This was sent in to me by Jackie and wanted her article posted on behalf of her. Please enjoy her insights.
Considering A Degree To Launch Your Career In Game Design?
Many of us who are interested in game design are put off by the idea that we need a diploma in order to become a successful game designer. Luckily, though, you don’t necessarily need to run out and fork over your hard-earned money for a bachelor’s degree if you want to launch a career in game design. If you lack the educational credentials of your competition when applying for jobs, then you need to make sure that you set yourself apart in other ways. Here are some tips on how to break into the world of game design without a degree.
Do Your Research
Many employers know that just because a candidate doesn’t have a formal education doesn’t mean that they don’t have the know-how to get a job done. Some designers are self-taught, while others have a foundation built through courses offered by community colleges, libraries, and other public institutions.
No matter how you receive your training, as long as you know the fundamentals of game design, a career with major players such as EA or Ubisoft. Some companies only require that new trainees have a solid knowledge of essential skills such as C++ programming.
Showcase Your Skills
A game design degree can help you to get your foot in the door, but employers are also deeply interested in experience. A strong portfolio will get you much farther in the game design industry than any fancy diploma could. With a portfolio, you can demonstrate your abilities and competence level in a tangible sense. Make sure to include a healthy variety of work so that prospective employers see that you have technical range. Each project that you include in your portfolio should be carefully selected to demonstrate skills that you believe make you an attractive job candidate.
Nail the Interview
Once you've caught an employer's attention, it's time to seal the deal. Other candidates that the company has chosen may have a higher education than you, and so to land a job, you really have to sell yourself. During the interview, it's vital that you remain calm, polite, and answer all questions thoroughly. It may be a good idea to practice with a friend or family member before the fact, especially if you're feeling nervous. You should also familiarize yourself with the company and its practices before heading into the interview.
Starting a career in the game design industry is easier than you might think, even if you lack a formal education. By setting yourself apart from the crowd, you can turn a passion into a full-time career.