Here are some free or low-cost alternatives to graduate schools specializing in video games.
In 2022, the number of people working in the video game industry in France is estimated at 5,000. Created in the 1950s, then popularized in the 1980s, video games are still a growing phenomenon today, and represent the first cultural asset in France. A sector that brews billions – evidenced by the recent takeovers of studios – and which has a more than flourishing job market. And if the projects keep budding, it’s thanks to millions of workers around the world that they come to life.
It is therefore not surprising that this field is attracting more and more young people looking for a stimulating and enticing job. Gone is the image of the amateur developer in his garage, the video game is an ambitious professional prospect and it pays well (about 2500€ for a junior programmer according to the SNJV). Only here, the video game sphere is a very young industry, dedicated training is therefore not commonplace, and the schools that have emerged for this specific purpose tend to border on indecency in terms of financial investment.
Gaming Campus, LISAA, ESG Sport or ISART Digital; most major schools stamped “video game” cost on average between 6,000 and 10,000€ per year, a colossal sum for the vast majority of students. Despite the prestige and specialization of the diploma that these establishments can bring, we invite you to discover some public and free alternatives that will allow you to integrate the video game industry.
What training courses open the doors to video games for you?
There are several courses likely to project you into the world of video games, accessible via public establishments and therefore almost free (not to mention the registration fees and the contribution to the CVEC, two things that can be avoided thanks to the CROUS grant). Most of them allow you to work in common areas such as programming or design, while others are more general and comprehensive. Zoom on some of these promising formations.
Training to develop and program
The job of developer is the one that attracts the most young people when it comes to video games. Programming is the basis of all production and being responsible for the backdrop of your favorite games is an exhilarating prospect. To achieve this goal, there is no need to go through an overpriced school, IT specialist courses can do just as well.
BTS (Bac+2), License (Bac+3) or even Master (Bac+5), there are many options that lead you to the profession of developer. Depending on your ambition and the position you are aiming for, you can always continue your studies up to the level of computer engineer, although five years of study after the Bac are already more than enough… if you take the trouble to specialize at least.
It should indeed be kept in mind that these courses are generalists, so they do not train you in the specificities of video games. You will therefore have to redouble your curiosity in order to learn the main tricks of the trade on your side. the GOAL IT and its career in creating applications: design, development, validation is also an excellent gateway that should allow you to deepen your knowledge in a more specific area.
Training for the souls of artists
Video games aren’t just lifeless, soulless lines of code. It is also a good dose of graphics and animations of all kinds, which is responsible for a large part of the development studios. If you are passionate about drawing or animation, know that you can always turn to national art diplomas. the DNA optional design (Bac+3) is an excellent gateway to the professions of graphic designer, character designer or even level artist.
This is also the case of DN MADE (Bac+3), which offers 14 different specializations, including animation, graphic design and digital. Depending on the specialization you choose, you head towards the professions of 2D/3D animator, graphic artist or any profession related to the design of digital products, including video games.
Once again, do not hesitate to find out as soon as possible about the skills specific to the job you want to practice in order to best distinguish yourself once on the job market.
Training for everyone
On the side of more general training, we have the GOAL Multimedia and Internet professions (Bac+2), which offers three different courses: web development and interactive device, digital creativity and digital communication strategy and experience design. So many possibilities that train you in a comprehensive way to digital professions. In many cases, the lessons offered can be adapted to the field of video games.
Your hobby is more sales or even branding, with professions halfway between development studios and consumers, so you can always go for marketing studies (bachelor’s degree for example) then continue on Master Marketing Digital (Bac+5), perfectly adapted to the situation. Finally, there is still a last very relevant training.
It’s about Master’s degreeAudiovisual, digital interactive media, games (Bac+5) which is offered in several major cities in France (Paris, Angoulême, Poitiers, Metz, Lyon, Valenciennes). To access it, it is recommended to have a license in the field of communication, human sciences or computer science, depending on the profession and the course you are aiming for later.
Adopting the right research methodology
If you have read our dossier on careers in video games, you already know that this industry is full of countless career possibilities. Here are a few tips that will allow you to find what suits you, however, regarding the higher education paths that will take you there.
The first thing is to determine precisely what job you want to practice, or at least in what field (eg, art in video games). It is indeed much easier to look for your training according to the skills that you will be asked for in the job offers. This is the weak point of training in higher video game schools, which can sometimes be very extensive. You can therefore greatly benefit from targeting the skills you will need if you are already very familiar with the environment (previous training, professional experience, passion, etc.).
Second, keeping an open mind is essential. Any profession can lead you down the path of video games if you bet to make it your specialization. Law, events, communication, sales, tourism, etc. These are all options that you can turn to your advantage thanks to your personal knowledge, appropriate external training or skilfully chosen integrated options.