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What does a Game Designer do?

The gaming industry is constantly expanding, and competition is strong to produce ever better and more popular games. Game designers are needed to generate and give life to the ideas that meet the gaming industry’s demands for novelty, challenge and excitement.

game designer

What is the typical job role of a game designer?

Daily tasks depend upon many factors such as the size of the team working on the game design, the type of game, its scope and budget, and the phase of the game to which the designer is assigned. As video games become increasingly complex, more and more people are generally involved in the design and production of a game. There is often more than one designer–there may be several principal or lead designers plus a number of junior designers who may work on different aspects of a game.

Your responsibilities may include:

  • Conceiving new game ideas, or adapting existing games for a new market
  • Designing game rules, structures, levels, and means of progression
  • Designing characters
  • Designing backgrounds and environments
  • Project management–managing budgets, staff, and timescales, and liaising with colleagues in other departments such as programmers, testers, and artists
  • Programming–writing code and creating graphics

In addition to your technical knowledge and creative flair, an in-depth knowledge of the gaming market is also important in order to understand the direction in which it is going and predict what gamers want.

What training and education do game designers need?

The highly technical nature of the work makes formal training a must–a broad knowledge of computer systems and technologies is essential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes game design under the heading software engineers and reports that software engineers must be experts with a thorough understanding of computing systems and the structure of software.

A bachelor’s degree is the usual requirement, although it is sometimes possible to gain an entry-level position with a 2-year degree or certificate, while other positions call for a master’s degree. Training courses for would-be game designers are available at all levels so you should be able to find a program to suit your needs, whether you are just starting out or aiming to advance an existing career. Continuing education is important to enable game designers to keep pace with changes and developments in technology.

Job outlook for game designers

The BLS projects 32 percent job growth for computer software engineers plus a large number of new job creations, so you can expect excellent job prospects in return for the investment you make in your education.

What does a Graphic Designer do?

Graphic designers are visual communicators. They use a variety of print, video and electronic media to create designs that meet clients’ advertising or promotional needs. Many graphic designers provide layout and overall design for newspapers, magazines, publications, or corporate reports. Others produce messages and visuals for Internet pages, mobile phones and electronic devices. These professionals may also do any number of the following duties:

  • produce promotional displays and marketing brochures
  • design distinctive company logos for products and businesses
  • develop signs and signage systems–called environmental graphics
  • produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies

graphic designer

Most graphic designers use computer software for selecting and arranging design elements and for presenting their sketches or rough drafts to clients. With the increased use of interactive media for advertising and communication, it is increasingly important that career graphic designers keep up with the latest computerized graphic design programs. Some graphic artists specialize in the digital areas of animation, video game, web site or multimedia design.

What to expect in graphics design training

In this competitive field, some formal training in fine arts or graphic design is essential. An associate degree may lead to an entry-level position as an assistant, but employers generally prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree, with a portfolio demonstrating strength in conceptual design and computer graphics.

Many public and private colleges offer two and four-year degree programs in fine arts or graphic design. Look for graphic design programs that offer grounding in technical skills, like color and composition, drawing board skills and conceptual design. The curriculum should include training in the latest computer graphics and electronic imaging software.

Key graphics design courses include:

  • Drawing, Painting, Perspective
  • Color Theory
  • Fundamentals of Design
  • Illustration, Digital Illustration
  • History of Art, History of Design
  • Advertising Design
  • Web Site Design
  • Professional Development
  • Typography, Print production

Students profit by real world projects that they can turn into professional quality portfolios. The combination of technical and professional development courses in the better graphic design schools help students develop skills in critical thinking, communication, and problem solving while offering career counseling and hands-on experience.

Employment outlook for graphic designers

Most career designers are employed by specialized design firms, advertising agencies, printing and publishing firms and computer systems companies. Due to increased demand for multimedia marketing by ad agencies and computer design firms, job growth of about 13 percent is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What does a Network Administrator do?

If you consider yourself organized, efficient and logical, and you enjoy knowing all about the latest computers and system configuration options, think about steering your career into the direction of computer network administration as a network administrator.

network administrator

A network administrator organizes and monitors wired or wireless LANs (local area networks), WANs (wide area networks), GANs (global area networks), network segments, and the Internet and intranet configuration within an organization. These computer professionals perform many functions, including individual system troubleshooting, analyzing system problems, gauging network functionality, and installing and upgrading software and hardware throughout the company.

Network administrators continually assess company and user needs and requirements in order to reinforce efficiency and system vigor, for both individual employees and the organization as a whole.

Where do network administrators work?

As a network administrator, you can find work in small companies or huge corporations (or somewhere right in between). Government groups, school districts, and universities employ a large number of network administrators, as well, with a heavy need for smooth-running networks and intranet systems.

What is an average work environment and day like for a network administrator?

The work environment for network administrators is typically a standard office setting or a computer laboratory room, with regular 8:00AM to 5:00PM business hours; although, some administrators are asked to remain “on call” in case there is a critical system failure or other major issue to be resolved.

Companies rely heavily on the knowledge and skills of their network administrators, and most show their appreciation by providing healthy salaries and continued training and resources as needed or requested.

Many network administrators spend a large portion of their work-day time managing and maintaining:

  • System usage
  • User accounts and privileges
  • Network logs
  • Software and hardware updates
  • Daily server traffic
  • Application, security and backup functions
  • Scheduled performance tests
  • Storage area networks

Network administrators also may provide subject-matter expertise for documentation and training departments, oversee computer support staff, and teach new employees to use company-specific computer software and hardware.

Job outlook and salary expectations for network administrators

Job growth is expected to grow by 23 percent, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Professionals working for financial services firms and computer equipment companies earn the highest salaries.

Organizations are always seeking well-trained, detail-oriented network administrators with knowledge of the best and latest networking, security, and software ideas for their specific needs. If these qualities sound like you, consider this lucrative, rewarding career.