Occupations Available in the Video Game Industry
Video Game Designers
The design team consists of narrators, artists and now psychologists. The lead designer guides the team through the entire process of bringing a video game to market. Designers can earn from $34,000 to salaries that top $200,000 a year. All members of the video game design team require bachelor’s degrees.
Video Game Programmers
There will always be a place in video game companies for strong, educated programmers. Some of the more complicated games need upward of 15 different types of programmers. At least a bachelor’s degree is necessary. Most programmers make about $78,000 when they are first hired.
Video Game Narrators
Here is a job where your English degree will actually get you hired. If you enjoy video games and have strong writing skills, this would be a very good fit. Narrators write all the characters’ speech and interaction, instructions and create the place and character names. It will help get you employed if you have worked with storyboards and graphics. In the U.S., narrators make an average of $64,000 a year.
Video Game Artists and Animators
Video games would go nowhere without the talents of artists and animators. The entire gamut of artistic skills is called upon to create a really good video game. Artists and animators must study all possible skills, from pencil to 3D programs. Most people earn more than $60,000 in their first job.
Because of the publicity surrounding the possible connection between violent video games and violent acting out by young people who play video games incessantly, game producers have taken note. Game companies have begun to hire professional psychologists who have strong research skills and experience. There will probably be a growing number of these professionals hired in the future. Now, a PhD starts between $65,000 and $85,000.
One of the best places to learn about the video game industry and what the future of the industry means for employment is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics paper, “Work for Play, careers in video game development,” http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2011/fall/art01.pdf.
Video Game Education Available in Connecticut
Quinnipiac University, Hamden and North Haven, CT – Quinnipiac University, Hamden and North Haven, CT offers Bachelor of Arts, Game Design + Development. This is a pre-professional program that leads to a graduate degree. There are two tracks, Game Design and Game Development. This program received an Honorable Mention from The Princeton Review.
Sacred Heart University, Stamford, CT – Sacred Heart University, Stamford, CT offers Undergraduate Certificate, Computer Gaming Design and Development; Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and Development; Computer Gaming Design and Development Master of Arts Degree Program Track; This college won an Honorable Mention in Undergraduate and Graduate Programs from The Princeton Review.
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT – University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT offers Bachelor of Arts, Digital Media & Design; Bachelor of Fine Arts, Digital Media & Design
If you live far from a college or university that offers majors in video game development and production, there are alternatives. Private, for-profit colleges have all their coursework online. You can study from home, no matter where your home is. Full Sail has received several prestigious awards. Other schools include The Art Institutes and International Design & Technology.