Game Design Degree Programs

A career in game design allows you to be part of an industry that continues to grow and bring enjoyment into the lives of others. Read on for information on game design degree programs and the types of careers you can pursue. Schools offering Game Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Game Design Degree Programs Are Offered?

Game design programs are offered at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. These programs can help you prepare you for work as part of a game development team in the computer science field. When you apply to schools offering game design programs, you may need to send in a game portfolio demonstrating any game concepts or computer art projects you have already created.

If you've already earned a game design certificate, the credits may be transferable into a degree program. If you're interested in online programs, several for-profit schools offer variations of game design programs through distance learning.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees
Key Topics Discussed Special effects, programming, game design architecture, computer graphics, game designing engineering
Potential Job Outlook (2014-2024) 1% growth for graphic designers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Have?

Associate's degree programs will teach you the basics of game creation and 3-D animation. While earning a bachelor's degree, you can get a solid foundation in computer programming skill. If you're pursuing a master's degree in game design, your curriculum may include a project or thesis and possibly an internship.

In addition to coursework, you'll also have a lot of hands-on experience working with game design software. Depending on your program, your courses may cover the following topics:

  • Exploring game concepts and creative play
  • Programming languages
  • Visual C++
  • Game design engineering
  • Architecture of game design
  • Game playability and analysis
  • Designing special effects
  • Using interactive computer graphics
  • 3-D game engine architecture

How Will A Degree Help My Career?

As a graduate of a certificate or associate's degree program, you might find entry-level positions as a game tester, game designer, technical designer, 3-D artist or game writer. However, you may not want to stop your education at that level. Bachelor's degrees, whether in game design or in general computer science, are the usual minimum requirement for game design jobs. With the growing popularity of online games and console-based video games, many companies will need to hire developers, it adds. However, there may be strong competition.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of graphic design jobs was projected to increase by 1% from 2014-2024; however, designers in the computer systems design industry are expecting to experience a 21% increase over the same period (www.bls.gov). Graduates with a game design degree may find various opportunities in the gaming industry and beyond, perhaps creating interactive educational multimedia or computerized simulation programs.

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:

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