US game degree courses hit record levels

US game degree courses hit record levels

By Rob Crossley

October 5th 2009 at 9:43AM

Game-related degree courses up 27% annually, with California holding the biggest share

As many as 254 education institutions across the US offer degree courses in game design, new figures suggest.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) claims that there’s been a 27 per cent increase in the number of game design courses since 2008, with 254 colleges and universities offering degrees in areas such as design, programming, and art.

Some institutions, such as the University of Pennsylvania, extend their game courses to master's degree programs.

The ESA found that California (the home of numerous game studios) had the most video game-related degrees by area, with a total of 46 relevant courses. That figure more than doubled its closest contender, New York, which has 21 courses. Texas and Florida host 20 and 19 courses respectively.

“Today, video games are not only the fastest-growing entertainment medium, they are also increasingly used in education and business for professional training and e-learning," said the ESA’s Rich Taylor.

"These new college programs underscore the importance of the video games industry, which is well-poised to create additional employment and professional opportunities in the coming years."

The ESA went on to cite a recent poll conducted by KRC Research, which claimed that as many as 70 per cent of “major employers” use interactive software to train new employees, with three-quarters of those businesses looking to expand their usage of interactive training within the next five years.

Image: SIG Center for Computer Graphics