Jerome Solomon, appointed Director for the new Game Design & Development bachelor degree program
Cogswell College announced the offering of a new degree program, Game Design & Development. Students will have the option of majoring in either Game Design Art (GDA) or Game Design Engineering (GDE). Each specialization focuses on one of the two sides of game development: art and content development or game design programming and software development.
“The creation of this new program presents a strong opportunity for students to make games in a more realistic industry environment,” says Jerome Solomon, assistant professor of Cogswell’s new game design program. Solomon is a film and game industry veteran, and currently sits on the National Committee for ACM SIGGRAPH.
While most of the classes are not new to Cogswell’s curriculum, creating a separate degree program around them gives the college more flexibility to adjust course offerings to keep up with current industry trends. The new degree program also allows graduates to emphasize their specialized skill-set on their resumes.
“Typically, games are created by multidisciplinary teams” Solomon continues. “Cogswell is one of only a handful of schools that bring together all of the elements of game development. We have students and faculty with expertise in art, engineering, design, audio, and entrepreneurship that work together on teams. This is exactly like the composition of game development teams in the industry.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for software developers will grow 30 per cent by 2020, equaling approximately 1.1 million new jobs or 14 per cent of all occupations in the U.S. economy. This demand is fueled by the gamification of everything from law enforcement to education to healthcare, which requires skills in game design, art, animation and programming and constitutes a significant portion of the projected 1.1 million jobs.
Last week’s Game Developer’s Conference was held in San Francisco. Thousands of hopeful game design and engineering graduates and job seekers flocked to the Career Pavilion that housed over 50 booths including Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and WB Games along with various schools and recruiters.
Solomon visited the pavilion on behalf of the college and was encouraged by the positive reception to Cogswell’s new program from the industry exhibitors.
“Game development companies are either looking for an artist or an engineer,” explains Solomon. “Larger studios look for very specific skills; smaller studios look for those with multiple skills. The employers we met with were extremely receptive to the fact that we have every component of game development here at Cogswell, which creates a real-world, industry work environment for our students.”