Video Game Designer: Fastest-Growing Tech Job in America?

“Video game designer” was one of the fastest-growing jobs over the past year, according to a new report from IT services firm Cognizant.

Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work collaborated with ESI ThoughtLab (an “economic research firm”) on the Cognizant Jobs of the Future Index, used to determine which jobs are on the upswing across the country. In order to determine its rankings, Cognizant took total U.S. job openings from the current quarter and divided that number by total U.S. job openings in the third quarter of 2016.

“Video game designer” was the only tech-related job to make Cognizant’s top five; the others, in descending order, were:

  • Personal Care Aide (up 295 percent)
  • Genetic Counselor (up 222 percent)
  • Transportation Supervisor (up 204 percent)
  • Fashion Designer (up 148 percent)
  • Video Game Designer (up 102 percent)

For those who love video games, a job as a video game designer (or developer) can prove a rewarding one. However, the game-development industry has its share of controversies, especially when it comes to excessive working hours; for example, Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser recently faced a good deal of criticism for saying his development crew worked “100-hour weeks.” Although he later walked back that statement, suggesting that employees who put in those kinds of hours did so voluntarily, the incident demonstrated the sensitivity of the issue.

In exchange for that kind of grinding labor, though, game developers can earn quite a bit of money per year. Check out these numbers from the Dice database:

Moreover, specializing in tools useful to developing games can add quite a bit to your paycheck. For example, developers who specialize in Unity (one of the main game-building platforms) can earn an average of $112,450, up from $103,375 in 2016. Those who work with Adobe Creative Cloud (used to develop the creative assets in games and apps) can earn an average of $88,128.

Game developers have also made more money in 2018, thanks to a diversifying set of revenue streams. Although in-game advertising is paying less than in previous years, in-app loot boxes (for both game currency and things like extra labels or special character outfits) are increasingly lucrative. The subscription model has paid dividends for some developers and designers, as well.

As an alternative, you could also try your luck at playing “Fortnite” for a living. 

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