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How To Become A Video Game Developer: Degree and Career Guide

Today, everyone is seeking the best form of entertainment, and one of the greatest forms of entertainment, that some people even make their whole career, is in the field of video games. It is not hard to find hundreds of people playing video games at a competitive level with spectators actually tuning in to watch who will reign as champion.

But aside from the game user, there are the genius and skills that go into actually designing the videogames that many people make their careers. Video game developers work in extremely lucrative industries, and the greater the developer's experience, the better and more life-like the game would be.

To become a video game developer, you would need to first earn a degree, get some hands-on experience in the field, establish your portfolio, maintain your qualifications and skills, and find a role where you can constantly thrive and grow.

Let us delve deeper into this extremely interesting and lucrative field and see what you can do to pursue this career path.

What Is A Video Game Developer?

As the name suggests, these are individuals who create, manage, maintain, and update video games. They are the individuals who try to create a world where you can escape from reality, but with the aim of making the game as life-like as possible.

Ultimately, video game developers not only try to strike the perfect middle ground between creating a game that feels like a game but also feels real, but they also need to come up with an interesting gaming concept that allows users to get lost in the game for hours.

What Do Video Game Developers Do?

They develop the concept and the visual effects for a video game using graphic designs and programming knowledge to execute world-building, and character development, and develop realistic storylines that progress effectively.

Ultimately, they need to entertain the user and create an interface that engages an individual for as long as possible.

Video game developers are not a one-man show, however, and they will often work with program and software developers, writers, and testers to make sure that the game is a success. Once this is done, their job is not over because then the marketing and sales aspect begins where the game needs to generate money.

Video game designers can develop console games, computer games, and even games that you play on your phone. While these games are on a smaller scale, video game developers also develop immersive multiplayer games that gather people from all around the world to play a single game together.

Steps To Become A Video Game Developer

Step One: Obtain Your Qualification

With this being such a lucrative and interesting career, many people decide long before they even finish high school that this is the field they are hoping to go into. You would need to obtain your bachelor's degree in software engineering, animation, and computer design, and you would need to consider taking coursework that is directly geared toward the creative element of digital gaming.

Step Two: Gain Experience

You can gain experience either as a junior developer or through an internship program that will assess your skill set and that will contribute toward and help you create an effective portfolio. If you consider that two people working on one gaming concept can come up with two entirely different ideas, being able to showcase your unique creativity is extremely important.

Step Three: Compile Your Gaming Portfolio And Resume

Once you have completed a few projects, either through an internship or through an entry-level role, you can take those projects and showcase them to the world. This will enhance your prospects of gaining clients and making yourself appealing to potential employers.

Your portfolio could include screenshots, links to a download for your game, gaming reviews, and to a demo reel or trailer of the game you have developed.

Step Four: Find Your Role

You can now begin marketing yourself to potential employers, to gaming agencies, and digital creator agencies, or you could consider working as a freelancer.

Step Five: Maintain Your Qualification

Once you have your qualifications and your skills, you need to make sure your knowledge and skills adapt and develop with the industry. Making sure you stay abreast of the constant developments will make sure you stay relevant in the field.

What Degree Do You Need To Be A Video Game Developer?

The type of degree you will pursue will ultimately depend on your end goal and the employer you hope to work for. You could obtain a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, you could complete boot camp programs, or you could even be self-taught.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Video Game Developer?

You would need skills in computer programming, gaming technology, math and physics, software engineering, and a natural inclination toward competitors. Additionally, you would need to work successfully as part of a team, collaborating with several individuals who will also be working on the same development project as you.

What Is The Salary And Job Outlook For Video Game Developers?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers earn a median annual salary of $109,020. The job outlook expects to see a 25% projected growth over the next ten years with an average of about 162,900 jobs opening each year.


What Does It Take To Be A Video Game Developer?

From storytelling and communication to programming and mathematics skills, there are many components that make up a successful video game developer.

Is It Worth It To Pursue A Career As A Video Game Developer?

If you explain to older generations that you are hoping to pursue a career in video game development, they may tell you to pursue a "real" career. But this role is extremely worth it considering the trajectory that digital gaming is heading toward.

When you consider the job outlook and the salary, and when you consider that you can grow and develop within this field, this career proves to be extremely worth it.

Can You Pursue A Career As A Video Game Developer Without A Degree?

You can become a video game developer without a degree, and you can be quite successful provided you have a natural skill toward programming, computers, gaming, and digital development.


You can't be a video game developer, or a successful one at that if you haven't played your fair share of games yourself. If video gaming fascinates you and you are skilled at digital programming, then perhaps joining the two will provide you with an extremely fulfilling career path.

find video game development degrees near you