The Best Degrees for a Career in Video Game Development and Where to Take Them

Degrees for a Career in Video Games Development

For many people, work is a means to an end—they get through it, and it supports their material needs. This doesn’t have to be you. If you’ve ever harbored dreams of making video games, now is the time to see them through. As our article ‘How to Make a Profit in the Video Game Industry’ reported, you can make a career in game creation. Currently, video games occupy 20% of the media market, and the field is growing rapidly. Gamers are hungry for quality content. If you’re ready to give it to them, take your first step by finding the right degree for your career. Here’s how.

Video Game Programming and Development

What’s a better degree for video games than one specifically designed for that purpose? In video game programming and development, you learn everything you need to know to create your own games. That means classes on animation, game theory, and interface design. You’ll learn all the math and coding skills you need to fully immerse yourself in the technical aspects of video game creation and how to creatively engage with the elements of online social interaction and play procedures.

For this degree, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s degree program is one of the US News & World Report’s best undergraduate game design programs and the Animation Career Review’s top 50 game programs in the country. The course emphasizes procedural literacy in all elements of video game making. By the end of your time there, you’ll be fluent in at least one programming language used in production and possess a prolific portfolio.

Computer Science

Don’t be fooled by the solemn impression ‘computer science’ evokes: it’s actually one of the best degrees for video game development. Here, you’ll dive deep into the technology needed to create video games and how to best leverage and program them.

Stanford University offers one of, if not the best, computer science programs in the country. In fact, it’s ranked among the top institutions in Studocu’s 2023 world university ranking. Stanford offers a rigorous curriculum that involves the cutting-edge CURIS research program and internships in Silicon Valley. Aside from the quality of instruction, Studocu users voted for Stanford as among the top universities in America due to its excellence in providing a high quality of life for its students, its diversity, and its inclusivity, making it a school you should definitely shoot for if you want to earn a computer science degree for your game development career.

Digital Arts

If you’re interested in the artistic side of video games, try getting a degree in the digital arts. It’ll teach you how to best combine art and technology to create stunning video games that engage users and tell fascinating stories through special effects and images.

Here, the University of Florida’s digital arts program stands out for its focus on crossing the boundaries between arts, communications, and engineering. This gives students the technical skills required to create content for games and to implement the core principles of game design production from planning to iteration.

Game Design

Perhaps you’re interested in concentrating not on video games’ art or technical aspects but on what makes the game itself truly great. If so, consider taking game design. You’ll get a solid background of the video game industry and its history. You’ll also learn how to produce a game, test it for quality, and market it.

New York University’s game design program particularly emphasizes this degree’s interdisciplinary and flexible nature, covering both the scholarly and journalistic side of video games. In addition, you’ll take classes on programming, visual design, audio design, and game business. Best of all, you’ll have access to the NYU Game Center, where you can attend workshops and use state-of-the-art facilities to understand how to make a truly world-class game.

Audio Engineering

If you’re an avid gamer, you know that the unique thing about video games as a storytelling medium is that it engages all of the senses—and sound is especially important. Pick audio engineering as your degree, and you’ll engage with the music that takes video games to the next level. You’ll learn the four specializations—recording, editing, mixing, and mastering—and then use them to produce killer tunes and sound effects.

Full Sail University’s course acknowledges that audio specialists tend to find a road unique to themselves. That’s why they offer a wide area of studies within the program, which range from music business fundamentals to pop culture to post-production techniques, as well as foundational classes like professional writing. Go here if you want to use your ears to find your video game development vocation.

The time is right for you to fulfill your video game development dreams. Get the education you need—then get out there and make those dreams happen.

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