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What kind of degree do i need to become a video game designer?

What kind of degree do i need to become a video game designer? what kinds of colleges or internships will provide me with a video game designer skill set? #computer #technology

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Jared’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

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Hi Omar,


Great question. The video game industry is a growing and exciting industry and definitely worth consider. To answer your question (and more):



  • Degree: There is some debate in the industry on whether you need a college degree or not. It's a high-risk strategy to try to enter the industry without at least a bachelor's degree because you don't have much of a fall-back option if it doesn't work. Assuming you decide to build your skillset while in college, you would likely end up getting a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or you would go to design school to focus on design and storytelling.

  • Internships: Clearly the best internships would be at a videogame company. You should try to figure out what part of the industry you're excited about (there's a big difference between working at Zynga and working at EA Sports). If you can't get an internship at a videogame producer, a fallback option might be to get an internship at a gaming platform like Nintendo or a media powerhouse like Disney.

  • A word on competitiveness: Getting into this industry is highly competitive. It takes focus, determination, and genuine skill. You must work hard to become the best and invest in building a network in order to have a good shot. Many more people want to work in gaming than there are jobs available.

  • How to stand out from the crowd: If you don't have technical skills, start building them now. Start building simple video games. Read everything you can find about gaming. Learn about the theory of gamification. Attend gamification conferences and meetups. If you can't make a game today, resign yourself to making a successful game within the next 12 months. Even if your game isn't a video game, build a boardgame. Finding some way to stand out from the crowd may be the thing that separates a smart person with a job from a smart person without a job.


There's another related question on CareerVillage that you should check out: In order to become a video game designer, what courses would I take in college?

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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Omar,

Video Game Designing is a awesome career path to take! I would recommend pursuing a bachelor's degree in Computer Science!
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Jesse’s Answer

Hi Omar,


Video game design is an interesting and exciting field. If I were to suggest a single degree along this path, I would recommend a BS in Computer Science. But unlike many other careers, this is not a majority of the qualification for getting the job you want.


Most of all, I recommend becoming a creative powerhouse. Make things, do things, build things, in whatever form you can. Video games are built incrementally, and each granular piece might end up getting enhanced, refined, or even rewritten. The complexities involved with interacting components can be astronomical. Simply being able to write code is not enough, you will need to think of creative solutions and how a wide variety of people will interact with your game.


Make a game. It does not need to be perfect. But in the course of building it, you will learn the wide variety of skills that are valuable as a video game engineer. Top of this list is learning how to figure things out yourself. How to do the research and apply it to your specific problem. How to work through a problem systematically, even in the absence of any outside information or help. Games are 10% ideas, and 90% execution of those ideas. And there is no better way to learn than simply doing it.


Again, the choice of school is secondary to your ability to create and problem solve. But here are some schools that would be top choices if they are within your reach.


http://successfulstudent.org/27-best-video-game-colleges-2015/

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PRASANJIT’s Answer

A bachelor's degree in software development is an ideal place to start if you want to become a video game designer. This type of degree program will give you critical knowledge and experience in data management, software fundamentals, web development, UX and UI, and more.
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