Why Get A Game Design Degree?
If you often find yourself daydreaming about fantasy worlds, diving into the digital depths of mystical lands, or engineering complex landscapes in your favorite games, then game design may be the career for you.
Video Game Design and Animation allows you to explore a limitless world of possibilities – both in terms of career potential and in exploring what’s possible in today’s digital frontier. You are able to explore your own creative potential and cultivate a lucrative, fulfilling career. At University of Advancing Technology (UAT), we open the door to gaming and design aficionados alike.
What is Game Design and Animation?
Video game design exists within the realm of computer animation, but focuses primarily on game design and creative interactive worlds, characters, and features. Game designers combine creativity, art, technology and computer science to design unique environments and games for people to enjoy.
Animation uses art and technology to create moving figures and images. Traditionally, these images were drawn or painted by hand, but today, most animators use computer animation – i.e. CGI technology.
Is Game Design a Good Career?
Game design is one of the most rewarding careers out there. While it can be challenging, the career outlook for game designers is looking good, with the job market expected to grow by 8% between 2016 and 2026.
Why is game design such a good career? Well, the gaming industry as a whole has seen massive growth with no signs of slowing down. In fact, the games market is expected to hit $200 billion by 2024.
There are a few more reasons why gaming is a great career:
- Great creative outlet
- High work satisfaction
- Full-time and freelance potential
- Vast job prospects
What Jobs Can You Get with a Gaming Degree?
When most people imagine a “gaming career”, they likely picture someone sitting at their computer or TV playing games all day. And while you CAN get paid to do this, a Gaming Degree is far more applicable to game design, development, testing and production.
Top 5 Gaming Careers:
- Games Designer – Average Salary: $66,282 per year
- Software Developer and Game Programmer – Average Salary: $72,000 per year
- Special Effects Animator – Average Salary: $77,700 per year
- Games Artist – Average Salary: $60,213 per year
- Game Play Tester – Average Salary: $53,030 per year
UAT for Game Studies
UAT is known for innovation and we encourage our students to explore all areas of interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Our games studies degrees empower students to learn more about video game design, animation, game development and testing and much more. In fact, UAT’s Synchronic Learning Model promotes cross-collaboration across all other UAT game studies degrees, including Game Design, Game Programming, Virtual Reality and Game Production and Management.
UAT is an intimate, fully accredited University that focuses on educating students in advancing technology. Our goal is to encourage students to innovate, develop new ways of learning and enter their career field of choice with confidence.
Types of Gaming Degrees at UAT
There are many types of gaming degrees you can choose from, depending on your interests and career goals. Some tap into your creative skills, while others are heavy in computer science and programming. Gaming offers opportunities for both “right brain” and “left brain” students – the creative types and those who want to get their hands into computer technology.
Game Art & Animation
Students in our computer animation degree program get started with game development, 3D design and creating digital worlds for multiple video game platforms. Students learn to combine artistic principles (such as color theory, lighting, shading, anatomy and life drawing) with a mastery of today’s top software tools.
UAT’s game design program has been named one of the top gaming programs in the world since its start in 1995. Game Design students focus on the design principles and game documentation and prototyping to create innovative game projects. Our program emphasizes skills such as systems design, game balancing, play-testing and interactive storytelling so students get a holistic, hands-on education.
Game Production (MS)
We also offer a Master’s level Game Production degree for those looking to hone their skills and prepare for a successful career in game production. This coursework covers in-depth game production principles, as well as the Business of Gaming and Marketing. Each program is designed to meet your needs, improve your individual skills, collaborate on community projects and learn real-world applications.
Our Game Programming degree (a.k.a. Game Coder degree) helps students develop a broad coding skill set and prepare for a career in game programming. In this program, Game students master coding and programming principles, video game programming disciplines, C++ programming, data handling, game engine architecture, artificial intelligence and more. The result is a well-rounded, highly-applicable education that can be carried over into a rewarding career.
Where to Get a Game Studies Degree
So, you’ve decided to pursue a gaming degree – where do you start? Fortunately, you have many options available to you. We strongly encourage you to get a degree in your field, as this will help set you up for success and equip you with the skills needed to land a job after graduation.
Technical colleges are career-specific and focus on the skills you need for your chosen career and less on general education courses. Technical college programs tend to be fewer than 4 years in total and graduate students with a degree, diploma, or certificate.
Another option is to earn a Bachelors or Masters degree at a 4-year university. This is a common path for those looking to get the full university experience and obtain a holistic education. At UAT, we offer a year-round game degree program that allows students to graduate in 3 years or fewer. Less time in school means you can enter the workforce and start earning a salary sooner than traditional 4-year schools.
There are a variety of online programs where you can learn more about video game design and programming or animation. Some examples include full-time or part-time courses, online bootcamp, or rudimentary courses. At UAT, we offer both online and flexible options for students wanting to learn remotely and on their time.
How to Become a Game Designer
Becoming a game designer is made easier when you have a game design degree under your belt. Today’s employers are looking for applicants with experience who both have a love of gaming and who have mastered the fundamentals of game design.
Here are the basic steps to becoming a game designer:
Step 1: Apply to a Game Design Program
Choose from a variety of game design program options (university, technical college, online, etc.) to acquire a game design degree. This program could be close to home or in another city, state, or country – whatever works for you! You can even tailor many programs to suit your schedule.
Step 2: Take Relevant Coursework
Be sure to review the course curriculum for your program to see what you will be learning and in what timeframe. Hands-on experience, technical skill development and group projects are the norm in a gaming degree program. The more you absorb, the better prepared you will be to graduate on time and enter the job market.
Step 3: Get Started with an Internship
UAT has found that the key to most students’ success is gaining relevant experience while they are still in their degree program. An internship gives you the chance to practice your skills and network with other professionals in your industry. This can help you enter the job search with confidence and hands-on experience.
Step 4: Apply for Game Design Jobs
Once you’ve graduated from your program, it’s time to fine-tune that resume and apply for game design jobs. At UAT, we provide career counseling to help students prepare for this process. We also have a job board and host job fairs to help students find opportunities.
Some other places to search for game design jobs include:
What Gaming Students Are Saying About UAT
It’s one thing to rattle off job prospects and salaries associated with a career in gaming, but another to hear directly from students what their experience has been in a game design program.
At UAT, we care about our students – from when they first begin their program until they land a job in their field. We do our part to set students up for success and this is evident in the reviews we get from our graduates.
Read testimonials from past and current Game Studies students:
“I've always loved video games and decided I wanted to study Game Art and Animation. When I found out that UAT was huge in game studies, I decided it was the right place for me. I love learning about my passion knowing that I'm starting my dream career now! The professors are so awesome and will make time to answer questions, give feedback and helping students whenever they can.” - Tina G
“The school computers have the entire Adobe suite, editing software, 3DS Max, and Maya installed on them. Not only that, if you get to know people, then you'll realize that they have connections like crazy and there are always networking events going on. I already have an internship and I'm only on my second semester!” - Andrew V
“When I finished my undergraduate program, I left UAT with a solid knowledge and understanding of what it took to make games and how to get that career path started.” - Joshua M
Get A Gaming Degree at UAT
UAT offers four game study majors - Game Art & Animation, Game Design, Game Programming and a Master’s in Game Production. If you have an interest in designing virtual worlds, creating unique characters and bringing animations to life, attending UAT may be right for you.
Request more information to learn more about our degrees and apply when you're ready to go for it. Game on!