Getting Your Degree in Game Design
Calling All Gamers: Earn Your Degree in Game Design
If you have a passion for gaming, earning your degree in game design is a great move. Getting an education in game design can open doors for a variety of job opportunities and set a student up for a multitude of future successes. A degree in game design can be found as an associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree and as a postsecondary certificate program. An education in game design will teach students the skills to develop games from concept to completion.
An education in gaming has its foundations in both art and computer science. A program in game design will teach students a variety of skills such as:
- Game mechanics design
- Narrative design
- Game development
- Game production methodologies
- Virtual reality
- Visual aesthetics
- 3D design
Certificate in Game Design
A postsecondary certificate in game design is a great starting point for those interested in this career. Sometimes game design certificates are offered as separate educational programs with one certificate for computer programming and another for graphic artist. Other programs will offer one certificate covering both essential aspects of game design.
Jobs With a Certificate in Game Design:
Quality Assurance Tester– Identifies and reports problems with a game including software bugs, art glitches, and issues arising during gameplay. Average annual salary: $49,000.
Associate Degree in Game Design
Earning an Associate Degree in Game Design is perfect for students wishing to advance their knowledge and increase their earning power in the game design job market. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees with an associate degree earn 15% more than their counterparts without a post-secondary education. This equates to approximately $500,000 more earnings over the course of an average American’s lifetime. An Associate Degree in Game Design has foundations in art and computer science, both essential components of game design.
Jobs With an Associate’s in Game Design:
Audio Worker– Develops, records, and processes all of the game’s sounds, including music, dialogue, and all other noises, both real and fictitious. Average annual salary: $49,000.
Bachelor’s Degree in Game Design
Students can attain a Bachelor’s in Game Design and earn an educational foundation that transcends the boundaries of a certificate or associate degree programs. A stellar program will allow students to customize and align their educational interests and career goals. For entrepreneurial students looking to start their own game design business, a minor (or even a double major) in business would be ideal. Don’t forget complementary minors such as computer engineering and computer science!
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees with a bachelor’s degree earn twice as much than their counterparts without a post-secondary education. This equates to over $2 million more in earnings over the course of an average American’s lifetime!
Jobs With a Bachelor’s in Game Design
Multimedia Artist– Creates images and visual effects for various forms of media and entertainment. Average annual salary: $75,000.
Producer– Manages the administrative details of the studio’s products and departments. Responsibilities include calling meetings, maintaining schedules, keeping development costs within budget, and help ensure that a game is released on schedule. Average annual salary: $85,000.
Software Developer– Creates applications or systems that run on a computer or another electronic device. Average annual salary: $108,000.
Master’s Degree in Game Design
A Master’s Degree in Game Design is a wonderful academic opportunity for those interested in advancing their knowledge and becoming a leader in both the academics of the game design industry and real-life application of the degree. Becoming a postsecondary teacher or a published expert are both viable career options once attaining this level of formal education in game design.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees with a graduate degree earn approximately 40% more than their counterparts with an associate degree. Those with a graduate degree will earn almost twice as much as those without a post-secondary education. This translates to an additional $2 million more in lifetime earnings for an average American.
Jobs With a Master’s in Game Design
Postsecondary Teacher– Instructor for a wide variety of academic and technical subjects beyond high school level classes. Average annual salary: $80,000.
Studio Executive– Oversees the company and establishes its philosophy, corporate structure, and business plan. They also negotiate business contracts and communicate with stakeholders. Average annual salary: $107,000.
Ready to start your education in Game Design? Check out these great programs available at our partner schools:
Offers a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and Interactive Media. Biola University participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Offers a stackable certificate and associate degree program. Students can earn certificates in Game Design and an Associate of Applied Science in Game Design & Simulation Developer. Lone Star College does not participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Game Art (AG). Maine College of Art participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Offers a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and Development. Quinnipiac University participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Offers the top-ranked (Princeton Review and PC Gamer Magazine) Master of Science in Interactive Entertainment. The University of Central Florida participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Animation and Game Design. University of the Incarnate Word participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
*All statistics, and calculations from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information click here.
About the author
Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.