Get the Most Out of an Online Degree in Game Design
Learn how to succeed in an online degree in game design with these five tips.
There are still game industry professionals who remain skeptical that an online degree in game design is comparable to a traditional degree.
And yes, an online degree in game design presents benefits and challenges that are unique to the distance learning format, so in that sense, the experts are right: it's not quite the same as a traditional program.
Our list of tips will help you make the most out of your degree and acquire the design skills you'll need to be competitive for those coveted game industry positions.
1. Pursue an accredited online degree in game design.
Accreditation ensures that your school or program meets appropriate standards of academic quality. It also means you'll be getting a valuable education instead of falling prey to a costly diploma scam. An accredited game design program will make you a lot more marketable to potential employers, especially those who are leery of online degrees. Look for accrediting agencies such as the Distance Education and Training Council, which are subject to the approval of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
2. Familiarize yourself with the online education format.
Each online degree in game design will have a unique curriculum and delivery method. Some offer synchronous classes that take place online in real time, while others focus on asynchronous learning that you can pursue on your own schedule. Some schools operate on a traditional semester or quarter system, while others offer courses in shorter, accelerated blocks. Also, make sure you have access to the appropriate hardware and software to complete your coursework—Adobe software is often a must.
3. Know your study habits
If you've chosen a program that leaves a lot of the scheduling up to you, make sure you cultivate the self-discipline to complete your assignments on time. Time management is critical, especially if you're juggling work or family commitments along with school. You might consider finding a location where you can work undisturbed.
4. Be proactive about your education.
If you really want to make the most of your online degree in game design you need to be active in seeking out opportunities to broaden your portfolio and expertise. Choose a specialty, and focus on classes that will help you hone your specialty, whether it's character animation, level design or even programming. At the same time, make sure you take a range of courses with various instructors. Having a broad perspective on the industry is valuable.
5. Take advantage of the available career services.
Most colleges, traditional or online, offer some sort of career counseling or assistance. Check the college career center for job information, placement services, internships, career fairs and other help for recent graduates and alumni. Your online degree in game design is about more than just classes, so don't forget to take advantage of the other services your school has to offer.
Game Design Resources
- Job Description
- Choosing a School
- Prepare for Success in Game Programming Colleges
- What You'll Learn in College
- Get the Most Out of an Online Degree
- Top 5 Reasons to Start a Game Design Career
- Career Services at Your Design School