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I'm interested in getting into the gaming industry, but i'm unsure as to whether which degree would help me the most. I also do not have any prior programming knowledge(apart from some basic html). So, do you guys have any opinion on which degree i should pick? please don't mention anything about game development or games programming degrees. You may also compare the 2 degrees with Computer Science degree.

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closed as not constructive by Byte56, jhocking, Ray Dey, Sean Middleditch, michael.bartnett Sep 27 '12 at 0:08

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in CE you'll be learning intermediate (i guess) physics for the context of electronics, how power supplies and electic engines work, etc. other than that it's the same thing as CS, algorithm theory, operating system theory, programming, software engineering, if you want to be making games then there's aboslutely no reason to go for CE unless you want to make your own console or something, also the chances of meeting people who'll want to do projects with you should be easier in CS and SE, there aren't that many programmming enthusiasts or designers in CE –  dreta Sep 26 '12 at 11:52
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It depends on what specifically you want to do. E.g. there are some roles in engine development which might require a PhD in physics. –  Peter Taylor Sep 26 '12 at 12:35
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-1 There's no correct answer to this. There's no way to say what would be best. Maybe if you spent your time making a game that would be best. No way for us to tell. The best one is the one you're most interested in. Check out the classes involved for each degree and choose the one you want to do the most. –  Byte56 Sep 26 '12 at 14:29
    
I would think about what you want to do in the game industry. If you are wanting to work for a big company, I would ask myself why? I think it would be better to get a software engineering job and try to start your own game company after hours. If you do decide to go the indie route, I would say software engineering, but take psychology classes( learn as much about cognitive science as you can). Also take some art classes. –  Joey Green Sep 26 '12 at 16:01
    
-1 and voted to close. As Byte56 said, there's no correct answer to this. The best way to get into the games industry is to have an awesome portfolio. There are plenty of maths and physics graduates who have wound up being programmers in the industry. –  Ray Dey Sep 26 '12 at 17:59

5 Answers 5

Software Engineering would be the more relevant degree as a Computer Engineering degree is primarily focused on hardware.

However, if you have skills and passion, you could make it in the gaming industry with either degree. As a general rule, don't rely on your degree to teach you everything you'll need to make it in the industry you`re interested in. Identify entry level positions in the gaming industry and what skillset that job requires. Create a plan to develop that skillset (this will typically take more than just completing your degree courses and could include independent learning or projects).

Where I went to school (Carleton University), there was a specific game design stream of the Computer Science degree. While taking a specialized Computer Science degree like that would most likely not confer any significant advantage in the job market, it does put the student in an environment with like-minded people and professors who have valuable contacts in the industry.

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This question seems kind of broad, but here are some generalities I can provide. Take everything with a grain of salt since the programs between schools can vary greatly.

Computer Engineering

This is more focused on the physical hardware involved in computers and the building of them. This is probably the degree you would get if you wanted to help develop the actual consoles that come out in the future. (This would be an extremely competitive position in the gaming industry as there are only the big 3 consoles).

Software Engineering

This is straight up software programming. This is what you would get if you wanted to stick to just programming. Most schools would also have at least one course on how software development and release works in a real world company. Some schools would require some advanced math, others won't.

Computer Science

This is more of a jack-of-all-trades degree, almost a hybrid of Computer and Software Engineering. It covers programming applications and also touches on hardware. From my own experience, the hardware stuff was mostly focused on how and why a computer works. Things like disk allocation, the evolution of the different busses, multiplexers, and other various topics that don't include actually building circuitry. This degree would usually have a course or two in networking that Software Engineering might not always have. Most schools also require a lot of math for this degree (not necessarily hard math, just more than SE would typically require).

In the real world, based on my own observations, jobs seem to use SE and CS interchangeably. The last time I went looking for a job, all the postings had the minimum requirement of "Four year degree in Software Engineering or Computer Science".

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It does not matter which degree you pick between Computer Science and Software Engineering if you want to be a game programmer. Like Orin MacGregor and dreta said, Computer Engineering is not so much focused on programming so if programming is your thing, the latter would be a poor choice.

What does matter, is practice, if you want to be a game programmer, start programming today, learn programming, practice programming. Programming is a language, you cannot master a language in school, you learn a language by using it. HTML is not a programming language if I recall correctly, it is a type of document(does not involve variable declaration, conditionals, loops, function calls and such things) If you want to be a game programmer, I would suggest you start learning and programming games at the present. When you get to school, you will be thankful that you did for any programming assignment given to you in classes for your academic degree will benefit from programming experience.

Good luck!

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Speaking as somebody who has worked in the professional games industry for nearly 15 years and has been involved in hiring decisions..

I don't freaking care about your degree, as long as it's at least vaguely plausibly related.

Your degree gets you past the first of many hurdles in the hiring process (the "is it worth my time to read your resume" hurdle), and it's only one of many ways of doing that. It really doesn't get you any further than that first hurdle, though.

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