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 Post subject: What to major in...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Alrighty guys, a little advice is in order. What, exactly, should I major in?

I've done a year so far for computer science; I am, after all, a techno nerd. But so far, the only thing I hate more than programming code is helping somebody else with their buggy code. I thought I'd enjoy it, seeing as how I do just fine with making my own game mods; well, the modding I do doesn't require C++ or any other full-scale language, so obviously it wasn't an apt comparison. I don't know how Evaders does it; I'd rather be kicked in the shin all day long than have to write any program more complicated than basic calculators.

So now what the heck do I do? I'm interested in history, but if I major in that I'm doomed to live on a teacher's salary for the rest of my days. Not that I don't like teaching, but neither do I enjoy it enough to barely get paid a livable income.

So far, I'm thinking of switching to computer engineering. How exactly does one get a job troubleshooting hardware and the like? And what jobs fall under the category of "information technology" majors?

Or any other ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: What to major in...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Well, there's always actual videogame design. I know that 's a popular one- Georgia Tech and Decry are churning out the best in the league for that field at the moment. As a budding young MechE, I'd recomend that, but then, I'm rather biased. All the same, don't feel that you're limited to what you have schooling in. I knew a girl who had her masters degree in mechanical engineering; she works full-time as an instructor at a kayaking reserve in Natahala Outdoor Center.

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 Post subject: Re: What to major in...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:38 pm 
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http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/degrees.asp

Notice a pattern? Math skills :)

I would entirely recommend Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering if you like hardware. You can get by without a lot of programming... heck, EE can entirely focus on circuits, electromagnetism, power systems if you want. But the benefit of the Computer Engineering degree is being able to do EE and more. If you can handle both the software and the hardware together, that's very valuable skill that people will pay for.


Video game design is kind-of a niche market. Yes they make a lot of money, but few companies are hiring, except for the very top talent. Unless you're an absolute killer coder (you eat large scale network MMO code, AI algorithms, etc) or are well versed in production quality graphics (3D models, artwork, etc) - its hard to get in. You aren't likely to have the experience coming out... and they are generally only looking for experienced talent. Yes, you could go into game testing and maybe work up, but I think that's small hope for most.

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 Post subject: Re: What to major in...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:39 pm 
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When I took the ASFAB (a military aptitude test), they decided I'd be well-suited to nuclear physics. I dunno... I tend to be good with math, but I don't always enjoy it. I'm not sure I can handle a career that regularly forces me to use and learn new complicated formulas all the time.

Yeah, probably not going to do game design. I am capable of coding, wouldn't say that I'm the best, but I can do it... I just hate it. But at least I can do coding; I can't do graphics. I have the artistic sense of a five year old with a box of crayons. Even if it looks fine to me... :roll:

I do pretty good with software, just not with creating software. I actually enjoy troubleshooting (most of the time), whether it's another Windows problem or hardware doesn't matter to me. That's why I decided to try comp engineering.

Far as game design goes, I'd do just fine on the idea side of things. In fact, I'd love to make plot lines, stories, maybe even dialog, or anything like that for games. But how do you get into those positions, without programming skills to work up from, or being buddies with a software CEO?

I'm good with ideas, and organizational-type stuff, which made me think about a business career. Problem is, as good as I am with video game ideas and plot lines, I haven't shown much aptitude with inventions, so entrepreneurial stuff may have to wait until I have a sudden idea. I'm still toying with a degree in business management though...

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 Post subject: Re: What to major in...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:03 am 
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I agree with E, Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering would be great choices. Worse case, you work in IT for some company. I loved computer programming (mostly) and took it as a personal challenge to create the most efficient and logical code (although documentation was a drag, and I tend to over do that). Unfortunately, all of my computer language skills are obsolete; does anybody even program anymore is assembler, FORTRAN, Basic or Pascal? I didn't think so. Electrical engineering I didn't like that much at all (I just couldn't get the "feel" for those teeny, tiny electrons running about), although as the course got harder my grades kept getting even better 8O . Go figure ...

I ended up sticking with Aerospace engineering. I always wanted to design some wild aircraft, and fly through the sky. Well, drafting was a pain (no computers back then, vellum & pencil only), and the cost for flying was prohibitive (when available). So now I crunch numbers on designs, and just "fly" on a computer simulator (SW X-wing and Tie Fighter were great!) :D

Good Luck with your choice Master Xan

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 Post subject: Re: What to major in...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:09 am 
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DarthTex wrote:
just "fly" on a computer simulator (SW X-wing and Tie Fighter were great!) :D


Ever try the Wing Commander games? Or Descent? Or Descent Freespace? Good games, all of them.

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 Post subject: Re: What to major in...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:58 pm 
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Master_Xan wrote:
DarthTex wrote:
just "fly" on a computer simulator (SW X-wing and Tie Fighter were great!) :D


Ever try the Wing Commander games? Or Descent? Or Descent Freespace? Good games, all of them.

I did the original releases of Wing Commander and Descent, and some Wing Commander II, but that was about it for them. I've downloaded (but haven't yet played) the "updated" Tie Fighter" game that was done on the XWA engine (I still need to get XWA first).

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 Post subject: Re: What to major in...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Wing Commander is a bit old nowadays (not that I dislike old games, I mean it's a BUGGER to get working; I've tried at least a half-dozen times but the speech is seemingly impossible to get right). You may enjoy Descent Freespace though.

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