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What college courses should I take if I want to be a video game designer, writer, artist, or QA tester?

Hi guys, I have a few questions about the gaming industry. I'm an incoming junior in high school, and I've been wondering what courses people would recommend I take if I want to get into the gaming industry. I've been playing video games for most of my life and through the countless number of games I've played, I've always thought about how I can make things better during my playing experience.

If anything,I want to be able to express my personal ideas and see them implemented into new upcoming games, ideas that'll hopefully be ground breaking in this industry. But I know I can't do it if I cannot express myself properly. So I'm just wondering, when I head to college, what courses would help me most in the future? #college #video-games #gaming #game-design #games #quality-assurance

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Margaret’s Answer

Each of the disciplines you listed require a more specific subset of courses. For QA tester knowledge of a program like java for help creating things is good, but if you want to automate processes then python is a better choice. Knowing a query language such as SQL is also quite useful. This would be a good starting point, you can always learn other languages from here since the majority of them follow the similar rules or structures. For artists usually the best thing you can do is figure out what kind of art? Illustration? Concept? User interface? Figuring out what art and medium you want to focus on goes a long way. If you like working photoshop focus on digital design, but if you like working with acrylic paint or charcoal then go with something else. Narrow down your focus and you will have the most success.

Thank you comment icon i am very interested my career because of your career advice Sarumathy
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Matt’s Answer

As mentioned above, Graphic Design is an excellence choice to learn about. Using visuals for communication is very powerful.


I echo the recommendation for Public Speaking as well. Learn about pursuading people and making your point clearly and concisely through verbal communication. This can also build confidence.


Courses on technical writing (non-fiction writing in general) will also help with communication. Being able to communicate your ideas improves the chances of them being implemented.


There are also entire college degrees in video games. Consider going to a college that specializes in this field to get a wide gamut of applicable courses. (Vancouver Film School, Digipen, etc.)

Thank you comment icon i am very interested my career because of your career advice Sarumathy
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yasha’s Answer

Hi Patrick, I Can provide you information about Quality Engineer( QA- Tester) for becoming QA tester you don't need any specific degree or diploma. Any degree works if you have following skills:

There are two types of QA Roles:

Manual tester: Manual tester verifies software functionality by testing systems manually.
Automation Tester: Writes automation scripts to test system functionalities, these days Automation Engineer are demanded.

Skills you MUST have to become an Automation Tester are:

1. Knowledge of any programming skills (javascript, python, ruby, PHP or java)
2. Knowledge of Selenium Automation Tool (Most popular)
3. Knowledge about SQL
4. Excel and word skills

Certification Available in Testing are: ISTQB Foundation Level, A4Q CERTIFIED SELENIUM TESTER FOUNDATION
Courses available: You can take courses online by Udemy
Thank you comment icon I stumbled my way into the software testing career field long ago. There are not degrees in this field specifically but Information Technology in general gives you a great foundation. My degree is specific to IT Management which provided a broad base of education. One think to keep in mind is you will never stop learning in this field. There are new languages and new tools coming faster than any one person can learn. I started as a manual tester, learned automated testing with tools and now write C# code along side the developers to test software. I have worked in the financial, insurance, advertising and automotive industries. Julie Lindsey
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Elaine’s Answer

It sounds like you have games you want to make and stories you want to tell. The best advice I can give you is to make games. Once you actually make a game from start to finish, you'll get a better idea of what's involved and why games are done a certain way. I suggest you start very simple. Think of a simple story you want to tell and a simple game mechanic and find an easy game engine (like Unity) to make it in. Or find a group of people who are already doing that same thing. That will give you an idea of what it takes to make a game. Once you get into it, you'll find there are some parts of the game development you enjoy working on more than others. Games are made by a large group of individuals with varying specialties - game designers, artists, engineers, producers, managers, analysts, quality assurance, etc. All of those people contribute to the design, story, and look/feel of the game in different ways. So any one of those positions might be the best job ever for you, but you won't know until you try. :) Also find a way to visit a game company!

Thank you comment icon i am very interested my career because of your career advice Sarumathy
Thank you comment icon i am very interested my career because of your career advice Sowmiya
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Brandi’s Answer

I would say some courses on the technical side would be:


Programming (particulatly languages used in whatever type of games you'd like to design)
Graphic design
Logic
Also, look at the ISTQB certification for testing especially


For the development side some things would be:


Business management/administration
Public Speaking


Also, its always a good idea to intern in the area you want. You get experience and you get to really see the day to day of the job. Sometimes jobs don't live up to what you imagined. Sometimes they are more than you imagined.

Thank you comment icon Regarding QA tester - I'd say while you are pursuing degrees in any of the above listed examples, should you live in a city with a game development/publishing community, just apply for entry level QA positions. The prerequisites that people look for when hiring testers usually are a passion for games, good communications skills and an eye for detail. I've known many artists and programmers who were in school while working as testers. This additional insight to the inner working of development and publishing helped them find careers in some pretty good development teams after they received their degrees. They had insight and knowledge from the inside that you don't often get when just going to school. JD Livergood
Thank you comment icon i am very interested my career because of your career advice Sarumathy
Thank you comment icon i am very interested my career because of your career advice Sowmiya
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