Video Game Design Schools

Category: Education , Gaming

I really have a passion for art and video gaming, and would love to someday have a career as a video game designer. Is this a good career choice, and what schools offer this type of degree?

Video Game Design Schools

So You Want to Be a Video Game Designer...

After playing video games for ten years, you or your child may get the ambition to design video games of your own. If so, you will find hundreds of video game design schools to help you acquire the skills you need. Some video game colleges are specialized vocational-technical or "adult education" institutions. These video game schools don't require liberal arts and other peripheral courses that four-year colleges require. Such a game design school provides the core technical and business skills that pertain directly to the job you want to do.

Typically, a game design program can be completed in 18 to 24 months. You may get a certificate of completion or an Associate's degree in designing video games; creating animations and graphics; and plotting the gameplay or flow of action from one level to the next. Other game designs schools offer four-year Bachelor's degrees that include the hands-on technical skills plus the managerial or "people skills" training necessary to advance upward within a corporate career path. A video game is rarely just one person's creation. Teams of several dozen specialists work on various aspects of designing a video game. Project coordinators and software engineers are the managers who coordinate everyone's efforts to design a complex video game.

Video game design schools include the Institutes of Art, a group of independently owned and operated private schools which share the "Institute of Art" brand. These schools are located in major cities throughout the U. S. and Canada. Their Game Art & Design and Game Programming programs form the curriculum of a game design program.

ITT Technical Institute is a well-known name in vo-tech training. Its Digital Entertainment and Game Design Degree is offered through over 100 ITT campuses nationwide.

DeVry University offers online study as well as classroom-based Game and Simulation Programming Bachelor's Degree game design program. In addition to the technical skills of designing video games, DeVry teaches the "people skills" needed to become more than just a front-line code warrior. With these "soft" skills, one can advance to project coordinator, software engineer, and other managerial roles.

Westwood College is similar to DeVry, with campuses all over the U.S. and Canada as well as an online distance-learning game design program. It offers Bachelor's degrees in Game Art and Design, and in Game Software Development. The former program is for the visually-oriented game designer, while the latter is for code warriors who want to program "the moves", the plot line, and so on.

Beings a video game designer may seem cool but it is very hard, stressful work. Front-line game design programmers often work 80 hours a week or more, furiously writing and re-writing code to meet strict deadlines and ever-changing management expectations. A game designer often works on a contract or project basis, moving from one game development company to the next as projects come and go. According to, video game designers can expect to earn a salary in the $46-70K range. So if you like to work hard, play hard, and live in a lot of different places, becoming a video game designer may be the career for you.

Got something to say about video game design schools? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Video Game Design Schools"

Posted by:

Joan Azarva
01 Oct 2010

Bob, I love your column and have been a subscriber for a while. I take objection, however, with your article on "video game design" schools.

I am a college Learning Specialist, and the schools you mention are all *for profit* colleges that often prey on students who can't get in elsewhere (very often students with learning disabilities). They often promise the world and don't deliver. The parents are out the tuition, and the students are often unemployable when they "graduate" because of the colleges' low standards.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not clear on why you think a "for profit" college is a bad thing. And as for your claim that ITT, Devry, and Westwood are "preying" on students... I'd love to hear your evidence to back up such claims.

Posted by:

01 Oct 2010

Would like to know what softwares are necessary for video game production -- could self-study to bone up.

Posted by:

01 Oct 2010

I graduated from Devry (Information Systems) in 2008, and was hired soon after by JP Morgan. My experience was positive from start to finish.

Posted by:

Dave in Indy
04 Oct 2010

ITT Technical Institute is Indianapolis based and has been in the news - not for good reasons. You aksed for proof of preying on studenbts and while I have not attended - the "proof" was not hard to find:

It goes on and on - Google is your friend. GI Bill recipients get hit hard too by these kinds of "schools" because they (the schools) know it is free $ from Uncle Sam.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I really have no inclination to defend ITT, but I'll just point out that there are no websites created specifiically for people to say "I really like this company/college/etc." But there are plenty of places to go and complain. It feeds a human need. And I'm not saying that those people are all liars, I'm sure they're not. But you can take ANY large public entity and find plenty of people who are unsatisfied for some reason. The happy customers rarely go looking for a forum to speak out.

Posted by:

Bill in Michigan
18 Oct 2010

What I was hoping you would explain is what skill set it needed for video game production.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's some good info:

Posted by:

07 Mar 2012

Hi Bob,
this is prashant madndowara from India. I am working as a 3d modeling and texturing artist. I want to be a game designer. So what should i do? Should i resign and do a online course.Please guide me, i am bery much confused.

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