5 Good Reasons You Should/Shouldn't Go to

I've heard many complaints on institutions and some favourable comments on them as well (from the forum and through emails), but these articles over at CG Works add some more good points to both sides of the argument... definately worth a look!

[url="http://www.cgworks.com/gap.php?id=7"]Five Good Reasons Not to Go to College[/url]

[url="http://www.cgworks.com/gap.php?id=8"]Five Good Reasons You Should Go to College[/url]

bloody footy's picture

Good articles and I will add some more points -

Networking/contacts - I'm in my early 30's and I every job I have ever had was through friends, you must make friends and contacts to get jobs in the industry. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS POINT!
Group work - In school you are usually put into groups and very rarely does a group 'click' all the way from start to finish, there will be problems that must be solved. This not only teaches you how to work in a group but also conflict resoloution when thinks are not going well. An example - I was doing a group project at Uni (QUT) and everything was running very well, in fact we were 3 weeks ahead; But in our second to last piece one of our group plagarised 80% of what he did which nearly got the whole group expelled! We were all allowed to stay (with restrictions) but the plagarizer couldn't be removed from the group (teacher wouldn't allow it) so we had to work with him for another 4 weeks :(

bullet21's picture

I'm mainly going for a lot of the reasons they say in the "5 reasons to go to college" The deadlines in uni will help you when you have work and you have deadlines for those as well. Also I think the part about how if you were left to your own devices you'd play games is true. I always find myself having MAX and Freedom Fighters open at the same time.

Great Article.

matias's picture

ok, one thing tho, if you are thinking of going to college or uni (not sure what the diff is?) Are you prepared to really work hard?, I know I just went in straight after high school, I'm not sure if I was mature enough to totally utilise the education system. So if you wanna go into higher education, go into thinking you'll squeeze every last drop of use out of your hecs!! Because in all honesty, it sounds really bad, but through my own fault I'm not sure I totally learnt all of the good points!! [:(] So maybe get a taste of the real world, work maybe in a job for a year pumping gas or stacking shelves then go to uni, I'm sure you'll have a better work ethic than when your straight out of school.
(OK, ignore my sig for this post![:p])

DaMunkee's picture

quote:


Originally posted by bloody_footy

Good articles and I will add some more points -

Networking/contacts - I'm in my early 30's and I every job I have ever had was through friends, you must make friends and contacts to get jobs in the industry. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS POINT!


I have to voice my agreement with that statement! When I got hired on at Westwood, I was one of a very few that made it through the actual hiring from scratch process. The majority of my coworkers had contacts before they joined the company. Now that I've spent a few years in the industry, I've seen that preference is definitely given to "Friends and family members" of current employees (or friends of friends).

Anyway I personally recommend uni as it not only teaches you some specifics about the industry, but it also gives you a wider foundation that you can pool from when making various decisions.

Chris

MoonUnit's picture

The reason we have universitys is not so you can add another line to your resume but so you can actually get an education in your selected field. So i think it basicly boils down to "do i need this education, am i allready skilled enough in the tasks that this job asks of me." Pros and Cons aside that to me is basicly the deciding factor.

OJ's picture

.....but so you can actually get an education in your selected field

I personally disagree with this. I have worked with many developers since I started work full time, and you'd be suprised how many of them have degrees that do not related to IT/development.

Outside of the games industry (since this is the only part of professional development work I can comment on ;)), it's getting to the point where someone without a degree isn't even looked at for work. Yes, I'm generalising, but that does appear to be the case. It doesn't necessarily matter what the degree is in, just as long as you are qualified.

I believe the main reason companies are looking for qualified people is because they've demonstrated that they can stick to something for 3+ years, no matter what's thrown at them, and come out the other end with an achievement. Getting a university degree demonstrates that you can put your mind to many different problem areas, and finish them with sufficient quality - even if you dont like what you're doing! (everyone who's been through uni knows that there's always going to be a few subjecst that you hate, but you have to do them). This is something that a home-taught person doesn't do. When people teach themselves, they tend to stick to the stuff that they find interesting, and avoid the areas they find boring or non-relevant.

So basically, I feel that the big difference between the two is that graduates have proved they can get through things that suck, even if it takes a long time, whereas unqualified people need to prove it through other means.

As far as what you learn at uni is concerned, I believe that some of the stuff you might learn in the early years can give you a solid foundation to build on in the later years, but on the whole, anything past the first year is a waste of time :)

Cheers
OJ

MoonUnit's picture

oh i dont disagree that there are other benifits of uni/TAFE but the universities themselves were set up as facilities of education. If you understand wut im getting at here

Djenx's picture

Great link Souri

I don't think you could really learn everything you need to know through home learning, its much to easy to ignore the things you don't want to do and chances are with out proper guidance/direction many areas may be overlooked.

But then chances are through a uni you will learn allot.... But not what?s necessarily specific to the job your aiming at[:(]

There for I highly recommend a combination of both learning styles, that way you have all of your bases covered [:)]

Blitz's picture

quote:


But then chances are through a uni you will learn allot.... But not what?s necessarily specific to the job your aiming at

Thats actually one of the reasons going to uni is GOOD. You learn things that you otherwise may not have learnt, and a broader education is better than a very narrow/focused education, because it improves your ability to think, and at some point in the future, you will be trying to come up with a new idea, or solution to a problem, and you will go "Hey, i rememebr this subject once in uni where we did something like that!" :P
Particularly in the area of game development, there are so many areas that are covered. A lot of the really ... smart/accomplished game developers don't come through a standard comp. sci. programming background, they come through maths/science degrees, especially things like physics, biology (medicine), psychology, etc.
CYer, Blitz

DaMunkee's picture

I agree with Blitz here, You may not learn the specifics but with the broad background you get, you have those "Hey didn't I study that in Psychology" which gives you a starting point on your research.

Essentially Uni's teach you how to attain information. Along the way you'll pick up specifics but when you leave, and have a degree, the hiring company knows you at least know how to learn new stuff and are often more then willing to train how they want you to be. Which is why, OJ, you've worked with people who don't have IT degree in the IT field. A lot can be said to work with people who are educated but not specifically in the field they're working in. This brings in a whole new level of experiences and backgrounds in order to keep things dynamic. I had a friend who worked for an IT firm that would not hire IT degree people. They had one, the lead, but then they would hire business, english, etc. majors and train these how to code. Sure they wouldn't be the best engineers but at the same time, they didn't have the limitations of computers ingrained in their minds like some people get if they've been in a field too long.