Careers Outside of Games for GDD Students

Often during a tour, open house, or panel, many parents ask the question of job prospects outside of games for Game Design and Development majors. This is a fair question, as the game industry is notorious for being incredibly difficult to get into. However, the reality is that many students do end up working in jobs that aren’t involved with games. However, the skills learned in the major are beneficial for that.

            So, how does that work? It seems straightforward, considering the major’s name is ‘Game Design and Development,’ that the major is laser focused on games and only games. The fundamentals the major gives you can be seen as simply interactive development, rather than games. Interactive development being where a person is interacting and being immersed in your product. This can be a kiosk at a museum, for example. I’ll take my experience as an example. This fall semester I worked a co-op at a medical device company called K2M. The company innovates and produces tools for spinal surgery. It seems like the furthest possible things for games. However, they were looking for a virtual reality and augmented reality developer with experience in Unity and C# to simulate their products and even surgery in these mediums. Unity and C# are tools I had been working with for my entire college career at that point. As such, I was the perfect fit. This is one of the many examples where this degree can be so versatile. The coursework begins to expand as you get into your second and third year to where you can take mobile development, web development, or continue into low-level programming.

            Not only do these industries are beginning to venture into interactive software and simulations, it’s growing. There are more and more companies looking for ‘game developers’ for this type of work in simulating product lines or even simulations of flights, surgeries, and even war. While the latter can be seen as game, the intent is not necessarily for entertainment, nor are the companies seen as game companies. Getting a job in these industries as an entry level programmer is not as selective as the game industry.

Even if one doesn’t work for simulations or interactive development, the web and mobile industry is still just as viable an option for Game Design and Development students. The free electives and advanced electives allow the students in my major the opportunity to take New Media Interactive Development classes or even more advanced programming classes in other majors. There are a lot of broad skills given to the students with the opportunity to specialize later on in their college career. This allows us as students to be given more opportunities for jobs outside of games.

Often during a tour, open house, or panel, many parents ask the question of job prospects outside of games for Game Design and Development majors. This is a fair question, as the game industry is notorious for being incredibly difficult to get into. However, the reality is that many students do end up working in jobs that aren’t involved with games. However, the skills learned in the major are beneficial for that.

            So, how does that work? It seems straightforward, considering the major’s name is ‘Game Design and Development,’ that the major is laser focused on games and only games. The fundamentals the major gives you can be seen as simply interactive development, rather than games. Interactive development being where a person is interacting and being immersed in your product. This can be a kiosk at a museum, for example. I’ll take my experience as an example. This fall semester I worked a co-op at a medical device company called K2M. The company innovates and produces tools for spinal surgery. It seems like the furthest possible things for games. However, they were looking for a virtual reality and augmented reality developer with experience in Unity and C# to simulate their products and even surgery in these mediums. Unity and C# are tools I had been working with for my entire college career at that point. As such, I was the perfect fit. This is one of the many examples where this degree can be so versatile. The coursework begins to expand as you get into your second and third year to where you can take mobile development, web development, or continue into low-level programming.

            Not only do these industries are beginning to venture into interactive software and simulations, it’s growing. There are more and more companies looking for ‘game developers’ for this type of work in simulating product lines or even simulations of flights, surgeries, and even war. While the latter can be seen as game, the intent is not necessarily for entertainment, nor are the companies seen as game companies. Getting a job in these industries as an entry level programmer is not as selective as the game industry.

Even if one doesn’t work for simulations or interactive development, the web and mobile industry is still just as viable an option for Game Design and Development students. The free electives and advanced electives allow the students in my major the opportunity to take New Media Interactive Development classes or even more advanced programming classes in other majors. There are a lot of broad skills given to the students with the opportunity to specialize later on in their college career. This allows us as students to be given more opportunities for jobs outside of games.