Choose the Best Game Design School for You
Here's what to ask yourself as you start researching game design schools.
When you're ready to choose a video game design school, it will all come down to your personal priorities.
Do you value a convenient location and class schedule? Is cost a major factor? Are you looking for the school with the best reputation? Is the career you're after one where networking is key? You're the only person who can determine which elements make up your ideal game design college.
Still wondering if the schools you're interested in are right for you? Here are a few more important questions to ask about the video game design schools you're considering:
What are you interested in studying at a video game design school?
Are you most interested in computer science, graphics and animation, or idea and story development? Video game design schools may emphasize different aspects of the game design process in their program. Discuss your interests with admissions representatives. Choose a video game design school with a program that will allow you to focus your studies in the area that most interests you.
Does the faculty have industry experience?
Do the teachers at a school have industry experience? Have they produced work that you admire? Teachers with professional experience can be a great resource. Not only do they know the ins and outs of the game design industry, but they may be able to help you establish contacts and find jobs and internships.
What kind of facilities and technology will you use?
One of the biggest advantages of attending a video game design school is having access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Find out what each school offers. Ask if you can tour the facilities. Having the opportunity to learn video game design using industry standard equipment can be a great advantage and should definitely factor into your choice of a video game design school.
Are you willing to relocate to attend video game design school?
Do you want to stay close to home, or would you be willing to move to attend your dream school? If you'd rather not move, then you can restrict your school search to community colleges and universities in your area. On the other hand, if you are willing to move, you may want to consider schools that are well-known or close to game design companies where you'd like to find internships or jobs.
How quickly do you want to complete your degree?
Video game design schools offer several different types of degrees—from certificates and diplomas to graduate level programs. Depending on your career goals, you may decide that you want to focus only on essential game design skills and complete your studies as quickly as possible:
- Certificate, diploma and associate's programs are usually one or two years in length and will allow you to enter the workforce as quickly as possible.
- For those who are looking for a liberal arts education that will include complementary disciplines to video game design, a 4-year bachelor's degree program is a good choice. You will not only get a broader education, but you will be more competitive in the job market.
- If you think you might want to advance into managerial positions in the game design field, you should consider pursuing a graduate degree.
What is the school's reputation?
Accredited schools have proven that they meet high educational standards. While non-accredited schools may also offer a high quality education, attending an accredited school gives you the flexibility to transfer your credits to other accredited schools or pursue a graduate degree at an accredited school. Students who attend accredited schools may also have better access to financial aid programs.