Schools That Offer Game Design Degrees – Do you want to become a video game designer? If so, you may feel that you are facing a difficult journey with many decisions to make. Should you attend a video game college, state college, or private university? Should you focus on programming, design or art? Is a 4-year degree enough or do you need more?
There are many paths, and many educational paths to choose from. What lead to your dream job making games?
Schools That Offer Game Design Degrees
Game design draws from many disciplines, so naturally there are many paths you can take. Software engineering, art, humanities—each has its own path, and each can lead to a job as a game designer.
Digipen Ranked Top 5 Game Design School In 2016 By Princeton Review
To show you how many educational paths can all lead to game design jobs, I searched through the LinkedIn profiles of every game designer I’ve worked with over the years—53 in all, across multiple salary ranges. I researched where they went to school, what degree they graduated with (if any), and what types of colleges or universities they attended.
The results are summarized in the diagram below. They show that there is more than one way to become a game designer – but some career paths may be better than others. Let’s take a look.
This chart summarizes the different majors (college/university) that the 53 game designers in my survey listed on their LinkedIn profiles. The study areas are grouped as follows:
Note that less than a quarter of game designers actually went to school for game design. I was surprised to find that almost as many designers have computer science degrees as computer science degrees, since game design is often framed more as an art than a science, and only 9% of game designers participated. College or university.
Digipen Ranked Top 5 Game Design School In 2017 By Princeton Review
It is interesting how many designers come from a humanistic background. In fact, three of the designers in my survey studied Japanese or East Asian studies. There were also many designers who studied media – they did not focus on video games, but on disciplines that influenced games such as television and film.
This second chart breaks down the types of post-secondary schools that the 53 designers in this report attended. To provide the best overview of the data for readers trying to decide what type of college or university to attend, I’ve divided it into these categories:
What may be most interesting about this chart is that only 11% of designers went to a “game school”, but 23% studied game design according to the field of study chart. That means the remaining 12% who studied game design went to a non-game school. Perhaps more designers will come out of game schools as organizations like DigiPen and Full Sail gain popularity, but right now it seems like a standard college or university is still a good way to get into the game industry.
The third chart shows the different degrees, if any, that the 53 game designers graduated with. Most of these degrees are well known, but I’ve listed them here to save you the trouble of looking up some of the more obscure abbreviations. Note that an associate’s degree is usually a 2-year degree, a bachelor’s degree usually requires 4 years, and a master’s degree often requires 6 or more years of study.
School Of Extended Educational Options (seeo)
The first surprise in this chart is that 21% of designers (about 1 in 5) did not have a college degree. It’s hard to know for sure, because if they don’t list a degree on their LinkedIn profile, it doesn’t mean they didn’t graduate. But all the profiles I checked were otherwise perfect, so if they didn’t list a degree, it’s likely they didn’t get one.
You may also have noticed that while a large number of designers have science degrees, there is also a wide variety of art-related degrees. Whether it’s art, applied art or game art, it’s clear that an art degree is also a useful tool for getting a job in game design.
If there’s one thing this chart makes clear, it’s that there are many paths that can lead you to your goal of becoming a video game designer. What does this mean?
One thing it potentially shows is that getting a degree from a college or university is an important step towards your career in sports. While 1 in 5 designers in this survey did not complete their degree, note that all but 9% of them attended at least some college. These numbers show that if you don’t go to college, it will be difficult to get a job designing games.
Get The 411 On Majoring In Game Design At College
But perhaps it also signals that you shouldn’t stress too much about making the “wrong decision” about which school to choose or which degree to take. Perhaps it’s more important to study a field you’re passionate about, as game designers come from a variety of backgrounds.
Besides, isn’t passion what led you to embark on this mission in the first place? Choose a path, follow it passionately, and you will eventually reach your goal – one way or another.
If you’re considering a career in game design, it’s never too early to start gathering information. Enter your zip below to check out the best design schools near you. The information is free, so it’s a great place to start.
Making games for a living is an incredibly rewarding career, but it’s hard to break into unless you have the inside knowledge. This book levels the playing field. The video game industry is growing and reached over $135 billion in sales in 2018. The industry is expected to grow and requires many video game designers with video game degrees to enter the workforce. Video game designer salaries can vary by location and employer, but most can expect an average salary of around $60,000, with increases the longer they spend in the field.
Online Game Design Schools (new For 2023)
To prepare computer game design students to enter this growing video game design workforce, several colleges offer video game design majors and programs. Requirements for a video game design degree include classes in computer science, with a specific concentration in computer graphics. The following 20 video game colleges offer some of the best four-year part-time and full-time degrees for prospective students interested in college to consider. We selected video game design schools based on the rigor of the game design program, the student’s post-graduation work history, Princeton Review rankings, and additional features that make the program stand out. Read on to know more about these best colleges for video game design.
Although Cornell University does not offer a bachelor’s degree in game design, it does have a Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC) that is part of the Department of Computer Science. This top NY university also offers a degree in game design, which has helped many students secure jobs in the field. This minor offers courses in technical areas such as:
Students benefit from an education at this top Ivy League school and also have the opportunity to present projects at the Game Design Initiative Showcase.
Michigan State University offers a minor in game design and development and is open only to students majoring in computer science, studio art, and media and information. Students at this top Michigan university will receive a thorough and interdisciplinary education in a subject related to game design. Students will still have the opportunity to build a strong portfolio that demonstrates their skills in game design.
Princeton Review Ranks Full Sail Among Top Game Design Schools
This minor will take students two full years to complete in addition to their major requirements. Depending on the computer science, art or media subject a student chooses, there will be requirements that must be met before applying for the game design subject. Video game designer degree requirements include game design studio and collaborative game design to complete this minor.
Located in Winter Park, Florida, Full Sail University offers two bachelor’s degrees in game design. These programs are unique in that students can study year-round and take classes on a monthly basis rather than on a semester schedule and can complete their degree much faster than a typical B.S. The program offers a 20-month bachelor’s degree on campus and a 32-month bachelor’s program offered online.
If video game design is your passion and you want to attend one of the best colleges offering video game design degrees in the US, Full Sail University is a great choice!
Students at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) in Ohio benefit from hands-on experience with external partners that prepare them for the real world after graduation. Game design students at this best game design college will take classes such as:
Diploma In Games Design
The faculty members of the program have experience from the gaming industry. For example, assistant professor Michael Wu has over a decade of experience from AAA games where he has been an artist, designer and director of development. Requirements for video game designers include:
A unique benefit of Champlain College sports
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