Computer Gaming Associate's Degree

An associate's degree in computer game or video game development can help launch one of many career options available in video gaming and computer gaming. Learn more about the associate programs that teach computer gaming, common coursework and career prospects. Schools offering Game Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Associate's Degree in Computer Gaming?

Gaming-specific programs may award you an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Games and Simulation Design, an AAS in Game Technology or an AAS in Graphics, Gaming and Simulation Programming. Associate in Science (A.S.) degree options include an A.S. in Video Game Development and Design Technology, video game design track, and an A.S. in Multimedia Programming, Simulation and Gaming. Another option is the Associate of Fine Arts in Game Design. You can also find associate's programs that focus on a broader spectrum of topics to prepare you for careers in addition to game design. These include an AAS in Interactive Simulation and Game Technology and an AAS in Simulation and Game Development.

You may choose to enroll in an associate's degree program in order to update your skills as a working professional. But most 2-year programs prepare you for further study in a 4-year baccalaureate computer science or information technology program.

Associate Programs Offering Gaming Associate in Applied Science, Associate in Science, Associate of Fine Arts
Common Courses Programming, graphics, animations, artificial intelligence, interactive simulations
Career Opportunities Video game programmer, video game developer
Median Salary (2018)  $103,620 (for all software developers,applications
Job Outlook (2016-2026)31% growth (for all software developers,applications

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Can I Learn About?

In an associate's degree program, you learn how to create computer games using Python, C++ or another programming language. You also practice creating the graphics, animations, story lines and sounds used by computer games. Other coursework explores computer science, interactive simulations, artificial intelligence and the different economic or social aspects of computer-game development.

What About My Career Options?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many computer programming employers look for a 4-year degree, but you can also work in this field after earning a 2-year degree or a certificate (www.bls.gov). You can continue your college education in a 4-year program if you want to work as a software engineer.

Although you might meet the academic qualifications to apply for a computer gaming developer or related position, the industry itself is competitive. Many software publishers look for talented employees who also have a passion for video gaming. In some cases, you may be expected to work long or unusual hours to keep a video game on schedule for its release.

The BLS reports that demand for application software developers will rise 31% between 2016 and 2026, and that their median earnings were $103,620 in 2018. Payscale.com reported that video game programmers earned a median salary of $65,911 in July 2019. The BLS projected an 7% decline in employment for all computer programmers from 2016 to 2026 due to outsourcing to foreign countries.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Strayer University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • Florida Tech

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  • Keiser University

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  • Moraine Park Technical College

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    • Wisconsin: Fond du Lac
  • Finger Lakes Community College

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    • New York: Canandaigua
  • Western Dakota Technical Institute

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    • South Dakota: Rapid City
  • Bossier Parish Community College

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    • Louisiana: Bossier City