Do you have a creative vision, love video games, and still want to get a college degree? If this sounds like you, a career in video games may be up your alley. Pursuing a career in video games may conjure up some questions from your parents as they probably don’t understand the world of technology and video game designs, but we can assure them that it’s a career path that many people love.
Every video game you have ever played was designed and drawn up by someone just like you who wanted to pursue a career in video games. So how do you get started?
How to Start a Career in Video Games
1. Pick the Right Major
While it’s common for some people to get jobs in unrelated fields of their major, finding a career in video games may be difficult if you don’t have the right background. There are so many minuscule details that go into building and designing video games that picking the right major is very important. So what is the right major to get the best career in the video game industry? Computer science, animation, software engineering, and game design are among the most popular majors for people who find a career in video games. Other common majors include computer animation, sound production, and even graphic design. Some colleges may have a major dedicated to video games so if you’re interested, search for colleges that have a video game design program.
2. Find an Internship
The best way to get your foot in the door for any career field is by getting an internship. You can use online platforms like Handshake and Chegg to find internships in person and even online. Search LinkedIn for the popular video game companies that you know and reach out to employees at places to see if they have any advice for you. Finding an internship is easier said than done in this field so don’t give up if you get rejected a few times.
3. Explore Your Own Creative Talent
If you want to pursue a career in video games, odds are you already love them! You can explore your own creativity when it comes to designing and building video games or illustrations to get used to doing it. The great thing about picking it up as a hobby is there’s no pressure to make it perfect and you can try so many different things you wouldn’t normally do. You can join organizations like the International Game Developers Association to learn more and get involved in a community!
4. Build a Portfolio
A resume is great when it comes to finding jobs but in this field, having a portfolio is even better! A place where you can showcase your work to potential employers so they can see your hard work will help you get a job in the video games field. You can build your own website to host all your designs or work or you can create a drive that you give access to when it comes time to apply for internships and jobs.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of Rejection
The video game industry can be difficult to break into but it is not impossible! Video games are very popular so there are so many careers in the industry to look for. When applying for jobs, don’t be afraid or discouraged by rejection. Odds are, you probably won’t get the first one you apply to and that’s okay and normal. Keep applying and reaching out to companies and recruiters during your job hunt.
Best Careers in Video Game Industry
1. Game Animators
Video game animators bring life to the video game idea! When a designer creates a storyline or storyboard, an animator will use technology to animate it. They give characters the ability to walk and build the setting for the video games.
2. Video Game Designer
Video game designers are the story writers, character-makers, and overall the start of a video game. From an idea, they create a plot and how the video game will run. It’s a great responsibility that requires a lot of technical and creative skills from a person. Aspiring video game designers should be creative and great at storytelling.
3. Video Game Programmer
A video game is only as good as its programs. Programmers are the people behind the scenes that ensure everything is running smoothly for the entire system. They handle the coding portion of building a video game which can be very tedious. This is a great career path for people who want to pursue a career in video games but would like more technical work.
4. Audio Engineer
Something that a lot of people don’t think about when it comes to video games is the audio portion of it. The background noise, the people talking, the cars running – it’s all done by video game audio engineers. You’ll be responsible for the sound effects of the entire video game.
5. Game Tester
If you’re most interested in playing actual video games, then a career as a game tester is best for you. Once a video game is almost finished, it must get tested by gamers to ensure the coding is right, the levels are cohesive, and everything is running smoothly before releasing it to the public. Game testers see if there are any problems or bugs that need to be fixed. For a lot of hobby video game players, a dream job is in-game testing! A playable game is the ultimate goal here!
These are not the only careers in video games as it takes a whole team of creatives and non-creatives to make it work. The potential career paths are endless for creative professionals and those with technical skills. If finding the best career in the video game industry is your goal, we’re sure you can achieve it! Use College Raptor to find the schools that are best for you and search for scholarships to pay for your college!