Want to Work in the Video Game Business? Here are 5 Degrees You Can Consider - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Want to Work in the Video Game Business? Here are 5 Degrees You Can Consider

Computer games and video games are not just a source of entertainment; they’re also big business. The video game industry is projected to be worth twenty billion dollars and generate revenue of more than 200 billion dollars by 2022. This is why people who can design, create, test and release video games are well paid. If you want to work in the video game business, here are 5 degrees you can consider. We’ll also give you a few positions in the gaming field that you could enter with these under your belt.

Computer Science
Computer science is arguably the best degree for those who want to enter the gaming industry. You’ll gain extensive knowledge of computer hardware, software and programming languages while earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science. If you hold a related degree, you can get a masters in computer science online.

Schools like Baylor University, for instance, have a great online master’s degree in computer science. You could learn core computer science concepts like algorithms, networking, and databases necessary to develop new apps or manage gaming servers. Or you could specialize in data science and cybersecurity, and get paid to develop smarter AI running the game or preventing hackers from taking it down.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in a master’s in computer science:
  • Database design
  • An overview of operating systems
  • Data communications
  • Software engineering
  • Machine learning
A side benefit of a master’s degree is that it opens up the door to many high paying jobs in IT if you decide not to go into video game development. However, the ideal degree for game developers is a master’s with a specialization in software engineering.

Video Game Development and Programming
You can earn a degree specific to video game development and programming. This is often an associate’s degree, though it may be available as a bachelor’s program at some schools. You’ll learn the basics of software engineering and quite a bit about multimedia design. For example, these programs teach animation and modeling along with digital graphics.

A bachelor’s degree in game design and development allows you to make several lateral career moves, too, such as working in simulation or education.

Game Art/Interactive Media Design
A bachelor’s degree in game art or interactive media design won’t teach you programming, but you’ll learn about the aesthetic side of gaming. This is a good choice for artistic types who can’t handle the rigors of a STEM degree. You’ll learn about animation, shading, and lighting. You’ll be able to create storyboards and scripts for games. Or you could create graphics for board games and card games if you don’t want to make the marketing posters, user manuals and online ads for video games. And you could always make infographics for various organizations.

Computer Animation
A related degree to game art would be a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer animation. You can create animation for PC and app-based games. A side benefit of this degree is that you could work for an animation studio making TV shows and movies if you don’t end up working in game development.

Software Engineering
Software engineering is related to computer science, which makes it one of the best degrees for gamers. You’ll learn how to create large scale software in addition to how to code. This degree teaches things like:
  • Programming
  • Networking
  • Databases
  • Usability
  • Artificial intelligence
This degree allows you to work in general software development or IT system support in addition to video game development. Software engineering is a vast and changing field, and having a degree in software engineering could open many doors. It’s also a great starting point if you want to go for a related master’s degree later on.

What Kind of Careers Can You Embark on with these Degrees?
The gaming industry is bigger than ever, and studios are spending a lot of money on testing, building, and marketing video games. This, in turn, creates tons of opportunities for those with the qualifications.

One of the careers with the most demand in the video game industry is multimedia artist/animator. The job of a multimedia artist is to visualize, design, and create animations and graphics for video games. This is a great career if you see yourself as a creative. To get into the field, you’ll need a background in computer science and graphic design.

Another career path that is popular among graduates is video game tester. But as a video game tester, your job is about more than checking for gameplay quality. Your goal will be to detect artistic flaws, glitches, and bugs in the game. You’ll also have a direct impact on improving the quality of games, which can be very fulfilling.

You also have to be more than a video game lover to be a good game tester, though it’s a start.
“If you like tinkering and trying to find ways to break stuff, working as a tester could be a route for you.” Said Brent Gocke, senior release manager at Sony. “It takes someone who’s meticulous, and is truly passionate about games and playing these things.” He added.
You could also, of course, choose to become a game designer. However, you should know that the competition is very fierce, and the spots are limited. But if you’re truly talented, one way to get your foot in the door is starting by creating your own independent game on a smaller platform.

Like in any creative field, building a solid portfolio is just as important as having a good resume. Those with an advanced degree in computer science degree will also have a leg up in this field, as studios are always trying to find people with the most complete understanding of gaming mechanics, programming, and server management for online gaming among other things.

There are a number of degrees that allow you to work in any and all aspects of video game development. Make sure that you choose one that fits your interests and abilities and one that will allow you to stand out in the marketplace.

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