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The semester hasn't even started yet and she's questioning her major


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#1 Attolia

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:23 AM

She loves everything and she's strong in everything too.  She has no idea how to narrow down her "loves" into a major.  She texted me last week and said that instead of a double major in english and bio, "what about neurobiology?" and yesterday she said "maybe I'll switch to Biomedical engineering".  This is only half way through a summer class.  Her first official semester hasn't even started so here we go..... :lol:  

 

On a different note, I feel like I am the only parent alive that would be a little panicky about her switching from english to engineering  :rolleyes:   I just know where her strongest passion has always been. No worries, I didn't show that "panic" to her.  


Edited by Attolia, 28 July 2017 - 10:24 AM.

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#2 Diana P.

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:33 AM

My DD is starting her third semester with a third major change.

It will work out.
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#3 snowbeltmom

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:37 AM

My oldest changed his plans before the end of his first semester.  I think this is very common. 

 

Good luck to your D!


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#4 Matryoshka

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:38 AM

I was another one who loved everything and was strong in everything.  The one thing I didn't love, it turned out, was business classes (and I'd started as a Business major!)

 

I ended up taking stuff that looked interesting (most of which didn't have much to do with each other), having a panic sometime junior year and stitching something together patchwork quilt like with my university's "build your own major" program - because I couldn't afford a 5th year!

 

ETA: One word of advice - start with the harder major.  If you start with English and decide later Engineering is for you, you're going to have to spend extra time there.  On the flip side, if you star with Engineering and then switch to English, you can most likely still finish on time,  

 

I actually chose Business because it was rumored to be the hardest school to get into at the time, and I figured I could switch out if I hated it.  I ended up combining the Business classes I did take with a bunch of foreign language, a semester abroad, and some International Econ and PoliSci classes to make an International Business major.


Edited by Matryoshka, 28 July 2017 - 10:45 AM.

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#5 creekland

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:45 AM

Changing majors is super common - and not generally a problem.  Kids see so little before they get to college and so much while there (esp in depth within a major).  I always tell kids (from school as well as my own) to head to college with an idea of what they like, but keep their eyes open as they get introduced to new things and don't be afraid of switching to something they like better.  Humans tend to do best in niches they love.


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#6 Lori D.

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:55 AM

I was another one who loved everything and was strong in everything.  The one thing I didn't love, it turned out, was business classes (and I'd started as a business major!)

 

Me too! Switched majors three times, so it took me a 5th year to finish: Business --> English/Lit. --> Radio/TV --> Film. (Media is all-combined these days, but back then, film and TV were still separate.)

 

 

I was another one who loved everything and was strong in everything.  The one thing I didn't love, it turned out, was business classes (and I'd started as a business major!)

 

I ended up taking stuff that looked interesting (most of which didn't have much to do with each other), having a panic sometime junior year and stitching something together patchwork quilt like with my university's "build your own major" program - because I couldn't afford a 5th year!

 

 

The cool part was that the Film degree had an Arts foundation to it, meaning I needed 2 classes in each of Art, Music, and Theater as gen. eds. And when I started with Business, I had political science, speech communications, astronomy, and economics as gen. eds. The English/Lit., I got to jump right in with a number of Lit. classes, and then switched to all of the production and theory classes for TV and film. Perfectly suited my "Jill of All Trades (Mistress of None)" personality.  :laugh:

 

 

...stitching something together patchwork quilt like with my university's "build your own major" program...

 

Actually, Matryoshka, I'd call our similar patchwork background perfect training for a Home Educator degree!  :lol:


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#7 katilac

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:01 AM

Foreign Language and International Trade might be changing to Financial Analysis over here! 


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#8 Lori D.

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:27 PM

...On a different note, I feel like I am the only parent alive that would be a little panicky about her switching from english to engineering...

 

Less expensive to switch now, while she's in college than afterwards -- check out my signature: DS#1 completed an AAS in Fine Arts, a BA in a general Humanities field -- and is now going back to college for a BS in Mechanical Engineering...  :eek:


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#9 Matryoshka

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:29 PM

Actually, Matryoshka, I'd call our similar patchwork background perfect training for a Home Educator degree!  :lol:

 

 

LOL, I have often thought that my blaze-my-own-path / what box?  approach to college was foreshadowing for my future as a home educator... :lol:


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#10 Matryoshka

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:32 PM

Foreign Language and International Trade might be changing to Financial Analysis over here! 

 

Heh... that's like the inverse of what I did. 

 

One of my dds has been changing her major around a lot.  She started with Archaeology, now she's transferring and over the summer thought she'd do a double major in Linguistics/Anthropology and Philosophy (the former is an interdisciplinary major, not two), now she's planning on Linguistics/Philosophy (another interdisciplinary major offered) with a possible minor in Catal├ín.


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#11 Attolia

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:47 PM

Less expensive to switch now, while she's in college than afterwards -- check out my signature: DS#1 completed an AAS in Fine Arts, a BA in a general Humanities field -- and is now going back to college for a BS in Mechanical Engineering...  :eek:

 

 

very true and a good point, I did think about your DS when she mentioned the switch.


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#12 GoVanGogh

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:19 PM

I turn 50 in January. My only child will be graduating homeschool in a few years and I am thinking about what I want to do with my life. I still have no clue. I want to work with my hands. But I want to make money. Those two things don't seem to go together. I feel your daughter's pain. LOL
Best wishes to y'all!
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#13 MerryAtHope

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:58 PM

I wish my son would declare majors and then switch rather than being undecided, LOL! Oh well!

 

I switched several times. 

 

I'm a little scared dd will change. It would be so easy (FOR ME!) if one of my kids would pick one and stick with it, HA!


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#14 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 02:36 PM

Foreign Language and International Trade might be changing to Financial Analysis over here!


I started out in FLIT and ended up in Communications-PR.
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#15 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 03:09 PM

I started out in quantitative economics and switched to video game design.  My minors and second major haven't changed.


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#16 G5052

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

My oldest decided on accounting the summer after he graduated from high school. He's a junior and seems quite settled on it. He told me recently that he's thinking he wants to be a government or non-profit accountant, which thankfully is a speciality that is available at his college.

 

My younger one is just starting college, but seems pretty sure. She's definitely more of a liberal arts type. I can't see her switching to a STEM field at all. When we were registering, she was so thrilled to find out that she needed only one math class for both the community college and the 4-year. Math was a struggle for her, but thankfully she tested into college math.


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#17 Gr8lander

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:23 PM

My engineering soon-to-be-soph daughter recently texted, "I think I might like to try journalism" :lol: 

 

If biomed is a maybe for her, probably better to start on that path...a switch to English is easier than switching from English to engineering.

 

Editing because I ended up with an oddly small font size!


Edited by Gr8lander, 28 July 2017 - 09:23 PM.

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#18 Attolia

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 12:38 PM

I was another one who loved everything and was strong in everything.  The one thing I didn't love, it turned out, was business classes (and I'd started as a Business major!)

 

I ended up taking stuff that looked interesting (most of which didn't have much to do with each other), having a panic sometime junior year and stitching something together patchwork quilt like with my university's "build your own major" program - because I couldn't afford a 5th year!

 

ETA: One word of advice - start with the harder major.  If you start with English and decide later Engineering is for you, you're going to have to spend extra time there.  On the flip side, if you star with Engineering and then switch to English, you can most likely still finish on time,  

 

I actually chose Business because it was rumored to be the hardest school to get into at the time, and I figured I could switch out if I hated it.  I ended up combining the Business classes I did take with a bunch of foreign language, a semester abroad, and some International Econ and PoliSci classes to make an International Business major.

 

 

My engineering soon-to-be-soph daughter recently texted, "I think I might like to try journalism" :lol: 

 

If biomed is a maybe for her, probably better to start on that path...a switch to English is easier than switching from English to engineering.

 

Editing because I ended up with an oddly small font size!

 

 

 

At Duke, you apply and are accepted to either the Engineering school (Pratt) or the non-engineering school (Trinity).  She has to wait until after her first semester to apply to the other "school".  That gives her time.  She will have to apply and be accepted to engineering school though.  


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#19 Pegasus

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 07:06 AM

Thank you, everyone, for this thread. I shared it with DD17.  She is also one who loves a great variety of subjects and is stressed over feeling like she needs to start making decisions on what to study and make a career for herself.  She enjoys creative writing, drawing, costuming, anime/manga, languages, music (multiple instruments and singing) but is also interested in science, technology, computers, etc.

 

She came home from a recent college tour that included a research laboratory and a manufacturing facility where they were doing amazing things with 3-D printers.  She was fascinated and now, based on what the industry folks were suggesting, wants to look into material science and mechanical engineering.  

 

I had to suddenly re-think things. I had assumed she'd lean toward something creative but we need to do a slight course adjustment if she might pursue a degree in engineering.


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#20 lisabees

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:34 AM

My son graduated with a physics degree with grad school plans (knew EXACTLY what kind) and then got offered a job at his alma mater - in creating dialogue among various groups on campus.  He works very closely with the chaplain.  DS is an atheist.

 

So that's where knowing "exactly" what you want to do can lead you!  

 

 


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#21 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:40 AM

Thank you, everyone, for this thread. I shared it with DD17.  She is also one who loves a great variety of subjects and is stressed over feeling like she needs to start making decisions on what to study and make a career for herself.  She enjoys creative writing, drawing, costuming, anime/manga, languages, music (multiple instruments and singing) but is also interested in science, technology, computers, etc.

 

She came home from a recent college tour that included a research laboratory and a manufacturing facility where they were doing amazing things with 3-D printers.  She was fascinated and now, based on what the industry folks were suggesting, wants to look into material science and mechanical engineering.  

 

I had to suddenly re-think things. I had assumed she'd lean toward something creative but we need to do a slight course adjustment if she might pursue a degree in engineering.

That's partly why I chose video game design: it combines music/composition (sound tracks!), drawing, digital sculpting, programming, logic, creative writing (dialogue, creating worlds and backstories).  You have to dress your characters so there's costuming, and languages are found not just in the made-up languages in the games, but also in any localization you do for games to be played in other countries.  Some of the software used in game design is also used in materials/prototyping.  Obviously, if one goes to work for a design studio, one would generally specialize in a certain area. But if you could make it work as an independent designer, then you get to do it all :)

 

Just a thought.


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#22 Lori D.

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 12:24 PM

Thank you, everyone, for this thread. I shared it with DD17.  She is also one who loves a great variety of subjects and is stressed over feeling like she needs to start making decisions on what to study and make a career for herself.  She enjoys creative writing, drawing, costuming, anime/manga, languages, music (multiple instruments and singing) but is also interested in science, technology, computers, etc.

 

She came home from a recent college tour that included a research laboratory and a manufacturing facility where they were doing amazing things with 3-D printers.  She was fascinated and now, based on what the industry folks were suggesting, wants to look into material science and mechanical engineering.  

 

I had to suddenly re-think things. I had assumed she'd lean toward something creative but we need to do a slight course adjustment if she might pursue a degree in engineering.

 

DS is just finishing up back-to-back 5-week intensive summer classes of Pre-Calc. 1 and 2 in order to be ready to dive into starting back at college for the BS in Mechanical Engineering. If your DD is really thinking about going into Engineering, then I would strongly recommend knocking out a few dual enrollment/dual credit Math & Science courses in her senior year, both to be prepared, and to give her a little more breathing room in her possible future college Engineering schedule -- examples:

 

- college-level Pre-Calculus and Calculus

- the transferrable/required General Chemistry and Physics

- CAD (Computer Aided Design)

- Computer Programming for Engineers

 

Also, your DD might enjoy finishing off the summer by exploring Engineering a bit more with these free open source courses from MIT -- check out the "Girls Who Build: Make Your Own Wearables Workshop." :)

 

Also, check out the upcoming (no dates listed) Coursera class on 3-D Printing Applications. :)

_________________________

 

In case it helps, below is the coursework for a Mechanical Engineering degree at the university that DS will be going to for the BS in Mech. Eng. I have grayed the non-STEM courses. As you can see, a Mech. Eng. degere is very Math and Engineering heavy, with very little room for general ed. credits or for doing a minor in any area except another Engineering discipline.

 

That could be very restricting for a student who has such a wide amount of interests. Even in the Freshman year, when most degrees have students taking a lot of general ed. courses (which allows for exploration and possible changing of major), in contrast, the Engineering students are already working on a very STEM-heavy courseload with few general ed. courses.

 

Also note that every semester is heavy -- 15 to 18 credits. So not a lot of wiggle room for adding credits in other fields in any semester.

 

One option could be to decide right off the bat to take 5 years to complete the degree. That would allow for spreading out the Engineering and Math courses a bit to reduce the heavy courseload, and to have room to add in more general ed. courses. Of course, that is a big financial decision, as even renewable scholarships awarded in the freshman year don't go beyond 4 years of study.

 

Another option might be to look into an Integrated Bachelor's Degree -- ex: integrated degree at Lehigh University, or, MIES program at Northwestern, or, SISTA program at University of Arizona. (There are also "dual degree" programs at some colleges in which the student earns 2 Bachelor degrees simultaneously in 4 or 5 years, but they are STEM programs that overlap closely, rather than allowing studies in a completely different area such as Fine Arts or Humanities.)

 

You might also see if any of the colleges DD is interested in attending have an Engineering MINOR to go with a Fine Arts MAJOR.

 

Good luck! :)

_____________________________

 

 

Freshman

3 cr. = English 101  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = English 102

3 cr. = general ed.   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = general ed.

3 cr. = Engineering: Intro  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = Computer: Programming for Eng.

4 cr. = Math: Calculus I  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr.  = Math: Calculus II

4 cr. = Chemistry: Intro  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4 cr. = Physics: Introductory Mechanics

17 cr. = total  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .1 cr. = Math Lab

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 17 cr. = total

 

Sophomore

4 cr. = Math: Calculus 3  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr. = general ed.

1 cr. = Math Lab  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr. = general ed.

3 cr. = Computer Aided Design. (CAD)  .  .  3 cr. = Math: Differential Equations

3 cr. = Eng.: Statics  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = Eng.: Electrical Intro

4 cr. = Physics: Elec. & Magnetism  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = Eng.: Dynamics

15 cr. = total  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr. = Eng.: Thermodynamics

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  18 cr. = total

 

Junior

3 cr. = general ed.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = general ed.

3 cr. = Eng.: Analysis  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr. = Math: Numerical Methods

3 cr. = Eng.: Solids  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr. = Eng.: Instrument Lab

3 cr. = Eng.: Fluid Mechanics  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   3 cr. = Eng.: Component Design

3 cr. = Eng.: Machine Dynamics  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = Eng.: Materials

1 cr. = Engineering lab  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 cr. = Eng.: Materials Lab

16 cr. = total.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  16 cr. = total

 

Senior

3 cr. = Eng.: Cross Discipline Design I  .  .  .   3 cr. = Eng.: Cross Discipline Design II

3 cr. = Eng.: Heat Transfer  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr. = Eng.: Control System Design

3 cr. = Eng. elective  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = Eng.: elective

3 cr. = Eng. elective  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3 cr. = Eng.: elective

2 cr. = Eng.: Senior Mechanical Lab  .  .  .  .  . 3 cr. = Eng.: elective

1 cr. = Eng.: Colloquium  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 15 cr. = total

15 cr. = total


Edited by Lori D., 30 July 2017 - 12:34 PM.

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#23 Brenda in FL

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 12:34 PM

I started out in quantitative economics and switched to video game design. My minors and second major haven't changed.


What schools do you recommend for video game design?

#24 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 05:10 PM

What schools do you recommend for video game design?

 

I can't/won't recommend any particular school.  Some schools (like my own) have only started this degree program within the last couple years.  Relatively speaking, it's a new area for traditional schools.  You can google for schools with that major and what I will recommend is that you look into each school you're interested in because...

 

1) some schools will have game design as an emphasis within computer science, thus having different requirements than a school with that specific major.  Also some schools split the degree into the creative aspect and the backend/mechanics aspect.

2) look at what sort of networking/community involvement the school offers while the student is still a student - not as an alumnus.  My school, for instance, requires the entire last year to be a "hands-on" year, working with local companies and non-profits

3) Is the major/emphasis only video games, or do they incorporate other areas such as VR or mobile programming?

 

This is just my personal opinion but I would recommend going to a traditional school vs a tech school.  There are soooo very many other degrees (either as minors or second majors or even just electives) that pair very well with game design:  languages, history, business, creative writing, etc.  IMO, it would be waste of a good education to forgo those opportunities in favor of a tech school.

 

If the student isn't quite sure what area they'd like to focus on in game design, take a look at either the Unity or Unreal game engines (preferably unreal).  He/she can go through the documentation/tutorials and look at what goes into creating environments or characters (which require an additional software like Maya).  Read industry articles, like on gamasutra.com or watch videos from the GDC Vault on youtube. 

Or they can study it all and design independently, albeit that's the harder way to go. :)

 

Sorry, I kind of rambled at the end.. :)
 


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#25 Jilly

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:42 AM

My son has already changed his major and school hasn't even started. He was so sure he wanted to major in film and then a few weeks after being accepted he changed to data science. I honestly didn't see that coming.  :lol:

 

 


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#26 Attolia

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 02:15 PM

My son has already changed his major and school hasn't even started. He was so sure he wanted to major in film and then a few weeks after being accepted he changed to data science. I honestly didn't see that coming.  :lol:

 

 

Even since I posted this she called and said "what about pre-law?"  I replied with "you have never had any sort of interest in anything law related" in which she replied, "oh, I know, but they have some really awesome internship and research options for pre-law students".  So, it will be an interesting next few years.   :lol:


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#27 katilac

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 10:15 PM

My son has already changed his major and school hasn't even started. He was so sure he wanted to major in film and then a few weeks after being accepted he changed to data science. I honestly didn't see that coming.  :lol:

 

He can support you much better in your old age with data science! 


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#28 madteaparty

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 07:01 AM

I can't/won't recommend any particular school. Some schools (like my own) have only started this degree program within the last couple years. Relatively speaking, it's a new area for traditional schools. You can google for schools with that major and what I will recommend is that you look into each school you're interested in because...

1) some schools will have game design as an emphasis within computer science, thus having different requirements than a school with that specific major. Also some schools split the degree into the creative aspect and the backend/mechanics aspect.
2) look at what sort of networking/community involvement the school offers while the student is still a student - not as an alumnus. My school, for instance, requires the entire last year to be a "hands-on" year, working with local companies and non-profits
3) Is the major/emphasis only video games, or do they incorporate other areas such as VR or mobile programming?

This is just my personal opinion but I would recommend going to a traditional school vs a tech school. There are soooo very many other degrees (either as minors or second majors or even just electives) that pair very well with game design: languages, history, business, creative writing, etc. IMO, it would be waste of a good education to forgo those opportunities in favor of a tech school.

If the student isn't quite sure what area they'd like to focus on in game design, take a look at either the Unity or Unreal game engines (preferably unreal). He/she can go through the documentation/tutorials and look at what goes into creating environments or characters (which require an additional software like Maya). Read industry articles, like on gamasutra.com or watch videos from the GDC Vault on youtube.
Or they can study it all and design independently, albeit that's the harder way to go. :)

Sorry, I kind of rambled at the end.. :)

This is a super helpful post actually. DS is into the creative writing but also loves characters in video games and talks about the creative side of that. He has played around on unity a little bit.
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#29 mellifera33

mellifera33

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 10:32 AM

I declared my second major at the beginning of second semester, senior year. Of course, I had been taking classes off and on, but I wasn't confident in my ability to pass enough classes to finish the major. It worked, tho, and I went on to grad school in a field closer to my second major than my first, so my nontraditional course sequence must not have made an impression on the grad school departmental admission team.
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