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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Simulation and Game Programming

Majors Overview January 22, 2014

Those interested in developing video games for military, business, medical, or recreational use and purposes may want to look at an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in simulation and game programming. Students will be prepared for entry-level work as a game tester, game programmer or designer, or something related.

A.A. Programs in Simulation and Game Programming

Students enrolled in an associate’s degree in simulation and game development are taught the basics of game design, video game development and computer programming. This two-year program is the most suitable degree program for those keen on designing video game software. In addition to the video game industry, the military and law enforcement rely on these graduates to create training software for these industries.

Software may also be developed by simulation programmers for use in educational institutions, in addition to a variety of industries, businesses and hospitals. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold GED certificates or high school diplomas.

Coursework

Students are equipped with basic knowledge about programming, development and design for games and computers. Students can expect to become adept at creating video training software for various uses, including video game consoles. Coursework may include:

•Modification and level design
•Simulation design
•Database scripting
•Computer software development
•Visual and audio design
•Software engineering for game programming
•Game design process
•2-D and 3-D animation
•Project management

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree in game programming and simulation may seek entry-level jobs in the business, education and entertainment industries, in addition to the military, in positions such as those of testers, programmers or junior developers. They may choose from an array of occupational options including:

•Animators
•Database administrators
•Modeler
•Artist
•Game and simulation tester
•Story developer
•Database designer
•Junior game designer
•Quality assurance analyst
•Junior game programmer

Continuing Education Choices

Most programmers earn at least a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, computer science or game and simulation programming (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), in keeping with the advance training requirements of more complex programming. A master’s degree in simulation programming or related computer science field may also be pursued by interested individuals.

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