Career Services Offered at Game Design Schools
Whether you're in school or graduating, one of your best resources is the career services office.
Want to land a great job in the gaming industry right out of college?
So does everyone else at your school, but the answer isn't just about finishing up your degree or studying what's currently trending in the market. Breaking into the industry is more complicated than that.
While there's no foolproof way to ensure you'll get the job of your dreams, your school's career services office may be able to help. They have the expertise to help guide you as you start out, and some schools even have an alumni association that can give your networking opportunities a big boost.
If you weren't aware your school provided this service, make sure you follow up. You may have more resources than you think you do.
What Is a Career Services Office?
Every good college, university or video game design school should have a career services department—one that's familiar with the curriculum the school offers and how that may translate into job marketability for students. When you're researching schools, research their career services department, too. If they boast a variety of internship connections and career events, and if they have a job placement rate that's high but not too good to be true, then you can guarantee they'll do their best to help you get your foot in the door.
Some of the services students can use include:
- Job skills workshops. Career-related workshops on how to put together a résumé or give a killer interview can be invaluable for those just entering the job market. Perhaps most important, the career services department at a video game design school should be able to advise you on how to effectively tailor your portfolio for the specific job you're applying for, and how to craft superior resumes and cover letters.
- Career counseling. If you're still trying to figure out what direction to go in, or you're not sure what courses you need to take, professional career counselors can help. The career center usually has drop-in hours, or you can make an appointment to get your questions answered.
- Information about conferences and events. Conferences and events are an excellent way to learn about the gaming industry firsthand and make connections that will be useful to your job hunt. Ask your career services department for information about how students can get involved in events such as the Game Developers Conference or Siggraph.
- Internship placement. Usually, a video game design school maintains connections with game studios and other related companies that actively look for student interns, and the career services department can help connect you with those opportunities.
- Networking and job fairs. Critical to landing that internship—not to mention your first job—is how effectively you can network within the gaming industry. Besides seeking help from your professors and any connections they may have, you can attend job fairs and other industry events to meet a wider range of professional contacts. The career center usually has listings of job fairs, and may even sponsor its own networking events.
- Work study and part-time employment opportunities. Career services offices generally have work study and employment opportunities available for students both on- and-off campus.
The career services office at your school will continue to help you in your career search and with your career resources after you have graduated as well.