The digital and interactive gaming industry soared in the past decade and showed no sign of slowing. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released its latest Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report in June, and the outlook for the game and interactive media design industry is brighter than ever.
Demand for Video Game Education
The ESA report states that an astonishing 97 percent of Americans now see the benefits of playing video games and 66 percent of Americans play video games regularly. According to Forbes, “the gaming industry has exploded with growth over the last decade. As a result, game development companies are constantly looking for ways to grow their talent pool with game designers and developers.”
Experts suggest that graduates of degree programs might have an edge in the job market; they usually possess the depth and breadth of knowledge afforded by a longer study period. Programs in Game and Interactive Media Design are available at institutions across the country, spanning degree levels and interdisciplinary fields of study; more programs are popping up rapidly – and Bootcamps are also off to the races.
Game Design Bootcamps
Game design bootcamps have become enormously popular as game development companies compete to grow and diversify their talent pools. These bootcamps can offer a faster and less-expensive path to employment than their more traditional four-year degree counterparts – and participants often land jobs straightaway.
In May 2022, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment announced a plan to transform NYC into a global hub for the digital games industry. The City University of New York (CUNY) is creating and funding the city’s first bachelor’s degree program in Digital Game Design at City College of New York (CCNY). This is only one of many similar program announcements by institutions across the county, from the Pratt Institute to Clark University.
Video Game Job Opportunity
A keyword search for jobs in game design in Gray’s Job Postings database reveals that 2021 was a strong year. While March – June 2022 shows a decline from 2021 year-over-year, job postings for game designers are still more than 40% higher than they were in January and February 2020, before the onset of COVID.
Student interest in Game Design is growing fast, though Gray’s Keyword Search data is somewhat skewed by COVID, which may have slowed search volumes in 2021 (the first year in our dataset). Searches in May 2022 almost matched the peak in March 2021. Starting in February 2022, searches for programs in Game and Interactive Media Design (CIP 50.0411) rose month-over-month until June. While June declined month-over-month, it still beat 2021 by 110%.
Gamification has opened a new pathway for game designers. Companies are beginning to seek skilled gaming designers to build and support business processes, solve problems, improve systems, and motivate clients, customers, and employees.
As of 2020, more than 70 percent of organizations in the global top 2000 list used gamification. While the gamification sector was already expanding rapidly, the global gamification market has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic. Job opportunities for game and interactive media designers are likely to continue to grow as more companies attempt to optimize performance.
There has never been a better time to get in the game.