I actually thing degrees are favoured by employers more than is suggested on here... at least in the UK anyway, I can't speak for the US.
I know 7 people who applied for jobs last year, 5 artists, a concept artist and an animator.
5 of those had been to uni, all had similar quality folios (a couple had slightly better than others). 4 of those people got jobs at UK companies straight out of uni with a degree, the other 3 (including the two 'self-taught') did not.
I would like to see the results of a poll on here from every UK resident who has gotten their first industry job in the last 1-2 years on whether they have a games/art related degree or not. I would wager that the large majority, if not all, are uni grads. Not industry vets or people who've been in for 4+ years, just recent grads/Juniors. The level of education on games courses here in the UK is seemingly improving rapidly, there's plenty of fine examples of work in the Hertfordshire Uni thread, and my Brother is currently on a college level games course whose syllabus has been greatly improved this year and from what I can see, the tutors seem pretty switched-on, and seem to know the modern industry fairly well.
I'm not saying a degree = job, of course it doesn't, just as 'no-degree' doesn't mean 'no job'. I just think employers actually favour degrees more than a lot of people on here seem to think.
Of course level of work and portfolio quality will ALWAYS be the prime reason for interest in a candidate, I think a degree is definitely looked upon as a good quality by employers, and I think too many people sling the 'Degrees are meaningless' thing around here far too often.
Last edited by TeeJay; 12-16-2011 at 01:49 PM..