Obtaining Video Game Designer Training in Georgia
Video game design is unlike many industries in the country in that there is no hard or fast way to become a video game designer. In some industries such as psychology and nursing and occasionally even engineering, states will require that you obtain professional licensure to prove you are qualified for the job. Other industries won’t open any doors to aspiring professionals until those eager applicants have obtained a college degree.
But video game design is different because there is no professional licensure required to become a professional video game designer and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is only recommended, not required, that video game designers have a college degree before they start work. The BLS does suggest that getting a college degree in subjects such as game design or computer science can be beneficial when it comes time to look for employment, And experience in other roles (such as quality assurance, programming, or art) in video game development is also beneficial. But according to O*NET Online survey, only 57 percent of respondents felt that video game designers needed a bachelor’s degree, 19 percent said you would need an associate’s degree, and another ten percent said some college or no degree would suffice.
Georgia is home to an established game and digital media industry, and the state has a great deal of support from the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) – all of which persuades students to attend schools in the area. For example, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act (established in 2008) contributed to the boost of game production in the state, offering a 20 percent transferable tax credit to production companies that spend a minimum of $500,000 in Georgia to reinforce the thriving community of games and digital media professionals.
Students receive training in the latest design techniques by pursuing a video game design program or taking related courses at one of the accredited schools in Georgia. Students may choose between obtaining a certificate or associate degrees, or study at the bachelor’s- and master’s degree level.
Video Game Design Schools in Georgia
According to the (GDEcD), there are more than 15 colleges and universities in Georgia that offer full degree programs or multimedia game courses to students.
The Savannah College of Art and Design – The Savannah College of Art and Design has both an undergraduate and graduate program for students interested in interactive design and game development, but it is the undergraduate video game design program that caught the eye of the Princeton Review, which rated the school as one of the best in the United States when it comes to video game design.
Georgia Institute of Technology – Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta was also called as one of the top “15 Graduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2013.” by The Princeton Review. The main campus also provides a three-credit course in game design as part of its doctorate program in digital media.
Georgia Southern University in Statesboro – Georgia Southern University in Statesboro offers a game design program, where students pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in computer science may opt for the Game Programming Certificate, which includes courses in animation, computer graphics, game programming, and human computer interaction.
Southern Polytechnic State University – Southern Polytechnic State University offers a bachelor’s degree program in computer game design and development that covers 2-D and 3-D design.
Online Video Game Design Schools in Georgia
Video game design training doesn’t always have to take place inside of a classroom. Considering all the technological savvy that video game designers need to have to be successful, it only makes sense that the degree programs and courses in the subject should be offered entirely online. Unfortunately, because the degree programs and courses are relatively new, many state-specific schools have not yet begun to adopt online degree programs and courses in video game design.
In Georgia, DeVry University, which has a campus in Atlanta, is the only school with a physical location in the state that offers online degree programs in video game design. That said, there are still a number of national online degree providers who work with students in Georgia. Schools like Full Sail University, the Stratford Career Institute and Baker College Online all offer at least one video game design degree completely online and they are only a sampling of the national online providers with video game design degrees.
Statistics for Video Game Designers in Georgia
According to the BLS, as of May 2012, the state of Georgia is home to at least 850 professional multimedia designers and animators and those professionals were earning an annual median salary of $52,208. Also, the profession is growing, depending on what data you want to use as a reference point. On a national level, the video game design industry has a very bright outlook as the industry continues to grow and the demand for highly trained and skilled designers rises as well.
From 2010 to 2020, the BLS predicts national employment in computer occupations to rise six percent and national employment as a multimedia designer and animator to rise eight percent over the same period of time. The outlook in Georgia is murkier. The Georgia Department of Labor predicts that employment in computer occupations from 2010 to 2020 will actually drop by five percent, but it also predicts that employment as a multimedia designer and animator will rise nine percent in Georgia during the same period.