Game Design CertificatesOften individuals interested in developing games look into certification as a potential method of breaking into the field. Certification, at the most basic level, shows a potential employer that at least someone thinks you know what you're doing in a particular field. That leads to the most important question, though, is that someone reputable and trustworthy?
Deep down, the people who hire at game companies are just like the people who hire anywhere else, and they look at the same things. They want individuals who are talented, good in the field, easy to work with, and sometimes have some experience doing the job they're looking to get hired for. Certification can potentially help establish a lot of these main criteria.
Let's start by looking at what a certificate is. A certificate demonstrates that you have somehow shown that you have talent in a particular subject, either through completing a course/set of courses or by passing an examination. Anything more than that, such as building a portfolio, is a level beyond a certificate and is probably always good.
What is important here, though, is who is issuing your certificate. Here are a few examples:
- Microsoft Game Design University: Let's imagine Microsoft operates a game design university. Sally graduates from the program with a certificate in Video Game Design. She applies for a job with Square-Enix. Square-Enix has either hired people from Microsoft Game Design University before, or they've at least heard of Microsoft as a reputable company.
- Southeast Community College: Let's imagine Ryan graduates from Southeast with a certificate in Video Game Design. He applies for a job with Square-Enix. Square-Enix has never hired from Southeast before, and hasn't heard much about their program. They do, however, check and find out that Southeast is both regionally and nationally accredited, showing that the school is reputable in education.
- Demore Game Design Academy: Let's imagine Joseph graduates from Demore with a certificate in Video Game Design. He applies for a job with Square-Enix. Square-Enix has never heard of Demore, nor their video game program. They also don't find any information about accreditation of the program.
Certification generally works where the more well-known, well-respected company or school doing the certifying, the higher the value of certification.
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