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4 Best Online Colleges for Game Design in 2016

Games are an important part of pop culture. They are stimulating, interactive, and incredibly entertaining. The game industry has evolved and grown more complex over the past few decades and so have the needs of those working in this field. Game design encompasses many different aspects of game production, including the content, storyline, rules, and characters. Those who are imaginative, artistic, and love playing and solving video games should consider enrolling in an online video game design program.

A typical career path for game design majors is to work as a professional game designer. They can work specifically on computer games, video games, or a combination of both. The responsibilities of game designers are constantly changing and becoming more varied, but most are involved in the planning and implementation processes. They work very closely with the lead programmers, producers, art team, and other staff members to turn an idea into a tangible product that consumers will love to play. But it’s not all fun and games. Game designers have many social and managerial responsibilities, and you have to be open-minded and accepting of others’ ideas and opinions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are no formal educational requirements for game designers, but earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is helpful for employment. More colleges are beginning to add game design, game development, and related degree programs to their curriculum. If game design degrees are not available, you can opt for computer science, web design, or graphic design to get an equally technical education. Working in video game development, even if it is in a different field like art or quality assurance, can give you valuable hands-on experience that can be put toward a career in game design.

There are no formal licensing or examination requirements to work as a game designer. If you want to stand out in the game design industry, it may be in your best interest to get certified in a particular discipline. Certification is offered by several different organizations, including software companies and product vendors. For example, if you want to become an expert in coding and markup languages, such as HTML, XML, JavaScript, or C++, you should check out W3Schools online web tutorials to begin your certification training.

Students enrolled in a game design degree program can expect to take classes in everything from computer applications, computer programming, and systems design and analysis to network design, visual basics, and computer science. The best online colleges for video game design programs will teach you how to evaluate, write, and debug code that is necessary to successfully design a video game. You will also have many opportunities to go through the design process and create mock video games proposals in group and individual projects. Students will also become very familiar with different programming languages, as well as software and hardware and technology used by industry professionals.

With so many impressive game design programs out there, it can be tough to make a decision. But before you enroll in the program that catches your eye, you need to make sure it is accredited. Accreditation is a stamp of approval that indicates a specific institution or program meets certain education requirements. Even though game designers do not have to have a college degree, you definitely do not want to waste your time with a school or program that is not accredited and may not be accepted by employers later on. To make sure you have chosen the best online college game design program for your money, check out this federal database of accredited post-secondary institutions and programs by the U.S. Department of Education.

After graduating from the program, you will be ready to embark on a career in this emerging field. Video game designers are at the forefront of new technology and entertainment, so it’s all the more important for those entering the field or currently working as a game designer to stay up to date with the latest techniques and tools of the industry. Although game designers are not required to have a college degree, it is in your best interest to earn one or go through the necessary steps to gain video game design training through a vocational or technical school. In addition to getting the proper training, game designers should also interact with consumers and stay abreast of the latest trends in the gaming industry so they have a better understanding of what users want in a game.

Below are the top ranked schools for Game Design as determined by the BestCollegesOnline.com staff.

Rankings

Want to view the full rankings? Download the PDF

Rank School Name Average Rating
1 Southern New Hampshire University 13.97
2 ITT Technical Institute 18.71
3 Bellevue University 24.40
4 Full Sail University 27.27
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