Do You Need A Degree To Be A Game Designer?

Career
February 26th, 2020

The gaming industry is growing and growing, and more and more gaming companies are being born everyday.

The gaming industry is filled with companies of all sizes, who need game designers for their new releases.

For this reason, this job title has become quite lucrative and is a very high sought after job today.

Do You Need a Degree to Be a Game Designer? Being a game designer requires a certain set of skills when it comes to programming, designing and being creative in a gaming development environment. You don't necessarily need a degree to become a game designer, but it is a huge help if you want to land your dream job at a larger gaming company.

In this blog post we aim to give you the definite answer to whether or not you need a degree to get your dream job as a game designer.

Read on as we dive into the most important aspects companies are searching for when hiring game designers, as well as how much you can expect to earn as a game designer at one of those companies.

How do you become a game designer?

All it really takes to become a videogame designer is the right skills, which is most often taught by various educational programs.

However, some game developers are self taught, but it requires a great deal of success and skill when it comes to showcasing your work to land the same job a college or bachelor student would be able to achieve based on their diploma alone.

If your goal is to become a member of a team of game designers at one of the larger game companies, chances are you are going to need a degree of some sort.

Companies value not just skills when it comes to programming or designing games, but also overall business value which are taught at colleges and universities.

Being able to work as an important part of a team is vital when it comes to game design, since very few of the large game titles are developed by one person.

Overall in the industry, most companies will require the following from you if you’re applying for a position as game designer:

  • Bachelors or higher degree. This doesn’t necessarily have to be design or programming related, but it is always a big plus if you’ve completed relevant educational programs fitting to the job title you’re applying for. Examples here are degree fields such as Video Game Design, software engineering or computer science.
  • Experience. One thing that all companies love is experience. Sometimes having a lot of experience is a sure way to land a job, even if you don’t have relevant degrees. If you’ve worked on designing games even without a degree, and have acquired a large portfolio showcasing your skills, you may have a very good chance of standing out among the other applicants for the job of game designer. Anything from internships, to working on your own game or a game for a smaller company are great ways to add relevant experience to your CV.
  • The right skillset. Creating a game in all aspects requires a ton of creativity, work ethic and knowledge in both the gaming industry and when it comes to programming in various “languages” such as javascript. You may also need experience and skills in various 3D modelling programs to make sure you can always complete the tasks landing on your desk every day. The good part about this type of job however, is that hundreds of tutorials exist online to help you acquire these skills if you find that most companies require skills you may not have. Always try to cover all aspects of the job you want, so you never have to ask “stupid” questions, being a game designer comes with responsibility, and your employer will often require that you are able to carry out your work independently.

Other than these overall requirements, companies may also require you have a proper work ethic, and are able to function properly in the workplace.

Personality is extremely important these days, and just having the right skills and degree may not always be enough to land your dream job.

If you feel you’ve got the right skills but not the right people skills, try focusing on this before applying.

How much does a game designer make?

The salary a game designer earns depends entirely on their position within the company, or the popularity of the game they’re designing.

If you are a private game designer there's really no limit to your salary, as it all depends on your product and how well the market responds to it.

If you’re working at a company or in the public sector your salary can also sway depending on your experience as well as whether you lead a team or not.

Average game designer salary

In the US game designers, on average, make anywhere between 40.000 and 60.000 USD annually.

For many this salary is very acceptable, since they also get to work on their passion, which for many today is gaming.

The state that on average has the highest salaries for game designers is currently Washington, where game designers have the highest average income of approximately 70.000 USD annually.

As mentioned, if you land a job as a game designer who is responsible for a team working under you, your salary may very well exceed this average by quite a substantial amount.

Having leader skills as well as gaming designing skills can result in some of the absolute most well paid jobs within the gaming industry today.

Thanks to Formula Swiss

Last but not least we’d like to thank Formula Swiss for providing financial support for this article.

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About TopWorkLife

Hello, my name is Simon. On this blog, I write together with a group of writers. We are working on bringing great information that might boost your career.

The Purpose of Top Work Life is to share our knowledge, research and curiousity in the business world. What does it take?

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