Video Games, Strippers & Goldman Sachs

Carrianne Howard wanted to design video games, so she enrolled in a course at a for-profit college. She's ended up as a stripper.

Why? Becuse despite lofty promises made by the college, the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (which is part-owned by disgraced financial giants Goldman Sachs), she never found work as a games designer. She did find a bit of work as a gaming industry recruitment consultant, but then that dried up, and now, she's a stripper.

What happened beyond that, we don't know. Maybe she sucked as a games designer. Maybe she's an amazing stripper. Whichever the case, the main point here is not Carrianne's workplace skills, but on the perils of enrolling in these small, often shady institutions.

Her degree cost $US70,000, and has got her, well, stripping. That's not good value for money, and is the moral of a larger piece on Bloomberg calling out the money-grubbing tactics of these colleges, which in many cases put profit before education. If a course at one of them has your eye, be warned. Especially if you don't have an arse for stripping.

Stripper Finds Degree Profitable for Goldman Wasn't Worth It [Bloomberg]


    Maybe she sucked extremely well at being a game designer?

    That said, one can't exactly place faith in larger institutions. For example I am studying, for the moment at least, at the Queensland University of Technology, a major 'sandstone' university in Brisbane. QUT prides itself on being "up to the minute" and "for the real world", with "real-world lecturers".

    Of course this is all rubbish, and with the state of the local industry QUT are desperately trying to sell to students the notion that their degree is worth-while. All the while, the game design major never touches on interface, level design, player psychology or even proper documentation. In the cohort of 200 or so, there are about 20 people who have any idea what they're doing.

    Comparing this to QANTM, as I recently did, I have to say the small, commercial college was producing students that seemed like they had been trained and educated, compared to the confused and dismayed flock emerging from QUT.

      I just have to say that QUT is NOT Sandstone. And I went there, ashamedly. The faculty where I got my degree doesn't even exist anymore (FIT).

      Nathan, one thing i still can't get over is at QUT they teach your C# only

      I would ask for my money back if that's all they taught me.

        No idea what you are talking about here. I am at QUT currently and I have done C++, Java, C# plus several offshoots and various scripting languages. Plus @James FIT doesn't exist because it merged with science.

        The problem is that you get a ton of game designers who don't have other skills. There are game design courses available everywhere but most studios only need a few designers and lots of actual programmers etc. The game design courses I have seen don't cover the technical aspects and focus more on the design process and aspects of game play. This is all fantastic but if there aren't jobs available you need to be at the top of your group to have any career prospects.

      I've spent some time studying and teaching at both USYD and QUT. Personally, I don't think either Universities offer much in terms of games development. Their courses are all generally unfocused and tend to be a watered down mess.

      I believe there are very few courses/institutes that offer truly decent education in games development. Most of which are not from the big name colleges/universities. A lot of which are unfortunately not in Australia.

      I know how you feel mate, I got my degree from charles sturt uni in wagga last year and the only reason I'd recommend anyone hiring me is because I simultaneously did a diploma at TAFE. Half the people in my class had no idea what the hell they were doing and if they were ever put in charge of a network it'd end up being a farcical sitcom within hours.

      I think the degree has been grossly devalued in the last decade and for the most part exists to prove you have the ability to stay at something tedious long enough to get the job done.

        i would disagree, a formal computer science degree, is needed for anyone trying to break into the industry these days, unless your demo is amazing and you can demonstrate you actually implemented those features things could be tough...

          Perhaps a lesser known college, i go to the sydney campus of AIE. And i have to say they teach me everything i need to know and more. From what i've heard it seems to be one of the few colleges that focus entirely on video game design.

    I used to be the guy who went out to schools and did presentations and handed out course information at shows and school events for several major Australian universities.

    The years I was there the 'hot' courses that we had lots of questions about were promoted as Forensic Science courses and Game Design courses. We had no graduating classes for these courses so we had no idea where they would lead but we were supposed to talk crap about them.

    My line for the game course when handing out brochures was, "take this, but if you really want to do this, phone the places you really want to work for, if its Blizzard phone Blizzard, and keeping phoning till you speak to someone who can tell you exactly what they want from applicants for the jobs they offer". But a lot of people gave out brochures saying, 'wanna make games, do this course'.

    For the the Forensic Science course it was much easier, "I don't care how much you love CSI, there are less than 100 jobs in the business of Forensic science and they're all occupied with people with a Masters minimum, this course will not get you there".

    I see ad's in the paper saying "WANTED Strippers, EARN $2000 a night"

    I don't know many game designers who earn that. Seems she could be ahead.

    Hey Everyone,

    Please come check out my newest videos I've created on youtube.

    I've posted a youtube video of my portfolio like I have promised my youtube viewers. What a waste of time and $70,000

    Carrianne Howard

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