IT degrees can teach the basics of using computers and computer networks for the purposes of video game design. These degrees are a good option because they are versatile and in-demand, while allowing students to pursue something they love. They do, however, have some drawbacks, so all students should carefully consider what type of degree they need to enter the industry in which they want to work.
What Is An IT Degree?
IT stands for information technology. A degree in information technology is a popular choice for many students because of the high demand for IT workers in nearly every field. IT programs can award two-year associate’s degrees, four-year bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees, so students must choose a program that meets their needs. These programs teach students about hardware, software and network technology that equips them to manage and build these systems. Some of the standard jobs that can be obtained with an IT degree include database administrators, computer support specialists and information security architects, among others.
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Advantages To An IT Degree
There are several key advantages to an IT degree for this particular purpose. Video game design is an art, and like other creative fields, competition for jobs can be strong. An IT degree is a more general degree that gives students a wider array of options if they ultimately choose to pursue a different career path in life. IT degrees teach students the inner workings of computers, computer technology and networking technology that are essential for creating video games. IT degrees also teach myriad types of coding languages, which are the basic building blocks of all video games. Other elements of these programs that are helpful to prospective video game designers include project management and professional business communication courses.
Disadvantages To An IT Degree
There are several disadvantages to getting an IT degree with the intention of going into video game design. IT degrees focus more on building and maintaining computer networks for business enterprises, which do not necessarily make them ideal options for learning video game design. This can be helpful for designing the infrastructure for online games, however. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states there are more specialized degrees, including ones in animation, computer graphics and even video game design that may be more beneficial. These degrees may also be obtained at arts and vocational schools, which may possibly cost less and take less time to complete.
Students have some other options and factors to consider. Within an IT degree program, there may be electives students can choose to take that relate specifically to video game design. This allows training in digital graphics and animation while still pursuing a regular IT curriculum. It is also important to remember that creative fields typically place more emphasis on a portfolio of past work as opposed to the subject a student studied in school. Practice and skill may ultimately be more important in securing work than a formal degree, so students must be sure to practice and produce quality work.
It is perfectly possible to gain the skills a student needs to work as a video game designer while pursuing an IT degree. An IT degree offers some unique advantages that more specific video game designing degrees do not. With an IT degree, skill and a solid portfolio, students will be well-equipped to work as a video game designer right out of college.