College Major Spotlight: Game Development Degree
What is a game development degree?
A game development degree allows you to apply the principles of computer science and mathematical analysis to the design, development, testing, and evaluation of gaming software and systems that support computer games.
What do people with a game development degree do?
People with a game development degree Computer analyzing users’ needs, and then design, test, and develop gaming software to meet those needs. During this process they create the detailed sets of instructions, called algorithms, that tell the computer what to do. They also may be responsible for converting these instructions into a computer language, a process called programming or coding, but this usually is the responsibility of computer programmers. Computer software engineers must be experts in operating systems and middleware to ensure that the underlying systems will work properly.
Future prospects for those with a game development degree:
Job prospects should be excellent, as computer software engineers are expected to be among the fastest-growing occupations through the year 2016. Those with practical experience and at least a bachelor’s degree in game development, computer engineering or computer science should have the best opportunities. Employers will continue to seek computer professionals with strong programming, systems analysis, interpersonal, and business skills. In addition to jobs created through employment growth, many job openings will result from the need to replace workers who move into managerial positions, transfer to other occupations, or leave the labor force.
Average salaries for someone with a game development degree:
Earnings for those with a game development degree vary by specialty, location, and level of responsibility. In May 2006, median annual earnings of wage-and-salary computer applications software engineers were $79,780. The middle 50 percent earned between $62,830 and $98,470. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,770.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, starting salary offers for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering averaged $56,201 in 2007. Starting salary offers for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science averaged $53,396.
What should you consider when thinking about a game development degree?
Individuals seeking a game development degree should seek a program that provies a broad knowledge of, and experience with, a variety of computer systems and technologies. Academic programs in game development may offer the program as a degree option or in conjunction with computer science degrees. Students seeking game development degrees should enhance their employment opportunities by participating in internships or co-ops. These experiences provide students with broad knowledge and experience, making them more attractive to employers.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2009 – http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos267.htm
Other Related links:
• GameDev.net (Resources for developers and online community) http://www.gamedev.net/
• GameJobs (employment site serving the interactive entertainment industry) http://gamejobs.com/