Answer by Glyn Williams:
In my experience game development companies are much more impressed by what you have actually done, than what your paper qualifications suggest you are capable of.
Artists within the games industry understand this. Rather that present a shiny certificate of artist-talent, they compile a portfolio of work. This portfolio is the essential tool in getting recruited. A senior artist will flick through the work and see instantly what the artist's strengths and weaknesses are.
When engineers arrive from university, the interview process rapidly converges on any project work. What was the project? Is this work applicable to games technologies? Can we see your source code? This matters more than grades.
I'd strongly advice any engineer wishing to enter the games industry to compile a portfolio of some kind. A collection of programming projects which illustrate the sort of talents and interests they have. It could be running code, video captures. Attach source code, and make it clear what you have written and what was taken from elsewhere.
Within games, programmers tend to specialise. There are specialists who work on graphics, physics, game-play, user-interface, tools and so on.
An individual who shows up saying, I want to be an X-specialist. Look at these examples of X, I wrote, will be given a great deal of consideration. In most cases, someone with an excellent portfolio will be given more consideration than someone with an excellent paper qualification, but no portfolio.