Online Degrees in Video Game Development
The video game industry is the land of opportunity for today's creative technology designers and developers. Entertainment Software Association President Michael D. Gallagher sums up the industry's appeal for workers: "The video game industry is one of those important, high-tech economic drivers. Our industry generates over $25 billion in annual revenue, and directly and indirectly employs more than 120,000 people with an average salary for direct employees of $90,000."
Online degrees in video game development offer entry into this lucrative and growing creative field.
Today's video game designers generally need a bachelor's degree in the field, though an associate degree can qualify talented designers with a well-developed portfolio. Online degree options include:
- Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. These two-year career-focused programs feature applied training and hands-on project work.
- Bachelor of Science. The four-year degree adds more advanced courses in general education and computer technology instruction to the applied curriculum, producing a more comprehensive and versatile foundation for gaming careers.
- Master of Science. The two-year graduate degree is an increasingly common qualification providing advanced instruction and project work under the mentorship of an industry professional.
Online degrees in video game development deliver courses via some of the same multimedia technologies that students use to bring games to life. Online programs often incorporate an internship or job practicum to encourage students to apply their knowledge in real-world development scenarios.
Online degrees in video game development include courses in specialized programming skills and key coding languages such as C++ and C#. Game designers learn to develop games for console systems, personal computers, mobile devices, simulation training systems and computer-based casino games. Specialty areas in video game development include:
- Multiplayer online game programming
- Military or aircraft simulation programming
- Crime scene investigation development
- Corporate training software design
Courses cover the fundamentals of game design, programming and development. Courses may focus on artificial intelligence for computer games, computer graphics and animation, game engine programming, object-oriented and 3D modeling, architecture and design for multiplayer games, and simulation and modeling.
Trained video game designers and other digital artists can expect the best opportunities among all creative careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that "demand for multimedia artists and animators will increase as consumers continue to demand more realistic video games" and other digital entertainment. Other industries supporting game development graduates include scientific research and military employers who rely on animators and programmers to develop graphic simulation software.
A degree in video game development can lead to a variety of roles in gaming, including:
- Lead designer
- Game mechanics designer
- Game developer
- Art director or creative director
- Concept artist
- Levels specialist
- 3D or computer graphics specialist
- QA tester
- Audio developer
Art directors and game developers, who are responsible for overseeing the game design project, command the highest salaries. The BLS reports a 2010 median salary of $94,100 for art directors and $63,440 for multimedia artists and animators. An annual salary survey by Game Developer magazine found an average 2009 salary of $75,573 for game developers. The survey found that programmers and audio developers also commanded higher-end salaries in 2009, at $54,975 and $59,643, respectively.
- Salary: The average game developer salary was $75,573 in 2009 (GDmag.com)
- Education: A bachelor's degree provided a significant salary boost for game programmers, audio developers, producers and business managers.
- Top locations for game developers: California and Washington are hiring hotspots for gaming (GDmag.com)
Online Degree Programs in Video Game Development
Earn a Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master's or Doctorate for less at Baker College Online.
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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.
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
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.