Games Programs in Community Colleges & Universities

The total number of technical training centers, community colleges, and large universities with games courses and programs is considerable. In the US alone, over 520 institutions offered 1200+ game-related programs and degrees in 2018. An even greater number offered courses, but no program or degree. Meanwhile, the number of games-related programs in post- secondary institutions in Canada has increased ninefold over the past decade.

Survey respondents reported a dizzying array of diplomas and degrees. The percentage of respondents pursuing Bachelor of Arts degrees increased from 13% to 20%, while those pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees increased from 11% to 18%. Graduate degrees in game studies appear to have declined in popularity between the 2015 and the 2019 reports. With the exception of Master of Arts degrees which increased from 2% to 7%, there were fewer respondents pursuing Master’s and Doctorate degrees in game-related areas compared with those in 2015. The general improvement in the economy over this time may have been a factor in this decline, with more people entering the workforce shortly after graduation, rather than pursuing further education.

With respect to specific courses, respondents most commonly reported participating in classes on Game Design, Game Production, and Game Programming. Animation, Level Design, and 3D Modeling were also popular. Interestingly, fewer students reported taking critical game studies courses, compared with those in the 2015 HEVGA Survey. Given the remarkable challenges the games industry is facing in terms of equity, marginalization, and labor conditions, this could be a worrying trend.