How do I get a Job in the Gaming Industry?

Jacob Queen

To find a gaming industry job position, you first need to learn as much as you can about gaming, which is usually accomplished by playing games extensively. After that, you'll want to attend either a college or a vocational school and study your chosen specialty, whether it be art, design, programming or something else. There are also some lower-level positions, such as game testing, which may not require any additional education, and you may want to consider those. You'll need to make some good industry contacts so you can find job openings, which can sometimes be the hardest part of the process, and then you'll have to apply for jobs. During this entire process it can be beneficial for you to spend a large amount of time making your own small games or doing modifications of popular games.

Game testers play games all day and tell designers how things are working.
Game testers play games all day and tell designers how things are working.

The game design field is often a popular choice because it offers a lot of creative clout. Getting a lead design position in the industry generally takes extensive previous experience, but there are entry-level spots. These jobs may involve small things like balancing or developing very minute aspects of a game.

Many other people gravitate towards various art fields. These generally either involve the creation of two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) art assets. 2D art is sometimes more crucial in the design of many low-tech games, while 3D is generally more important for creating high-tech games. There are also jobs in level design, which combine aspects of art and game design into a single job, and these can allow for advancement into higher-level positions.

Another gaming industry field that many people gravitate towards is programming. This is a very demanding profession because games often require a great deal of cutting edge programming knowledge. Studying the C++ language is considered most important for entrance into the gaming industry. One good aspect of this profession is that programming skills can transfer very easily to other industries, which means there may be a lot of other job options available.

For people who don't have the kind of technical know-how or education to get one of the higher-level position, becoming a gaming industry tester might be the best option. This basically involves playing games all day long and letting the designers know if things are working correctly. Sometimes game testers have a limited opportunity to provide feedback into the design process, and some of them are able to move up in the ranks over time.

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