Bachelor’s degree programs in game development or computer science with a game design concentration will prepare students for entry-level jobs in the video game industry. These programs will focus on game tool development and computer programming.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Game Software Development
Students may study game software development or design as a concentration within a computer science degree program or as its own major. Students enrolled in these programs can expect to become skillful in digital game design by gaining a grasp of level design, animation, game design processes, and gaming technology, in addition to completing general education classes.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to a personal essay and letters of recommendation.
A team project is often included within the coursework of bachelor’s degree programs in game software development, wherein a working game is created by students. Coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Operating systems theory
•Game tools and techniques
•Computer programming concepts
•Game and simulation programming
•2-D graphics programming
Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs in game software development may seek entry-level jobs in game design and software development for entertainment, training, or education.
They may aim to develop video games, including level and character design, or get involved with writing the code used to create a game. They may choose from career options such as:
•Computer software engineer
The program may also result in the development of skills that could help students seek careers in related fields, including jobs in sound design, multimedia, software engineering, or computer animation.
Job and Wage Outlook
A high job growth rate of 28% has been predicted for application developers over the 2010 – 2020 decade. Systems software developers are expected to enjoy a job growth rate of 32% during the same period (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, systems software developers took home an average annual salary of $93,350, while application developers earned $90,060 (BLS). In December 2013, game software developers took home an average annual salary of $61,043.
Continuing Education Choices
Bachelor’s degree program graduates who seek continuing education can earn a Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science with a concentration in game development. The predominant focus of these programs may be on areas such as video game infrastructure, cognition, and immersion. Enrolled students are often required to develop a working game. These programs usually take two years to complete.