The U.S. game design industry is growing at such a rapid pace, that analysts expect it to generate more than $68 billion in business in 2012. Not only this, but the U.S. is now the number one video game market on the planet, and it employs more game programmers, designers, developers, and artists than any other country in the world. As of 2010, the industry employed well over 200,000 game designers alone and this figure is expected increase by three to six percent between now and 2020.
Aspiring game designers & developers will have no problems finding job openings in this field and scoring a decent salary shouldn’t be a problem either. Professionals in this field are among the highest paid workers in the world. While the average salary is around $80,000 a year, six-figure salaries are becoming more common as the demand for extreme talent grows. This is where the nation’s best colleges and universities come into play.
To make it in the gaming industry, talent certainly goes a long way, but the world’s top companies want more. A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement for entry into this field, but a growing number of employer’s require an advanced degree. The good news is, the best game design & development programs are not that difficult to find, especially in the state of Illinois.
The best schools in Illinois have several things in common. They are very selective, they offer small class sizes and a wide variety of programs, and they have superior graduation and retention rates. Organizations such as Princeton Review, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report compile the nation’s most respected “Best Schools” lists based on these factors, as well as the quality of financial resources and peer assessment.
According to the latest figures released by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Illinois is now home to an impressive 181 accredited colleges and universities. Just a few of the state’s best game design & development programs are offered at Columbia College (Chicago), Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy (Chicago), and Bradley University (Peoria).
To learn more about the state’s best schools for aspiring game designers & developers, review our list below to find out what they are, where to find them, and what they have to offer!
Best Game Design & Development School Programs Illinois – Major Cities
Columbia College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art and Design; B. A. Film and Video with Animation (Traditional or Computer) Concentration; B. A. Game Design with Concentration in Game Art, Game Development, Programming or Game Sound; B. F. A. Graphic Design, Illustration; B. A., B. F. A. Interactive Arts and Media
DePaul University - Degrees Offered: B. A./B. S. Animation; B. A. Art, Media and Design with Concentration in Art and Design or Media Arts; B. S. Computer Game Development, Computer Graphics and Motion Technology; B. F. A. Graphic Design; M. S. Computer Game Development, Computer Graphics and Motion Technology
Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy - Degrees Offered: A. A. S. Animation and Visual Effects, Game and Interactive Media
Best Game Design & Development School Programs Illinois – Other Cities and Towns
Bradley University - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. S., B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design; B. A., B. S. Interactive Media with Concentration in Animation and Visual Effects, Game Design or Web and Application Design; M. A., M. F. A. Drawing/Illustration, Visual Communications and Design
Western Illinois University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design; B. S. Instructional Simulation and Gaming
More Programs to Consider: