Looking for a New Spin on Your Graduate Degree? Try Videogames

Innovative Career Options for Computer Science and Fine Arts Graduate Degree Holders

It's an interesting time for prospective graduate students. The generation that is getting ready to dive into the world of graduate studies is also, for the most part, the generation of students who grew up with new media, including computer and videogames. Many millennials grew up with dreams of being involved with such media, being movie stars or rock stars or yes, even videogame makers. However, for most, these dreams were forced to take a back seat to more practical academic and professional pursuits.


These days, things are changing. Many conventional academic pursuits have found new homes in relatively unconventional professional applications, and fortunately for graduate applicants trying to decide on a potential career path, videogame development is among them. While it may seem like a pipe dream, the fact is a career in videogame development can be reached through a variety of conventional graduate channels.

Graduate Programs in Computer science

For those who are interested in exploring a potential future in the world of making videogames, a graduate degree in computer science may seem like a fairly good place to start. In fact, according to Forbes, a graduate degree in computer science may prove valuable in a variety of ways. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was highlighted by Forbes, master's degrees in computer science tended to pay sixth highest out of all 35 degrees surveyed, with a median salary of $102,190. Even more encouraging is the fact that the field of computer science is only continuing to grow - between now and 2018, the amount of jobs available for computer science grads is expected to grow by 15 percent.

Thus, for those who have aspirations to move on to create videogames, enrolling in graduate programs in computer science is more than a sensible place to start. In addition to developing the skills in programming useful for working in electronic entertainment, such a degree brings with it its own level of professional clout, and is a high-growth field in its own right.

Graduate Programs in Art

Even for those students who aren't technically or computer savvy, it's still possible to pursue a graduate degree that can lead to an interesting career and could potentially open a variety of doors. Though it may seem counterintuitive and against everything your parents ever told you, going to art school can prove a viable career option for some.

According to The Guardian, 12 percent of fine arts graduates in the year 2008 went on to post graduate studies in their field. Far from a frivolous pursuit, those who receive art degrees at the graduate level typically go on to teach at art schools, though there are those who find prosperous careers in seeking out freelance or commissioned work. Fine arts is a field that encompasses many mediums, and as such offers a variety of options for those who study it at a graduate level.

Of course, there's always the need for artists in the digital space. Just as videogame developers require programming acumen, they also require a significant measure of artistic talent to produce the visual assets so necessary for the medium to thrive. In the rise of the digital era, digital art will find itself in increasingly high demand, and artists, painters and even sculptors may discover new and lucrative applications for their craft. Even those whose fine arts focus lies in music can carve out a living in the growing field of electronic entertainment. Media composers have been around nearly as long as Hollywood, but new types of entertainment in the form of videogames mean that professionals such as sound designers find themselves in greater demand across a varying spectrum of job options.

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About the Author: Laura Morrison is the Web Content Manager for GradSchools.com. She earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.

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