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What careers would be best for me?

Hi I'm a sohpmore in highschool. College and the Cahsee is very close. Based on my interests what careers should I take? (Gaming. Computers. Psychology.) #psychology #online-gaming


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Matthew’s Answer

I would consider first what majors you should consider: computer science, computer engineering, psychology, etc. Take a look at some example courses and see which sound the most interesting.


Example psychology courses:
http://psychology.umd.edu/ugrad/Undergrad_syllabi.html


Example computer science courses:
http://undergrad.cs.umd.edu/degree-requirements-cs-major


If you want some job ideas here are a few:
-Software engineer for tech company, gaming company
-Graphic designer for tech company, gaming company
-Career counselor
-Psychologist
-Psych research (PHD)


Thanks for the thoughtful career option list :) Andrea H.

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Alexandra’s Answer

I would suggest Psychology, Computer Science, Software Engineering, or Game Design (a Psych degree lends itself very well to Game Design!).


If you are passionate about the gaming industry, all of your interests are relevant if you would like a career making games. What I would suggest is thinking long and hard about which of these interests really means the most to you, and follow that path.


Remember, the gaming industry is an incredibly competitive field. If you don't have passion for it, you likely wont enjoy it, so that's definitely something to keep in mind.


Thanks for your input Alexandra. :) Andrea H.

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Monty’s Answer

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Game design is new to the academic world. Most colleges who offer programs in the space are relatively new at the discipline. Also the industry has not really started to value a game design degree vs any other degree. I have been in the field for over 10 years with a BA in History.


If you can code you have a choice to make on comp sci vs game programming. Comp sci will give you much more fundamental and OS/Sub OS skills. It is great for systems or backend developers. Game programming will spend a considerable time on game engines, Unity/Unreal and working with artists/musicians. Right now it does not make a huge difference which way you go, you can pick what ever interests you the most.


The most important thing while you are in school is to focus on practical experience. Today everyone can build games with the tools that are freely available (Unity, Maya Student, audacity etc.) and the experience of building and launching a game is critical to making you education useful.


Finally a game design degree is not limiting. You can take the degree into simulation, app design or UX. The line I tell students to use is "If I can get someone to click here for 20 hours think of what I can do for your app." You will find more and more people moving in and out of games to adjacent sectors and using their skills to improve design.


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Andy’s Answer

Good to see that you've got some pretty tight interests. Definitely looking like you're on the path of a game designer and/or programmer. College will give you access to all kinds of other academic opportunities though so make sure to keep an open mind and see what else may inspire you. I majored in biology at UC Berkeley. And while I still enjoy learning about the natural world and keeping up with advancements in science, I found that I enjoyed art much more. I eventually got my Masters of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art University and I now work in the video games industry creating characters, environments and other pieces of art.


I definitely do not regret studying other things before getting to where I'm at now. It gives me a better perspective on the world and makes me appreciate the career that I have now.


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Joanna’s Answer

I would take classes in psych, computer science, video game design (if available) and anything else that could be relevant. There are even programs like informatics and human computer interaction that can combine your interests in psych, computers, and video games. Make sure to leave room to explore outside of those fields as well, you never know what may really capture your attention and passion. Get involved in undergrad research as well, many schools have undergraduate programs that help connect first and second year students with faculty doing research in a wide array of subjects.


Here are a few programs that might be interesting to you:


http://informatics.umich.edu/informatics/about


http://www.hcii.cmu.edu/undergraduate-program


http://catalog.yale.edu/ycps/subjects-of-instruction/computer-science-psychology/


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Veena’s Answer

If you are going down the game route then that typically means C++ for most of the core (engine, AI, etc) and potentially a higher level language for the UI, but for small indie games you could go with almost any language. It really just depends on what level of complexity you are going for. You can make games in Flash if you really want to...


If you want to do something other than games, just try them all out and see which one "clicks" with you best. In the end, your first choice of language isn't all that important. You don't want to be a C++ programmer or a Python programmer, you just want to be a programmer. There are far more important things to learn than your choice of syntax. Higher level concepts and patterns can be learned using many languages.


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