What Can You Do with a Game Design Degree?


If you have played games since childhood and still perfectly fantasize, if you have gained life experience and are ready to implement all your ideas in reality, then now is the best time to get a degree in gaming.

Some of you have previously worked with art graphics, the others feel not a fully realized programmer.

All your creative ideas will be able to transform into games.

Even if you are an athlete, but you are well versed in computer graphics and design, you can become an excellent professional in the field of cybersports.

In this article you will learn what degrees and certificates are available for professionals of the gaming industry.

Moreover, you will know how to get them and how much you can earn from it in the future.

We ‘ll start with accreditation.

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What Kind of Accreditation Should My Degree Program Have?

Accreditation is quite an important thing if you decide to get a degree in game design and don’t know where to start from.

Like any other discipline, game design is taught in a number of institutions where the training program is approved by the Ministry of Education.

It is such an accredited educational institution that you need.

Usually, you can meet information about institutional and program accreditation.

Regional Accreditation Agencies

Below is the list of regional accreditation agencies that give a stamp of approval to the establishments which provide you with an associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree in video gaming:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Apart from these reliable agencies, you can also consider the so-called boot camps in programming.

They are not bad after all if you aim at gaining some profound knowledge in the gaming industry and obtain a certificate.

An employer can see your skills and talents and do not pay much attention to whether the establishment you studied in was accredited or not.
We offer you to read about program accreditation and decide for yourself.

Program Accreditation

ABET or Computing Accreditation Commission accredits the colleges or schools which specialize in designing video games.

If this is what you are seeking for, hesitations are odd.

You can enter college and start your studies.

Be sure, that the potential employer will be happy to know that your chosen educational establishment was accredited by ABET.

In the same way, the accreditation from NASAD (the National Association of Schools of Art and Design) is valuable.

By having chosen the school accredited by one of these organizations, you can calm down and be sure that your studies will be according to the national program and curriculum.

To learn more about the accreditation of this or that school, you better contact them directly or seek the information in the database by the Department of Education.


What Kinds of Game Design Degrees Are There?

Associate of Game Design

The Associate of game design requires 2 years of study and 60 credits in the program to gain the degree.

After having obtained the degree, you can look for a job as a graphic artist or a programmer in the gaming industry.

Otherwise, you can move forward and climb your educational ladder to the bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Before doing so, we recommended getting an associate’s degree in computer science.

An entry-level degree in graphic design is a good starting point as well.

What Courses Will You Take?

  • Intro to Graphic Design
  • Game Concept Development
  • Programming Languages
  • Game Design Principles
  • 3-D Animation

Bachelor in Game Design

The course requires 120 credits and four years of studies as a minimum.

After that, you will have the chance to work as a designer of mobile apps, learning staff for children, or online casino.

The program of studies for the bachelor’s degree is more profound and broad that the associate’s one.

You will learn the basics of gaming business and marketing, interface design and graphics, brands and cutting edge software.

This is a good chance for recent programmers to get to an absolutely new level and have lots of practical skills to present in your CV and portfolio.

What Courses Will You Take?

  • Psychology of Play
  • 3-D Drawing
  • Design and Development Analysis
  • Level Design
  • Basics of Design Computer
  • Interactive Design
  • Statistics
  • Game Development

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts?

If you have an analytical mindset and love maths, technical science and related subjects, consider getting a Bachelor of Science degree from the establishments that specialize in Computer Science.

The BA in game design program rather mixes the lessons of design with the humanities courses.

Choose the BFA if you are a creative person who wants to realize yourself in the creative side of games.

Master of Game Design

Game design gains popularity among the educational programs because this industry is rather competitive, challenging and gives lots of opportunities to young men.

The master’s degree in game design will mean that you are able to lead a group of designers, implement new ideas and visions, develop your own games, start new projects and test them.

What Courses Will You Take?

  • Project Management
  • User Experience
  • Game Usability and Testing
  • Research in Team Dynamics
  • Game Project Practicum

What Kind of Licensing or Certification Do You Need?

What is the Difference Between Licensing and Certification?

A non-governmental body or professional organization usually award certification in different fields to the graduates with or without a degree.

On the contrary, licenses are awarded by governmental licensing agencies only.

Also, by having obtained a license in this or that field, you will be a legally authorized employee.

To compare, the companies do not necessarily require certification due to the fact that asking for a certificate is not legal actually.

At the same time, if you want to have a license, be ready to meet the requirements like getting a degree or passing a state exam.

These are the main differences according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Do You Need to Be a Licensed Game Designer?

To your surprise, the game design industry does not require a license to become a game developer, a graphic designer or something else in this field.

The only license you will require at work might be the one for a product, a software or a tool that you are going to use in your professional career.

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What Can You Do With This Degree?

Some of the most popular positions that your peers get after having obtained a degree in game design are:

  • Computer and Information Research Scientists
  • Computer Hardware Engineers
  • Computer Programmers
  • Computer Support Specialists
  • Computer Systems Administrator
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Information Security Analysts/Web Developers/Computer Network Architects
  • Multimedia Artists and Animators
  • Software Developers

How Much Can You Make With This Degree?

According to the information by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is an approximate income level in the game design industries as of 2016:

  • Computer and Information Research Scientists – Mean annual wage of $111,840
  • Software Developers – Mean annual wage of $102,280
  • Computer Network Architects – Mean annual wage of $101,210
  • Information Security Analysts – Mean annual wage of $92,600
  • Computer Systems Analysts – Mean annual wage of $87,220
  • Database Administrators – Mean annual wage of $84,950
  • Computer Programmers – Mean annual wage of $79,840
  • Network/Computer Systems Admins – Mean annual wage of $79,700
  • Web Developers – Mean annual wage of $66,130
  • Multimedia Artists/Animators – Mean annual wage of $65,300
  • Computer Support Specialists – Mean annual wage of $52,160
  • Graphic Designers – Mean annual wage of $47,640

What Professional Associations or Societies Should You Join?

When you are happy to hold one of the named degrees in game design, you can then join an association or a society to share your knowledge and learn from your colleagues.

Here’s a list of the most respected organizations that welcome game design degree holders:

  • The National Art Education Association (NAEA)
  • Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)
  • International Gaming Developer’s Association (IGDA)
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
  • Graphic Artists Guild
  • Academy of Interactive Arts and Science (AIAS)

Summary

To conclude, game design is not limited to graphic design only.

It is a complicated study of cutting edge technologies, the psychology of gaming and leading skilled professionals, game development and testing.

If you get a degree in game design, you will get numerous proposals from employers in cybersports, kids educational projects, or casino-related companies.

We hope that out material was interesting and useful for your future education.


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