What You Should Know About This Degree
A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum level of education needed for most jobs in video game design. Individuals usually advance through the field based on experience and on-the-job training. A master’s degree typically isn’t required, although some individuals may wish to obtain a master’s if they already have a bachelor’s degree in another field.
The pay difference between video game designers with a bachelor’s degree and those with a master’s degree is negligible. Payscale.com reports that the average annual salary for video game designers is $63,000, regardless of education level. This is something to consider if you are considering getting an advanced degree in game design.
Because video game design is a computer-based type of art, students are typically required to have computers that meet certain specifications, as well as software programs specifically for game design. Find out from your program what, if any, equipment you must have to complete the program, and if the department offers any discounts on hardware or software.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Game Design programs:
- Are there any special admissions requirements? Design programs may sometimes require applicants to demonstrate their artistic or technical abilities during the admissions stage. This may mean submitting a portfolio of work, or designing a website, so faculty and admissions officers can assess prospective students’ abilities prior to acceptance. Visit the program’s website or talk to an admissions counselor about any special application materials you must submit.
- Does this program have the concentration that I want? Within game design, there are a few specialty tracks students can take, including game development, game art, and game studies. If you want a highly focused program, look for curriculums that allow this kind of specialization.
At this stage, you should also be researching funding resources and gathering your application materials. Having all of your application materials collected ahead of time will make the application process go smoothly. Funding options can include student loans, grants, scholarships, assistantships, and employee tuition benefits, if you are currently working.