ESA: Video Game Popularity Spurs Demand for Game Degree Programs

Video game industry trade group the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a press release today touting the popularity (and growing trend) of colleges offering programs in video game design, development and programming – and the number of programs continues to rise at American colleges, universities, art and trade schools across the country. According to new research from the ESA, American colleges and universities will offer around 343 programs in game design, development and programming. This includes 301 undergraduate and 42 graduate programs, during the 2011-12 academic year.

"It is encouraging to see so many institutions of higher learning preparing students for careers in our creative and high-tech industry," said Rich Taylor, senior vice president for communications and industry affairs at the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. "Video games are everywhere – nearly three quarters of American households play games, and education, healthcare and business professionals are using them to help us lead happier, healthier and more productive lives. With an increasing number of schools now offering graduate programs in game design and development, students have even greater access to the training they need to meet this growing demand."

This year game development-related graduate programs such as the Game Design and Development program at Rochester Institute of Technology; the Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development program at Southern Methodist University; the Game Development program at DePaul University; and the Serious Game Design Program at Michigan State University.

Schools in 45 states and the District of Columbia are offering design and development programs. California remains at the front of this educational field, with 54 institutions of higher learning offering game-related programs, followed by Texas (24), Illinois (20), Florida (18), New York (15), Minnesota (14), Massachusetts (13), Arizona (10), Michigan (10), and Pennsylvania (10).

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