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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Game and Simulation Programming

Majors Overview February 19, 2015

Those with a passion for video games and interested in turning it into a career should look into bachelor’s degree programs in game and simulation programming. These programs are for those with high levels of interest in animation, video games, technology, and computers.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Game and Simulation Programming

Bachelor’s degree programs in game and simulation programming teach students about visual design fundamentals, multiplayer game programming, game engine development, industry-standard software packages, artificial intelligence, and programming languages.

Students learn about the use of higher-level science and math skills in the programming of multimedia imagery in interactive computer programs, creation of game and simulation software programs, application of software engineering skills to game and simulation development, effective communication, and execution of work in team project settings.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. As the focus of programs is on mathematical courses or advanced programming, applicants for admission to some schools may have to take courses in the sciences, in addition to trigonometry, algebra, and physics.

Familiarity with hardware and computer programming may also give an academic advantage to prospective students.

Coursework

Basic computer and programming skills are developed to enable the development of realistic games. Coursework involves exploration of the ways humans interact with simulations and the expansion of that knowledge in creating ideal simulation applications.

Some programs provide students with a sound foundation in computer, science, and math subjects. Liberal arts classes, such as speech or English, may also be taken. Coursework may commonly include subject areas such as:

•Game programming
•3-D game development
•Game engine design
•Interactive computer graphics
•Computer simulation applications

Career Choices

Graduates can seek entry-level careers in software development or related areas in the fields of software engineering, project coordination, and programming. They may create video games and console systems. They may choose from professions such as:

•Software application developer
•Computer game programmer
•Programming analyst
•Game designer
•System administrator

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 8% has been predicted for computer programmers over the 2012 – 2022 decade. Software developers are expected to enjoy a job growth rate of 22% during the same period (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In January 2014, video game programmers took home an average annual wage of $64,676, while game software developers earned $67,478.

Continuing Education Choices

Those interested in continuing education in the form of technical training in games and simulation may earn a master’s degree program in the field, whereby they can build upon the same courses and principles covered in a bachelor’s degree program. Students engage in the examination of mobile gaming, interactive computer graphics, and game engine design.

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