If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a video game designer, today’s explosive games industry is on your side. According to a 2018 CNBC report, “the video game industry is growing with new products and technology and could be worth nearly $138 billion by the end of the year.” This figure represents a 13.3% increase year over year, or an extra $16.2 billion. And according to Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner at Margate Capital Management, Samantha Greenberg, “the video gaming trend will only accelerate, as engagement grows with young people, women and on college campuses.”
Today, we would like to tell you about six college campuses, located in the U.S. and abroad, that now offer game design programs to meet the growing demand for talented designers. Joining the list are Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Rider University (RU), State University of New York Schenectady (SUNY Schenectady), Keilir Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow), and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT).
Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design has announced that students can now major in Virtual Augmented and Mixed Reality. The program, called “Immersive Reality,” leads to a BFA. According to a recent Forbes report, this unique offering “was built to train thinkers and builders who are fluent in the language of virtual reality, augmented reality, and the vast gray area between.” Dean of SCAD’s School of Digital Media, Max Almy said:
"When designing the degree curriculum, we wanted to make sure it was not only innovative and creative, but technologically strong as well.” The students’ degree focus can be Game Development and Interactive Design, Animation, Film, Mobile AR, Immersive VR, or MR, “as well as innovative combinations with other SCAD departments like Industrial Design or Architecture."
The program consists of 36 courses, 11 of which are brand new for the program. New courses include Immersive Revolution: Augmented to Virtual Reality, Integration of Immersive Realities, and Immersive Sound Design and Visual Effects for Immersive Environments. “The program combines innovative virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality courses along with cutting-edge tech resources.”
“Students will have the opportunity to explore futuristic frontiers that extend far beyond the entertainment sector into industries like science, travel, fashion, manufacturing, real estate and health care,” said Almy.
Students will also benefit from diverse projects (via collaborations with seven different SCAD departments) and the school’s direct relationships with industry leaders at Oculus, Google, Microsoft, HTC Vive, Epic/Unreal, Unity and more.
Applications for admission to the new Immersive Reality BFA at SCAD are being accepted now. Visit the schools official website for details.
Founded in 1978, Savannah College of Art and Design serves more than 14,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The school, which offers over 40 majors, 75 minors and certificate and online programs, has campuses in Savannah and Atlanta, GA., Hong Kong, China and Lacoste, France. SCAD is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Rider University has announced that it plans to launch a BA in Game and Interactive Media Design this fall. According to a recent RU press release, the program is designed to prepare students to create immersive, interactive experiences, complete with compelling storylines, fully developed characters, integrated music and a cohesive design. The program will begin with a strong foundation in video game design, storytelling and development and students will have the opportunity to customize their studies to focus on specific areas of interest such as Animation, Composition, Filmmaking, Songwriting and more.
In the release, Assistant Professor of Music Justin Burton said:
"We want students to be able to develop expertise for a variety of areas under the video game design umbrella. This will allow students to take advantage of the faculty expertise in multiple disciplines around the University, giving them the opportunity to explore their individual interests in their elective choices.”
"This is a very hands-on program,” he said. “Students are going to be designing games in their first year” and “throughout their studies, they'll be working in multidisciplinary teams to create playable prototypes and have access to industry-standard software.”
An internship is also required to further students’ experience in the field. Applications for admission to the program are being accepted now. Visit the school’s official website for details.
Founded in 1865, Rider University serves nearly 4,100 undergraduate and 1,050 graduate students representing 85 countries, 41 states, and two U.S. territories. The school, which has two campuses in Lawrenceville and Princeton, N.J., is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
State University of New York Schenectady, Schenectady, New York
The State University of New York Schenectady has announced the launch of a new Programming for Game Design program with the option to transfer, after two years, into the Interactive Media and Game Design program at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly). According to The Daily Gazette, “the program builds on the college’s computer programming, digital music production, database management and other computer sciences courses.” It will also include an entrepreneurship component.
SUNY Schenectady Provost and Vice President of Student Affairs Penny Haynes said, “the program seeks to build on growing interest in video game design and competition. “There’s definitely an interest in that,” she said, “and I think you are really going to see that industry grow.” She suspects that this will be “one of the programs, if anything, we will have to kick kids out at the end of the day.”
While college officials are still working to identify a space on campus to house the new program, Haynes said they plan to create an open, collaborative room similar to game design studios. The Programming for Game Design AS degree at SUNY Schenectady will launch in the fall, “with college officials expecting about 20 full-time students enrolling in the first year, with that number growing to as many as 80 over five years,” Haynes said. For additional details about the program and to apply, visit the school’s official website.
SUNY Schenectady was officially established by the Schenectady County Board of Representatives on January 26, 1967. The school serves more than 7,000 students and offers over 55 programs. The College has its accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Keilir Institute of Technology, Reykjanesbaer, Iceland
Iceland’s Keilir Institute of Technology has announced that The Ministry of Education has approved a new BSc degree program in Video Game Design. A unique component of the program is its accessibility. Offered online, the three-year program is a collaboration with Noroff University's College of Technology and Digital Media in Norway.
Per the Iceland Review, KIT Program Director Nanna Traustadóttir said that the “game design program has been in development for several years and is meant to compete with similar programs abroad.” The program, which will enroll around 40 students initially, will be taught in English, and may require several face-to-face meetings at Keilir’s Ásbrú campus on the Reykjanes peninsula. This requirement may be waived for foreign students.
For additional details about the program and to apply, visit the school’s official website.
Founded in 2007, Keilir Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, international educational institution that offers programs on-campus and online. The school serves thousands of students enrolled in dozens of technology, design, and other programs.
Institute of Technology Carlow, Carlow, Republic of Ireland
Institute of Technology Carlow has launched two new honors degree programs that the school says are a “direct response to national and regional socio-economic needs in the technology sector.” The BS (Hons) Computing in Interactive Digital Art & Design, which will be taught at the Carlow campus, and the BS (Hons) Creative Computing & Digital Innovation, which will be delivered at the Institute’s Wexford Campus, are now open for applications through the Central Applications Office (CAO).
The new programs will cover areas such as Games, Animation, Application Development, UI Design, DevOps Engineering, Simulation, and Virtual Reality. “Successful graduates will be able to creatively apply software technology to solve problems and operate at this dynamic nexus of computing and business in a range of roles, including web and mobile developer; DevOps engineer; social media integration; business data analyst and digital entrepreneur.”
The new programs at IT Carlow brings the total number of Level 9 programs to 80, on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) by Institute of Technology Carlow, which has seen a 70% increase in student enrolments in the last five years.
Founded in 1970 and serving more than 8,300 students from 100 different nations, IT Carlow is the third largest of Ireland’s 14 Instituted of Technology. The school, which has campuses in Carlow, Wexford, and Wicklow, offers programs in Business, Humanities, Sport Media & Marketing, Science & Health, Computing & Networking, Aerospace, Mechanical & Electronic Engineering, and Built Environment.
Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India
Vellore Institute of Technology has announced the launch of several new courses or programs in the fields of Animation, Artificial Intelligence, Business, Games, Media, and Visual Effects (VFX). The Animation, VFX and Games options are offered in collaboration with Toonz. Animation Film Making-Advanced, Visual Effects-Advanced (VFXA) and 3D Finishing Program courses will also be offered.
In a New Indian Express report, VIT Chancellor Dr. G. Viswanathan said, “twelve universities from the U.S., UK, Australia and Spain are offering International transfership programs. To train B Tech students, VIT-AP University is offering 6-month and 9-month long internship programs right from the completion of students’ first year.’’
All courses and programs will begin in the upcoming 2019 academic year.
Established in 1984, Vellore Institute of Technology offers 20 undergraduate, 34 postgraduate, four integrated and four research programs. It has campuses in Vellore, Chennai, Bhopal and Amravati Andhra Pradesh.