The Games Game November 2005
Concerned About Appearances (November 2005)
I saw your column last month where the guy said he couldn't afford a four-year degree but he might be able to manage a shorter course of study, one that he categorized as "career training" as opposed to "education." Well, my situation isn't even as good as his. I'm a little older. I finished high school a few years ago and have been working in construction. I can't count on my parents for money for any kind of full-time schooling, and I have to keep working to keep a roof over my own head. So I have to either take evening classes or study online.
But I've seen some discussions in the forums about online education, that they are regarded as worthless in the industry. I found one online school that actually looks darned good. They have real teachers who chat with the students throughout the course and who really assign homework and check it. The teachers have industry credentials (I even checked the teachers' credits on Moby and Gamasutra). So it doesn't look like a ripoff to me. I think I'll learn something from them. But if it'll look bad on my resume, maybe I should leave it off my resume.
My plan is to also take some evening classes at the Community College and work on some mods. I found a couple of modding boards, and I'm lurking until I find a project I can join and contribute to meaningfully.
I guess my question is, since online schooling has a bad rep, should I leave that off my resume? I'm in it to learn but I'm concerned how it'll look.
Concerned About Appearances
Wow, you're living the point I made last month! You really are playing with the cards you were dealt. Sounds to me like you're playing them cagily, too.
About appearances. Something I forgot to say last month. You've heard of Richard Nixon, right? Former President of the United States? The college he went to was Eureka. Now I don't know where that is, myself - if you do, then I guess I wasted a point. If somebody came to interview with me and it says on his resume that he studied at Eureka, that looks neither good nor bad to me.
I'm sure you've heard of Harvard. Well, one of the graduates of that institution was Theodore Kaczynski. Who? Maybe you've heard of him by his "screen name" - the Unabomber. So if some guy comes to me and it says Harvard on his resume, I should just hire him because he went to an impressive big name school like Harvard? He could still be a wacko.
The point is, when I'm looking at a resume, I'm not deciding whether to hire him based on the name of the school where he studied. I'm deciding to hire him based on what he did with his education. Who has he become as a result of his studies? What did he learn at that school, and since leaving that school? What has he done with his education?
But lastly, I'm especially impressed with something else you said. You said "I'm in it to learn." So many guys ask me what school they should go to, to get a job. Or what school they should go to, impress an employer. Your motivation, as opposed to theirs, is the right one.
Oops, I just realized I haven't answered your question. No, you shouldn't leave it off your resume. Be truthful and don't omit stuff.Tom's Bio
Tom Sloper's game biz career began over twenty years ago at Western Technologies, where he designed LCD games and the Vectrex games "Spike" and "Bedlam". There followed stints at Sega Enterprises, Rudell Design, Atari Corporation, and Activision. In 12 years at Activision, Tom produced 36 unique game titles (plus innumerable ports and localizations), designed four games, and won five awards. Tom worked for several months in Activision's Japan operation, in Tokyo. He is perhaps best known for designing, managing and producing Activision's "Shanghai" line. He is currently consulting, writing, speaking, teaching, and developing original games. Find out more at Sloperama.
© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.