guys who made Moon Base Alpha (lol, yeech) and now I'm a developer on a large scm program pretty much everyone uses in the industry.

My pros: My course load was high as it's a faster program (40+ hours a week class/lab for 2 years at least) but that's what I was looking for. I was expected to do larger projects in at least 4 different languages. I loved everything I worked on. How could I not? One of my finals was re-creating Ninja Gaiden's running mechanics w/ parallax backgrounds and such on an actual Game Boy Advance. While we created 5-7 games during my time there only 2 were created with a team. We did a 2 month game in a small c++ engine we created with around 4-5 people. And then spent 6 months writing a game from scratch in c++ with some lua with a team of artists and about 8 other programmers and a couple internal producers. I absolutely loved it.

Cons: Long hours. High prices and possibly shady business practices. Some schools are ABSOLUTELY garbage. You will miss some basic CS concepts.

I personally know many people in the industry who have game programming degrees who work at AAA game studios. Hell I can count on two hands game developers I know that I went to (for-profit) college with. I also know many many vanilla CS degree holders that are game developers though and I know a couple with just a HS diploma. From what I've seen and learned: it just depends on if you have the drive, learn to network, keep creating games on the side, realize you always will always be doing homework and teaching yourself new things.

I wouldn't say don't go to academia because a degree is always a leg up on the resume, but do go make games.

/r/gamedev Thread