I got my grade for my summer class. In Introduction to Java Programming I received the highest grade I ever have. I got a 99%. Now I’ve signed up for two more classes this fall semester, and in the spring I will have one last class. This brings me to my associate’s degree.
The real question : What’s next?! I love programming, and I love games. I would love to program games. I programmed battleship with a friend for a Pascal class in 1993. There’s been a few “game development” schools that have appeared, and one close to home, GuildHall at SMU. SMU is already notoriously expensive for a 4 year degree, and I’m almost terrified (where’s Suze to inspire me with a little courage here) to find out what it costs.
My mother’s paid for the majority of my Associates, including books, and wants to continue to pay for my school. I’m not for certain that she’s fiscally fit to pay for GuildHall. While I’ve considered student loans, she advises me not to because they’re almost as bad as the IRS. GuildHall might not be feasible because of scheduling (if they have 6 hour school days, I’d have a conflict with my full time job). I have UT Arlington as my back up game plan (yes, pun intended).
I also question the value of a game programming certification vs. a degree. Aside from the fact that it is instructed at SMU Campus and has a huge industry connection (ID, EA, several others), would all that time and money be “wasted” with no sheep skin to carry home? I have friends who have been very successful using various technical certifications to further their career and increase their income. The battle-ship co-programmer recently got a raise of 35,000 (almost 50%) when Citigroup offered him a position and his previous employer, Worldcom, was unable to match. He has ALL Cisco certifications and MCSE, yet no degree. Others never have difficulty finding work with their Cisco and Linux certifications.
Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?