Sunday
Feb192012

Step 5: Education

Here we share our advice on education as it relates to game development.  Whether you are a grade school student preparing for college, or a working adult who lacks the time to earn a degree, we discuss a variety of options available to you.

The most common question with regards to education and game development is whether or not a college degree is required to get a job in the industry.  The answer to that question is no, you do not have to earn a degree to make games.

But you should.

While a college degree is not an absolute requirement to professionally develop games, having one can only help increase your chances of both landing that first job and ultimately reaching your full potential. Reasons that a college degree is valuable for entering game development include:

  • In such a competitive landscape you should obtain every modifier in your favor possible
  • Not having a degree could limit your long-term potential, capping your upward mobility in the industry
  • Having a degree may help you think more critically, widen your interests, and give you solid work skills which may help you in the future
  • Should you decide that ultimately game development is not for you, a degree adds value in other careers you may pursue

"I feel fortunate to work in an industry as fun, creative, and relevant as video games, and my education has been an important part of my success."

- Ross Borden, Sr. Vice President, Brand and Business Strategy | NCSoft

There are a variety of options available when considering what type of degree to obtain or which school to attend.  Many traditional colleges offer degrees in Computer Science and recently some have even begun to offer curriculums in game development.  

Furthermore, for those who are interested there are even universities like Full Sail dedicated entirely to training students to enter the industry. While we've seen no evidence that attending such a school over a more traditional university will increase your chances of finding a job in the industry, it stands to reason that being immersed in the process will help you improve as a developer at some point in the future.

What if I am unable to go to college you ask?  Perhaps you are an adult with other responsibilities and you lack the time or finances to do so.  Don't fret.  By following all of the steps that are outlined on this site you are still more than capable of achieving your goal. Many of this young industry's best and brightest found success through self-directed learning and determination.  What you lack in educational experience you can make up for with hands-on experience through the creation of mods or other displays of your work.

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