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Money wasted on Uni game courses ‘scandalous’

Young developers should focus on degrees such as computer science, says Codemasters senior VP

The money wasted in the UK on undergraduate games courses “is a scandal”, claims Codemasters senior VP Jamie Macdonald.

Speaking to Develop, Macdonald said it would be better for students looking to get into the industry to study other degrees such as computer science.

“It has been a scandal really the amount of money that’s been wasted on undergraduate courses on kids that will never get a job in the industry,” he said.

“In the console world – maybe I’m old fashioned – I like people to have really good first degrees from good universities in computer science, then they can do a gaming course.

“Let’s not forget that we are competing in a global industry so we have to compete with the best in the world. We can’t do that with people who are not up to it.”

Blitz Games co-founder Philip Oliver agreed that taking games development specific courses could hinder a student’s career prospects, with fierce competition to to get a career in the industry.

“I was at a talk that Frontier’s David Braben gave and he was saying that he recommends everybody who wants to get into game programming go into a computer science course because you’ll get enough skills and be respected by the games industry.

“But more than that, you’ll be respected by every other industry,” said Oliver.

“The problem is if you go on a games programming course, if you get into the games industry well done, but actually your odds probably aren’t that good, and if you don’t, you’re screwed. It’s worth nothing, which is a problem.”

To read the full feature on the UK midlands industry, with interviews with studio heads from Codemasters, Rare, Freestyle, Blitz and Playground Games, you can access it online here.

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