How to Become a Video Game Developer and Programmer

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need at least a bachelors degree in multimedia design, computer programming, software programming, or development. There are also bachelor programs specifically designed for video game programming and design. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree in multimedia development or video game development/design can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Begin your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a video game developer.

Much Does a Video Game Developer Make?:
$61,370 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+4,300 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Mobile games, computer games, and console games (aka Xbox, Playstation, etc…).

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Mutimedia Artist & Animator page)

The Best Places to Become a Video Game Developer

The video game industry is large and continues to grow. Careers in video game production are working their way into a variety of different professions, and the number of job options has never been higher. Among the places you can find work as a video game producer:

  • Video game studio
  • Independent/freelance producer
  • Mobile gaming studio
  • Social media gaming agency

Employment and Information Data for Video Game Programmer

Why Become a Video Game Developer?

Video games are the fastest growing entertainment industry, and several professions provide the opportunity to design and develop games. Making video games is fun –and serious—business. Video game design and production is an exciting way for young professionals to make a living creating something they feel passionate about. Game programmers work on every aspect of the video game process, from conceptualization, to artwork and animation, to software development and quality control.

Other aspects of the industry include more organizational positions such as project manager and sales coordinator. Video games are one of the fastest growing categories in the entertainment industry, and degree related to video game production will provide you with an entry into this exciting and growing field.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Video Game Developer

  • Software Development
  • Advanced Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence for Games
  • Computer Science
  • 3D Graphics
  • 3D Game Architecture
  • Game Development
  • Graphic Design

Degree Options to Help You Become a Video Game Developer

Because there are several job which fall into video game creation – including designer, artist, programmer, producer and audio production – professionals often came from a variety of backgrounds. The most common career path is through a degree in a computer programming or related sciences program. Even the business and sales team at most video game firms often come from a programming background, since knowledge of the backend process in essential for each member of a gaming team. While most gaming professionals attain a Bachelor’s of Science degree, in some cases an Associate of Applied Science degree is also accepted.

Computer Science

Computer Science deals with all information relating to the backend of computing, including its efficient representation and transformation, its communication and security, its storage, analysis and display. A degree in Computer Science will prepare students for careers in the research, development and business of video games.

Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering represents the full spectrum of program development, including the design, analysis and application of computer systems. Majors in Computer Engineering will go on to design computer systems in video games and related fields.

Video Game Design

Some schools offer classes specifically in video game art and design, but many video game designers come from more traditional art and design backgrounds. Video games come in a variety of different graphic styles, and a design education will prepare a professional game designer for creating art and graphics that are a custom fit for a variety of games. A design education will provide you with a robust portfolio, which is essential in landing a job in video game design.

Video Game Programming

A general computer programming degree will give you a wide variety of programming expertise, which will help you grow a career as a game programmer as well as open the door in related fields. A video programming degree is an opportunity to specialize in the programming languages unique to game design. Video game programming degrees are typically available in two year (A. A. S.) or four year (B.S.) options.