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I just started my first year in college in an engineering school. I haven't had any classes about programming, and although I'm in an engineering school I'm not that good at (and don't enjoy) physics or chemistry. For me, the way to go is math related majors, which are Financial Engineering or Operations Research.

Although I believe I will be somewhat good in those areas I definitely don't want to get sucked into the "financial blackhole" with extreme work hours and stress levels. I want to have creativity in my life.

So I am wondering what kind of jobs can I find in the gaming industry with a background of Financial Engineering or Operations Research? Can I join the creative groups of game development companies?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Mostly, people want to see a portfolio. That really matters in the end. \$\endgroup\$ – Sidar Sep 15 '13 at 20:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ There are about as many backgrounds in the field as there are developers. "It's not the life I want, to follow the herd and get almost used like a slave. I want to have creativity in my life." You are likely going to be highly disappointed with game development. The games field is legendary for underpaying and overworking its developers and you are most likely going to be a tiny cog in a huge machine with zero creative input in the final process. You might find a small company that does better, but statistically speaking, it's unlikely. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Middleditch Sep 15 '13 at 20:33
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There are almost zero formal jobs in the industry for that kind of educational background, I'm afraid.

The most likely place you'd find a job that utilizes those skills would be in the economics analysis areas occasionally employed by studios that ship large MMOs. Those "departments," if they exist at all, are typically very small (often only a single person) in size and you won't likely be getting that kind of job right out of college. Because the economics of online computer games differ somewhat from the economics of reality, studios that have those positions will prefer senior people who also have other experience in the games industry.

I hate to break it to you, but in that position you often won't have that much creative input either. Of course this varies from studio to studio, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Additionally, you seem to be somewhat out of touch with the reality of the games industry, which is one fraught with crunch and unpaid overtime. If you're looking for a leisurely life in this field, you probably won't find it easily. It exists, but it may take you a long time to get there.

This isn't to say that you won't be able to get a job in the industry. Actual game designers tend to have a wide variety of backgrounds, because that helps bring a sense of well-roundedness to the entire team. You should know that in a position as a game designer, you may end up calling on the skills you learned in those college programs occasionally, but they won't be a part of the majority of your day-to-day tasks in all likelihood.

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