Game design is the process of developing electronic games for home consoles, computers, cell phones, and other handheld devices. Game designers combine their artistic and computer skills to produce games that are both visually and mentally stimulating. While in school, game design majors learn about the fundamentals of game development, digital imaging, programming, scripting languages, and more. Game designers rarely find work without completing some formal training in game art and design or another related discipline. Earning a bachelor’s degree in game design is the most direct way to prepare for a career in this technical field.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
Game designers and video game developers generally need to have some postsecondary education and training to work in this competitive field. Although it is possible to get an entry-level position with only a vocational certificate in game design, most employers prefer to hire applicants with a four-year degree. During this undergraduate program, students will receive specialized instruction and hands-on training in a wide range of design disciplines. Upon completion, graduates will walk away with the basic knowledge and skills needed to be successful video game designers or developers.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
The first step in becoming a professional game designer is completing your college education. Those who want to earn a game design bachelor’s degree must first meet their program’s educational requirements. Although admissions criteria vary from school to school, most four-year programs require the following from applicants:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
- Desired score on the SAT, ACT, and/or entrance exam
- Minimum required GPA
- Submission of official academic transcripts
Inside a Game Design Bachelor’s Degree Program
Like most bachelor’s degrees, the game design program lasts about four years. Students in this program can expect to take classes in video game programming, drawing techniques, principles of design, digital imaging, game production, storyboarding and storytelling, and more. In addition to their major courses, undergraduate students are expected to take general education courses and electives for a well-rounded and complete education.
Online game design majors will likely have several individual and group assignments throughout school to assess their understanding of course content and apply their designing skills. Whether you take a few courses online or complete the entire game design bachelor of science program from afar, it is important to maintain good communication with your instructors and classmates while in school. Online learners also have access to the same academic, financial, and career services as traditional students.
What’s Next for Game Design Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Graduates of game design bachelor degree programs typically go on to work as game designers, multimedia artists or animators, video game developers, and related occupations. These professionals are the masterminds behind the visual effects, storyline, rules, characters, and other elements of games. Not only is this a fun field to work in, but it can also be quite lucrative. According to the most recent report from PayScale.com, video game designers made an average annual salary of $54,262. Multimedia artists and animators made approximately $58,510 in 2010, with the highest-paid employees working in motion picture and video industries, software publishing, and computer systems design industries. Job prospects should continue to be favorable for these professionals, thanks to the increasing demand for animation and impressive visual effects in video games.
After completing the online bachelor’s degree program, most graduates either enter the workforce or return to school to pursue a higher degree. The next education option for most of these students is to earn a master’s degree in game design. Earning a graduate degree in this competitive field can greatly improve your job opportunities and earning potential.