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Maybe what students need are universities that equip them with a broad education in their subject area, and the ability to subsequently learn job specific technical skills, rather than more vocational style training.
Apparently though, many games companies would rather have graduates that can slot into their current workflow with minimal training, work for 5-8 years, and then get replaced by the next generation of graduates.
Maybe universities should never have started producing games specific undergradate (programming) courses in the first place.
There’s those who say it was done as a cynical move designed to increase course numbers, and does students a disservice by being too specific and vocational. (Referring to the undergrad games courses here, more specific training, eg masters, after a broader undergrad makes more sense).
It’s perhaps not surprising that many of these courses fail, as delivering job specific technical training is not what universities are traditionally setup to do, (for example, the academic staff that usually make up the majority of the lecturers are doing more research rather than development).
Another issue is that if the companies in question are indeed part of
"one of the most dynamic and profitable industries in the world"
then perhaps in order to get the staff they need, they might consider paying better wages and offering reasonable working weeks, in line with what industries competing for the same pool of graduates offer. This would go a long way towards solving their projected staff shortages.
In fact, until wages and working conditions start to improve, it’s very difficult to take an industry body that complains of skills shortages seriously.
It’d be nice if games companies would encourage the universities to broadly educate students, and then pay competitive salaries and provide on the job training.
But it seems what the industry is currently pushing for, is for graduates to emerge from university with the full set of job specific skills, ready to get to work – perhaps this is broadly in line with the overall trend to software factory style game development. It remains to be seen if this model will produce more or less successful games in the long run.