February 10. 2005 Nashua, NH — Taking advantage of its leadership in computers and technology, Daniel Webster College is offering a Computer Game Development Certificate that builds the skills individuals need to develop computer graphics, multimedia, and games software. As the only program of its kind in New England, the certificate, with its six 3-credit classes held during the evening, is creating opportunities in a cutting-edge industry for individuals whose interest lie in computer game development.
The program is appealing to a wide variety of people, according to Dr. Robert Sweo, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Daniel Webster College. Individuals in the workplace looking to gain some multimedia skills, computer programmers who want to develop high end graphics and scenario planning skills, high school computer students who may not be looking at attending college on a full-time basis, and “gamers” of all ages who want to go “behind the screen,” if you will, to learn how to create the skills necessary to create the gaming environment.
The suite of courses in the certificate curriculum includes programming languages C, C++, and active scripting languages. Tools for the development process include Macromedia Flash and visual studio.net; other courses include PHP, SQL and systems administration. The 3-D design course concentrates on the overall skills used to create virtual worlds with development tools like MAYA and 3Dmax.
But will there be employment opportunities for graduates of the Computer Game Development Certificate? Look at the statistics: a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP asserts that the video game industry is expected to expand globally at a compound annual rate of 20% for the next four years, and game industry executives are feeling the pressure to get “back into the [computer game development] business.” And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for qualified programmers is increasing 10-20%, a trend expected to extend through 2012.
What is particularly valuable, according to Computer Science instructor Donald Patch, is that program was developed to create skills that not only can be used in developing computer games, but also are used today throughout the computing field.
“Students will be introduced to concepts that include project and software development, programming and 3-D design,” he explained. “They’ll create real projects individually and as a team.” Those projects include concepts such as extreme programming and testing to complete fully functioning games. Participants will be creating a workflow process for bringing a concept to a finished product.” Many of these skills are fundamental to gaming, education and even Fortune 500 companies’ workflows, allowing students to bring the skills they learn at Daniel Webster directly into the business and technology workplace.
Additionally, because developing a modern video game is dependant on many current technologies used in today’s job market, these technologies are also applicable to many modern applications, including computer security, database design, software development, and interactive web-based solutions, offering entry into other high-tech fields.
“Daniel Webster College has taken an innovative approach to creating a curriculum that is both interesting and practical for students,” said Dr. Robert Sweo, dean of graduate and continuing studies at Daniel Webster. The program has been purposefully designed to allow certificate “graduates” to expand on what they’ve accomplished and easily move forward into Daniel Webster’s degree program in Software Development, where they can earn a baccalaureate degree.
Added Dr. Sweo, “Many adults are looking for programs that can get them started in a new profession or refine their current skills. Certificate programs help those students achieve goals quickly.”
As the Computer Game Development Certificate kicks off March 14, interested individuals are encouraged to call 603-577-6635 for more information and to learn how they can "get game."