Need some help for my husband

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by NMTTD, May 27, 2013.

  1. NMTTD

    NMTTD Member

    My husband was planning on going to school to get a degree in game design. I have had my reservations about this since the price tag is usually pretty steep for this and it can be a hard field to get into. His 2nd love is teaching little kids (like kindergarten and 1st grade) in an online environment. So this is where I need your help.

    I can find several schools that offer a game design degree online, and I can find MANY that offer education degrees online. What I can't find are schools that offer both. Here's the new plan:

    He'd like to get his degree in education (with a specialization or concentration in online education) because he'd like to work for k12 or something similar. But he'd like to use his electives to take the game design classes he'll need so he can learn enough to make games, release them on Steam initially, and see where it goes from there. He'd like to do the game design thing on the side and teach online fulltime unless/until the game design really takes off.

    I'm MUCH more comfortable with this because, while I fully support his desire to make games, I would like to see his time and money for a college degree be put to better use. I think doing it this way will essentially give him what he needs to have 2 careers he likes. there an accredited online school that offers this?? If there is, I can't find it. Can any of you help me out? Thanks so much!!!!!
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    As far as I know, there are only a very few schools that teach game design and very few of them offer degrees in education.
  3. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I think a multidisciplinary studies degree is perfect. ;-)
  4. NMTTD

    NMTTD Member

    Can a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies/Interdisciplinary Studies/Liberal Studies/General Studies actually allow him to be an online teacher? And again, do you know where I can find schools that will offer this type of degree as well as game design classes he can take as electives?
  5. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I can't answer that. I just said that because you bash multidisciplinary degrees.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    To pursue a career in education - you need a related degree. To pursue a hobby of game design, that may or may not become a career at some point - do you really need a related degree right now? One may want one - but whether it's needed at this point - I dunno.

    I don't think whether a game you wrote "takes off" or not will have anything at all to do with your game-design degree ... or lack of one. It's all to easy these days, to fall into the "deification of degreeification" trap. And that can be expensive and time-consuming.

    By all means, take or leave my advice, but here it is anyway:

    Go for the most career-relevant and suitable education degree you can find - and it may very well be a little short in game-design electives. Pursue the game design as a hobby, for now. If you "need" game-design courses - there are very low cost, or even free, options and I think it's OK at this point if there's no academic credit attached! If one or more of your games "takes off" and some money comes in - maybe use that for more expensive game-design studies.

    I wish you every success with an education career. I also hope you enjoy your game design hobby and that your games will "take off." I'd advise against committing thousands of dollars and many hours of degree-study to what is a hobby, at this point. When the "stars have aligned," you've written more games and the "force" is yours - well, that may be a more fortuitous time for doing so. :smile:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2013
  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Schools offering Game Design include the University of Advancing Technology (ACICS), Full Sail University (ACCSC), and Westwood College (ACCSC). Sorry, but I can't think of any regionally accredited schools offering Game Design. There are many schools offering regionally accredited education degrees.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Game design means a lot of programming. Can he program already, or is that one of the things he needs to learn? If he's not already a programmer, have him go through all of the modules available at It's free. Then, if he still thinks he wants to do that all day, he can talk about game development -- and not until.

    Generally, spending five figures to go through someone's game development program isn't worth it. If you're really dedicated and interested, you can learn it at home through various resources, or you can take non-credit courses that focus on specific skills.
  9. NMTTD

    NMTTD Member

    I know SNHU offers online game design degrees, but no online education degrees. I'm also open to schools that offer online accredited education degrees with certificates in game design. At least that way I know they offer classes he can choose from.
  10. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    Does your husband have any experience whatsoever in game design? Know any code at all? I'd probably direct him to something working with computer languages (computer science, computer engineering, etc.) and I'd advise him to start networking. Game design is a tough field to break into. My fiance's brother works on Madden/NCAA football for EA, absolutely no game design related education (degree in criminal justice). He got the job through networking.
    One of the guys on his team went to school here . I'm not sure if they offer anything online.
  11. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    I read somewhere that companies that make games don't actually hire people with game design degrees. They look for people with degrees and experience in software engineering/computer science.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    That was then, Ted. UAT is RA now, fully-accredited in 2009. From their site:

    "UAT is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools."

    Great school -- but I don't think the OP's husband should sign up right now. Good advice to the contrary in this thread.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2013
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Also, Baker College Online is RA and offers a Bachelor's in Game Software Development. Just sayin'... there are some RA schools offering this. They've smelled the money!

    Not a recommendation for the OP's husband. Not shillin'... jus' chillin' :smile:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2013
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'd guess programming first then add the education credits. Any nice little state college could do both.
  15. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Teaching K-1 and the early years, in an online environment?

    It seems to me that this is going to be a very small niche. How many K-1 students interact with their teachers online from a distance? It also seems to me that this is necessarily a very specialized niche. K-1 students are still emerging in their abilities to read, write, and operate computer programs. The mechanics of online teaching for K-1 and other elementary students are going to be very unique.

    Is the idea that your husband might teach K-1 or elementary students online from home? I'm concerned that jobs doing this might barely exist.

    This might be relevant, too: Every pre-certification degree in elementary or in K-12 education, even if the 'academic part' is delivered by distance and the entire program is delivered by distance from the college, requires a substantial term of student teaching (demonstration teaching). Western Governors University, for instance, writes this:

    Demonstration Teaching (Western Governors University).

    There might be more work online serving older students. You might also find opportunities tutoring. Hey: Could he teach children elements of game design? Computer programming, computer graphics and animation, and related math, science, and language arts? Could he get there? There might be marketable ways here to combine these two callings. Though these would largely involve older students. Or could he see himself designing educational software, or otherwise working in educational technology?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2013
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I suggest that your hubby start by doing the education degree. In most states, that's going to have to be RA (and some states might even require NCATE). There should be many opportunities to find one at state university prices. The gen ed classes would then be transferrable to any university, RA or NA, that he chooses to do his game eesign degree at (and all the game design degrees mentioned are private unis, which are more expensive).
  17. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Further on early years online education, here are some providers of K-12 education online:

    Connections Academy. Careers at Connections Academy.
    K12 Inc. Career Opportunities, Job Postings.
    Internet Academy, from Federal Way Public Schools in WA. Federal Way Public Schools Certified Teacher Job Postings.
    Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School. Employment Opportunities.

    It appears that online K-12 teaching jobs are often based at bricks-and-mortar work sites. For instance, Connections Academy is a large provider nationally [Wikipedia]:

    Teaching FAQs (Connections Academy)

    So home-based work here is largely at the secondary level (and so in academic subject specialties) and part-time, and requires training at a local office.
  18. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    I'm not sure where you are located, but most local schools have good education departments (or at least an education department that services the local community).

    In my area we have four local universities pumping out future teachers. The local teaching job market is a disaster, with the vast majority of teachers having to leave the area. I've heard some areas really need teachers, but in a white majority area with high parental involvement like mine getting that gig can be tough. There are about 20-24 experienced local certified teachers waiting for each opening as its comes available in my district. Now, that is for elementary teachers. If you actually have a hard skill like science or math then the competition goes way down. Jobs are always open for those teachers so he should really look into science or math.

    Think about being an administrator (hiring official) in your local area. They probably have a lot of very successful teachers, principals, and administrators from the local colleges and universities. How many teachers have online distance degrees in your area? I'm willing to bet a lot less than have local degrees. The point being, why would someone hire a newly certificated teacher from a school they've never heard of (or one that is far away) as opposed to one from a known quantity (local school)? Reality bites.

    Game design? What is he 12? My son is in sixth grade and wants to be in game design. I wanted to play in the NBA when I was 12. Time to put on the big boy pants.

    As others have mentioned, unless he's already a shit hot programmer or an incredibly talented artist (or probably both) then at best he can be a low level code monkey pumping out code for 16 hours a day 7 days a week for some crappy 1st person shooter that might ship 50K copies.

    Wanting to be a game designer is like wanting to be a spy.

    I have a friend I met who graduated with a degree from CMU (great computer science department) and worked for a game company. It. Sucks. Ass.

    Good luck to you and yours.
  19. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    See, but the flip side of this is that if he could bring passions for computer game design and teaching kids together he just might be magic teaching those 12-year-olds computer science, design, etc. Elsewhere, NMTTD, you mentioned he was interested in screenwriting. Could he potentially teach English? Drama?

    I haven't forgotten that he has a disability, and there seems to be a search here for work he could do from home. Private tutoring would be something to explore. There seems to be a cottage industry offering after-school or summer programs for kids in basic game design, animation, etc. Could he be part of that?
  20. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Carnegie Mellon University?
    Central Michigan University?
    Other (please specify)?

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