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Salary and Job Info for a Degree in Computer Game Simulation

Computer game simulation can be applied to the fields of visual arts, modeling, design and programming. Continue reading for an overview of the potential majors as well as the employment and salary statistics related to some career options for graduates.

A background in computer game simulations can open the door to several career options, including programming and simulation jobs. Naturally this field requires vast computer skills, achieved by completing a college degree in a relevant computer discipline.

Essential Information

Graduates with degrees related to computer game simulation typically work as programmers and designers for different aspects of computer games, although some work with other simulations. For example, artificial intelligence programmers direct game characters and their reactions. Meanwhile, simulation designers work outside the game industry to create things like military and healthcare simulations for training purposes. These career fields require an undergraduate degree for entry.

Career Titles Artificial Intelligence Programmers, Engine Programmers, Simulation Designers Interface Designers
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree in computer science or computer game simulation Bachelor's degree in computer graphics, art or computer game simulation
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -8% for all computer programmers 6% for all multimedia artists and animators
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $79,530 for all computer programmers $63,970 for all multimedia artists and animators

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Degree programs in computer game simulation provide skills in computer game development. Students learn to simulate real-life experiences within a computer environment.

A degree in computer game simulation can open up a variety of career paths both in and outside the video game industry. Some job options include programmers and designers.

Artificial Intelligence Programmer

Computer game players enjoy realistic video games and characters. The artificial intelligence programmer develops the way that characters react to in-game actions and situations. These programmers are trained to create characters who are able to learn and adapt to changing conditions and act just like an actual person would.

Engine Programmer

Video game engines store and display game graphics on the computer. An engine programmer develops ways for objects in the game to interact realistically with the player and other graphics in the game. Engine programmers also streamline the loading process to make graphics transitions seamless.

Interface Designer

Interface designers specialize in creating game controls and determining where important information will happen on-screen without causing a disruption in game play. They are also responsible for how things realistically move and how items relate in space.

Simulation Designer

Simulation designers create simulations for use outside the video game industry. Nurses and doctors are increasingly using computer simulations to create realistic hospital situations without being in an actual hospital environment. Patients can also use simulations to learn how to perform tasks like measuring their insulin dosages. The military uses simulations to train soldiers about battle situations and tactics without endangering them on the battle field.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer programmers earned a median salary of $79,530 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). This figure reflects the average for all types of programmers; the BLS doesn't collect data specifically for game and simulation programmers. As of January 2016, PayScale.com reported the median salary for a video game designer as $58,253.

With knowledge of computer game simulation, one can choose to become an artificial intelligence or video game engine programmer, or an interface or simulation designer. Each job can take place in a different setting, such as the military, healthcare, and education.


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