It’s obvious that video game development majors are pursuing their passion for video games by turning their love of gaming into a career. The decision to receive an undergraduate degree in video game development from an institution in the United States can be a lucrative and fulfilling one. Video game development majors in the United States will take part in a thriving sector of the US economy and work with some of the most recognized and successful game development studios in the world.
However, there are some important and often-overlooked things for international students choosing a video game development major to consider both before and during their quest toward an undergraduate degree in video game development. A few key questions include whether an Associate of Arts (AA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) will be more beneficial for the student, if after an undergraduate degree in video game development is obtained they will go to graduate school or enter the job market, if an undergraduate degree in video game development from just any institution will serve them equally in either capacity, and if there are particular institutions or programs with affiliations to the studios the student would like to work.
Answering these questions will help international students determine which institutions have the proper video game development program for them. For instance, video game development majors hoping to work at a major (mainstream) game development studio (such as EA Games or Blizzard) may find it more prudent to consider making their undergraduate degree in video game development a BS. An AA will equip most video game development majors with enough skill to work in a limited capacity as part of a development team, and as such, video game development majors with AA’s will find it more difficult to land employment with a mainstream firm versus an independent game developer.
The field of video game development is diverse and draws material from the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, interpersonal communication, and production. That being the case, video game development majors should have a clear idea of what role they would prefer on a development team once they receive their undergraduate degree in video game development so that they pursue a configuration of the degree that will help enable them to serve in that capacity.
Video game development majors that intend to go to graduate school upon completion of their undergraduate degree in video game development are those students seeking further specialization. Graduate study in video game development often asks applicants to decide upon one of two paths: one will further equip a video game development major to lead a production team, the other will equip the major to supervise/contribute to a particular production aspect. Graduate study is not required for employment by most firms.
By planning out an undergraduate degree in video game development, an international student can avoid unnecessary obstacles as well as procure a degree exactly tuned to their desired role on a development team.