Online Video Game Design Degrees
Since the invention of the first interactive computer game in 1962, when technology was so limited that text characters were used to create graphics, video games have grown into a booming business. According to the College Board, video gaming is among the fastest-growing industries, contributing billions to the economy every year.
Many video game designers have a degree in computer software engineering, though specific courses or degrees in video game design are also offered. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most entry-level jobs in computer software require a bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer that applicants hold a master's degree in computer engineering, but in other cases, an associate degree is enough to launch a career. An applicant's prior experience and specific job duties can go a long way toward determining education requirements.
According to the College Board, typical courses for video game designers include computer programming, 2-D and 3-D graphics, animation, game design and development, interactive design, storytelling for games, drawing studio, digital music and sound, and classes on artificial intelligence. A background in creative writing, theater arts, website design or computer science can also be beneficial. Related coursework could include software applications and information systems security.
Virtual studies can provide aspiring game developers with design-focused coursework as well as online experience and computer skills. The College Board explains that the game design field is suited for those who are computer-savvy and ready to learn the latest game software programs. The BLS reports that employers hiring software engineers value relevant programming skills and experience in addition to educational achievements. Interacting with computer hardware and software is a key activity for software engineers, according to O*NET, a U.S. government-funded website that provides occupational information.
Online degrees in video game design also provide experience with e-learning software and tools. In addition to creating video games for fun, video game designers create tools for online learning. Those who take distance learning courses become familiar with the requirements of online learning, which could help them create new and innovative digital tools for future students.
Careers in video game design are suited for creative individuals who offer strong analytical and problem-solving skills and who can handle technical work as well as abstract analysis. Close attention to detail and excellent communication skills are required. Offices often feature the best of high-tech computer equipment. Some video game designers work from home. Most work about 40 hours a week, but the BLS reports that about 15 percent of software engineers worked more than 50 hours per week in 2008. The BLS estimated a mean annual wage of $90,410 for applications software developers in 2010.
As the demand for new technology continues to grow, the BLS expects to see overall employment of software engineers increase by 32 percent from 2008 to 2018, adding more than 295,000 new jobs. Much of this demand stems from the drive to implement video games on new platforms. For example, mobile gaming has seen sharp growth in recent years, according to a 2011 Wall Street Journal article.
Those who choose to go into video game design might be qualified for other technology careers as well. Related occupations include computer programmer, web designer, art director, graphic designer, multimedia artist and animator.
- Best state to work: California
- Employment growth: 32 percent from 2008 to 2018
- First interactive game: created in 1962
- Most common degree: bachelor's
- Salary: $90,410 mean annual wage in 2010
Online Degree Programs in Video Game Design
Earn a Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master's or Doctorate for less at Baker College Online.
- Bachelor of Computer Science - Game Software Development
Five colleges of study. One clear focus: Your career success.
Earn the respect of employers with a degree you can earn on campus, online or both.
Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.
With more than 160 fully accredited programs of study, Liberty University Online offers degrees from the certificate to the postgraduate level.
- BS in Business in Information Management Systems: Gaming Technologies
Westwood College is dedicated to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and training needed for meaningful employment. Through education, we create opportunities, change lives and impact futures.