What can I do with my games development technologies degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with your degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employers and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs, societies and industry events
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills

Your study of games development technologies will provide you with knowledge and skills that are valuable to all employers as well as the games industry.

  • technical capability: you will be familiar with a range of programming languages and software packages.
  • teamworking skills from liaising with other students on group projects to develop software and games.
  • the ability to work independently on your own projects, managing your time and prioritising your workload effectively.
  • a creative, innovative – but methodical - approach to solving complex technical problems.
  • the ability to communicate your ideas, both verbally through giving presentations and written reports and other assignments.

Career options 

As well as being in a strong position to apply for Games Developer and related roles in studios, the skills and knowledge that you develop within your degree opens doors across the technology sector. You may therefore be interested in exploring some of the wider occupations as well as those directly within the games industry.

Applications Developer
Games Developer
Penetration tester
Software tester
UX Designer
Web Designer

Screenskills have also created a Games Industry Career Map and a more detailed breakdown of the different roles that you can explore within games development and the wider games industry.

Further research

While this is industry is expanding and diversifying for example games are increasingly being used in other settings such as training and development as well as recruitment - it is still a competitive area to enter. It’s worth exploring all of the options that could be open to you to help develop a long-term career plan, factoring in the latest industry developments.

Prospects and TargetJobs provide a good starting point; you may wish to take a look at these two Prospects articles, What can I do with a Computer Science degree? and What can I do with a Games Design degree? Target Jobs also has a useful Games Development article.

You may want to take a look at some of these job vacancy boards to gain a more detailed idea of what is available, what is required and where you might be based:

Employment opportunities

Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth computing and games development graduates told us they were doing 15 months after graduation. For some graduates, these jobs serve as ‘stepping stones’ to professional posts by providing relevant workplace experience.

  • Application Developer
  • Company Director and Developer
  • Creative Director
  • Game Designer
  • Game Developer
  • Game Programmer
  • GAME QA Tester
  • Software Engineer
  • Unity 3D Developer
  • Graduate Associate
  • Software Tester
  • Technical Director
  • 3D Artist
  • Unity Developer/Technical Director
  • Web Engineer
Employers are mainly games developers or games publishers. Development studios can be owned by larger publishers or a smaller independent (indie) companies. The game industry operates regionally, nationally and internationally and games production companies and studios vary in size - from small companies employing fewer than five people to multinational studios employing hundreds.

BMT Defence Services Ltd
Brainy Beard
CDK Global
Ceretech
Computershare
Fiesty Crab Studios
Gamezygo
Giant Bear Technology Limited
GOSS Interactive Ltd
Gradient Ltd
HM Land Registry
Microtest
Mystery Shoppers Ltd
NxTomo Games Limited
Peninsula Learning Trust
Questionable Quality Ltd
Red 7 Mobile ltd
Robb Research
So Good Studios
Sports Interactive Games
Sparkll
Totaldistraction ltd
Vualto
WDM
zerolight.com

*Data is from the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18. Graduates were surveyed 15 months after graduating. Data displayed is for 195 UK-domiciled, first degree, full-time graduates who are working, studying or looking for work.

Further study

Some career paths may require or benefit from further study; the University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options that could be of interest to Computer Science and Computing graduates:

  •  MSc Cyber Security
  • MSc Data Science and Business Analytics
  • MSc Autonomous Systems
  • PGCE Secondary (Computer Science)

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites provide a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant.

Find a Masters https://www.findamasters.com/ 

Find a PhD https://www.findaphd.com/ 

Prospects https://www.prospects.ac.uk/ 

It is also worth investigating what further study options the University has to offer as you may find the perfect course for yourself in an institution you already know. There are also sometimes financial benefits of staying on such as a fee discount to Alumni, find out your funding options here.

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access our 24/7 online resources.

There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.

Our bite-sized Accelerate workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more

Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service, however they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn’s alumni tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.

  • Search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • click on ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.

Other advice and guidance

Show your work

Employers want to see examples of how you design games and other interactive media projects, so it's important to build up an online portfolio of your work. Create working demos of examples of game programming you've created and if you are also interested in design work, think about creating an online portfolio where people can see what you can do.


Get work experience

Work experience will provide a massive boost to your employability when you graduate as well as giving you a real insight into what to expect from different areas of work and industries. You will develop your confidence and professional skills and industry contracts.

You may need to approach smaller games developers or publishers directly with a CV to negotiate short periods of work experience and if you are unable to secure games development experience it is worth exploring the wider IT sector for other opportunities which are likely to be more numerous and just as useful to you in the longer-term.

All work experience is beneficial whether a placement, part-time to work to support yourself at University or volunteering. We can help you find part-time work while you are at University and the University of Plymouth Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities in the not-for-profit sector.


Get involved with Hackathons and Game Jams

Major League Hacking describes a hackathon an “invention marathon;” teams design and code a prototype of an application that solves a problem. Participants range from software developers, designers, and non-technical people. Anyone with an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build and share their creations over the course of a weekend in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Games Jams also bring people together over a period of 24 or 48 hours with the primary goal of creating a game. You can practice your programming, meet people with similar interests and industry professionals which can help develop useful contacts for the future.


Stay in touch with people

While competitive, the Games industry is very collaborative. It’s well worth getting involved with the professional bodies and associations to keep abreast of what’s taking place.   TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry and The International Game Developers Association (IGDA)

Grads in Games are a lively, friendly and proactive community of Games industry professionals who want to help students achieve their aspirations. They offer numerous career information and development events such as their week-long virtual conference for students with speakers some of the biggest studios as well as smaller start-ups. They are well worth checking out and are easy to be a part of by simply following on social media if you prefer.


Clubs and societies 
Involvement with clubs and societies shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities to develop and try new experiences. These activities also help to improve teamwork, communication and leadership skills. Committee members develop organisational and diplomacy skills having gained experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion.

You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to computing and games development such as CompSoc, PlymGamesDev, GamesSociety or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.


Tutor and academic support

Your tutors and other academic staff will also support your career development, having had experience in industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. They will also be writing references for you when you graduate so establishing a positive relationship with them is invaluable.