Many people assume that by earning a college degree, they can become a video game designer. The degree is only a way to enter the video game industry. Most game designers have a degree in video game design or a related discipline like computer science. But they do not know about basic knowledge required. There are more and more routes starting for people who have not been college-educated to get into game design.
Education and Portfolio
There are two significant aspects to any job application for a game designer position:
- Your education
- Your portfolio
With ‘education’ you may immediately think of a degree, it is more explicitly explained as a skill-set which you hold. While your portfolio is a compilation of previous works that help you to showcase your skill set.
Procuring both is something that is somewhat difficult for young designers who wish to enter the world of video game design.
Benefits of a College Degree
A college degree is the easiest route into game design because it gives you the space and opportunity to develop your education in a formal environment and make your portfolio. Your education will be formally acknowledged, which gives you more chances to crack your interview. Your portfolio can be made of the coursework pieces or things you have designed in your spare time. Some employers will consider you directly if you have been to college, so it immediately gets you past the first barrier. The downside of a college degree is the cost of the course.
What if you could gain these same skills in a different fashion, without the expense of your college degree?
Nowadays, people prefer taking alternative routes to enter into the video game design industry, including people who totally bypass college. Many people get a job in a relevant industry such as software programming straight out of high school as they have been working on games as a hobby.
A portfolio is doubly necessary for those who have not attended college. They need to showcase their skills, as they have not been awarded an official degree for them.
Alternative routes include:
- Extensively Modding existing games
- Trying to launch a game you wrote as a hobby
- Starting your own micro-studio
As long as you can prove your abilities through a portfolio of work, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be treated as equal to someone with a college degree. There are also online skills websites where you can gain certificates and qualifications, which may help you in your hunt for employment.
Getting a job as a video game designer is all about showing your skills.
Spend some time working on projects related to your profile, and you’ll be rewarded with many interviews for positions in the games industry, regardless of whether you have a college degree or not.
Are you a game designer? What are your views on game design requirements? Tell us in the comments section or tweet us @essjay_ent!
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