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  • Writer's pictureJohn Karras

Can You Turn Your Love of Gaming Into a Career? Yes, You Can! By Micah Norris

If you love gaming, getting a job in the video game industry could let you turn your passion into a career. In the United States, more than 241,000 people work in the video game industry, so that means it’s a perfectly viable profession. Plus, the industry is expected to grow, reaching a value of $200 billion by 2023. That means there could be more opportunities over the coming years, making it easier to start a career as a video game developer.

The Skills You Need as a Video Game Developer

Knowing which skills will help you launch a career as a video game developer is beneficial. While every job and employer may have different requirements, certain skills are widely considered valuable. Here is a quick list of some of the most in-demand video game developer technical skills:

● Programming Languages (C#, C++, Python, GML, PHP, etc.)

● Game Engines (Unreal Engine, CryEngine, etc.)

● Mobile Languages (Swift, Objective-C, Java, etc.)

● Web Languages (JavaScript, HTML, CSS, etc.)

● Animation Software (Unity, Maya, etc.)

● Testing / QA



How to Acquire In-Demand Video Game Developer Skills

Usually, there are two main paths for getting the skills you need to work as a video game developer. First, there’s getting a college degree. Most video game developers have a Bachelor’s degree in a related major. That can mean a degree in video game development or a similar technical field like computer science, software engineering, computer animation, and more. Getting a Master’s degree could also separate you from the pack.

If you need a flexible degree program that makes keeping a job or managing personal obligations easier, looking for an online degree program could be your best bet. However, before you enroll, make sure the online school is accredited and that the tuition rates are competitive. That way, you know you’re getting a quality education at a reasonable price.

Another option worth considering is a boot camp. These are short training programs that focus on a specific niche. The experience can be a bit intense, but it involves a lot of hands-on learning, ensuring you have practical skills. Plus, you can finish a boot camp in much less time than it takes to earn a degree, which is a nice bonus.

Snag Your First Job in the Field

Once you have your education, it’s time to look for entry-level jobs. While you may get to move right into a video game developer role, that isn’t especially common. Instead, other paths are more typical. In some cases, looking for an internship is your best move. While the pay rate may be lower, you’ll get to apply your skills at a gaming company. Plus, you’ll get real-world experience and can network with professionals working in the industry, effectively getting your foot in the door.

Another option is to look for a video game tester position. You’ll get to hone your QA skills while showcasing your work ethic and building valuable connections. Many video game developers start their careers here, capturing opportunities to move up as they arise.

Accelerate Your Video Game Career

If you want to accelerate your video game career, you could work on personal projects and build a strong portfolio that showcases your capabilities.

Micah Norris

This is a good time to review your career goals, update your resume, and refine your interviewing skills. If you need additional assistance, please contact Job Transitions for a free resume review and initial consultation.

Check out our entire series of podcasts - Career Success: No Fears, No Excuses – available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and our website.

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