By: Coach James

You have a passion for video games and want to turn that into a career. Is that really possible? What can you tell your parents to let them know you’re serious? At CAA, we want you to truly consider whether a career is the right fit for you.


On the plus side, for a career that generally doesn’t require more than a bachelor’s degree to enter, the average salary is pretty nice. Unfortunately, this also means that breaking into the industry can be difficult. Students who are successful in this field tend to be:

·         creative

·         analytical

·         self-starters


If you’re already naturally curious about how the games you love are made and have already been investigating their design or programming, then you’re probably on the right track. In fact, working on your programming and game design skills in high school can be a great way to get a leg up. Video game developers generally specialize in programming, graphic art, or game design, with game design being the hardest niche to break into.


Many colleges offer majors that are applicable to the gaming industry, such as computer graphics, graphic art, or animation. Some colleges may offer more specialized programs, such as interactive media, human-computer interaction, or game design. While in college, you’ll want to seek out internships and begin networking with players in the industry at developers’ conventions. Most game design focuses on collaboration, so working on your people skills is essential. Additionally, social media and online streaming have had a heavy influence on the gaming industry, so being well-versed in those areas can only help. Another way to break into the field is to volunteer to be a QA or game tester. While these jobs may not pay much -- if anything at all -- they are a great way to make connections while continuing to sharpen your skills. Most importantly, you should be building a portfolio of your best work to show potential employers.


In the gaming industry, the demands and competition are high even after you’re employed. The pressure will be on to meet deadlines. 60-70-hour work weeks are common, and burn out is a real problem. While it may be a dream come true to see your ideas come to life on screen, it is rare for gamers to be able to actually build their “dream game.” Unless you’re able to raise funding on your own, you’ll be at the mercy of your employer when it comes to time, money, and the direction of your projects.


For more tips and advice, check out these videos:


How to Become a Game Designer

Top 10 Tips for Getting into the Video Game Industry



And of course, our clients can always contact their CAA coaches to discuss their options. We look forward to working with you!