In this video adapted from ATETV, students and instructors in Wake Technical Community College's simulation and game development program discuss what the students need to learn to prepare for careers in this cutting-edge field. While most students come with a strong interest in game development, there is growing demand for simulations outside of gaming. In addition to providing courses in design, art, and programming, Wake Tech's program offers students the opportunity to meet with industry professionals to learn more about how to get a job in the field.
Video games are a multi-billion-dollar industry. Game publishers continually look for new recruits to fill jobs in software development and programming. Likewise, with increasing demand from customers like the armed forces, defense contractors, and automotive brands, companies that develop simulation programs are also hiring. Simulation programs allow users to experience, learn, or practice an operation through a computer-generated representation of that real-world operation.
Degree programs like the one featured in this video prepare students for work in the industry. Coursework covers design, art, and programming, each of which plays an integral part in the production of every video game and simulation program. Design courses focus on "big-picture" elements such as narrative structure (the underlying "story" of the game), genre (the "style" of the game), and interface design (how a user interacts with the game). Art courses teach students how to use graphics and three-dimensional modeling software, and train students on critical concepts such as scale and perception. Students then advance to topics such as character and environment modeling and animation. In programming classes, students learn the programming languages that are required to convert the narrative and visual elements into code—a logical series of instructions that a computer follows.
Overall, employment opportunities in the simulation and game development field are projected to increase much faster than in many other occupations. Depending on their particular skill set and interests, students training for a career in this field can choose among a number of jobs. For example, artificial intelligence programmers write code to make objects or characters act realistically. Graphics programmers use their artistic skills to design the look of environments and characters within simulations and games. Beta testers test early versions of software, using their great attention to detail to spot the smallest of problems that might affect game play or a simulation and to make recommendations for improvements.
Positions in gaming and simulation applications typically require a bachelor's degree. Still, there are lots of jobs available to programmers with a two-year degree or certificate. Testing positions are often entry-level jobs. For the more conceptual positions in software development, most employers prefer applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree and broad knowledge of, and experience with, a variety of computer systems and technologies.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.