Is a game degree worth your child’s time, effort, and money? Dr. Andrew Tuson, head of the Department of Computing at City University London addresses some frequently asked questions of parents whose children want to pursue a game development degree.
In his advice article on GameCareerGuide.com
, Tuson fields questions such as: Will a game degree be recognized outside the game industry? Are game degrees a “soft option?” How can I help as a parent?
Because Tuson is part of a highly cosmopolitan university, he has the advantage of answering questions from parents of both North American and European students. In this excerpt, he shares some helpful facts about the U.S. and U.K. markets:
“Are there jobs in the video game industry?
Yes. In the U.K., the creative industries (of which games are a part) are one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.K. economy. In London, the creative industries are the second largest sector by GDP after the financial services industry – no mean feat given London’s role as a world financial center. The game industries in the U.K. and the U.S. are both larger in value than their film industries.
This is not to say that getting employment in the game industry is straightforward. The industry is perceived as glamorous and requires a high-level of skill and ability to enter. This applies across other graduate destinations and is not unique to games (though it is especially competitive in games). For example, applicant-to-places ratios for mainstream IT industry graduate schemes can exceed 80:1 in the U.K. The key for potential students is to choose a course that allows them to develop to be one of those high-quality graduates.
How can a degree help? Is it needed in the game industry?
The game industry, like other creative industries, is becoming increasing graduate in nature. In the U.K., 40 percent of those employed in the game industry have undergraduate degrees, and 29 percent have a master’s or other higher degree, according to Skillset. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that ‘graduateness’ is something that the game industry values. So why does the industry employ graduates?
The first reason is that a game degree will teach skills directly needed in the industry (for example, C++ for programming roles), or key concepts that underpin the industry such as mathematics and computer architecture for technical roles. For the creative roles, the opportunity to develop and produce a portfolio of work to show employers is valuable.
The second reason is that a good degree course that engages its student and pushes them to develop helps to produce the agile minds of graduates that can critically analyse information and creatively problem solve. In any creative and high value industry, these intellectual skills are needed to develop great products.”
The complete article
is now available on GameCareerGuide.com.