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Game Design Pathway

A career in Game Design?

A career in Game Design?

Does your student love playing video games and want to turn their hobby into a career? Do they often think about how their favorite games could be improved? Or, better yet, have they developed a prototype for a new game? If so, a career in game design could be a great fit!

Gain real-world skills through project-based learning.

At Stride Career Prep,* we integrate project-based learning into the curriculum, so that classwork mirrors what students will be doing in the workplace. With project-based learning, they work on solutions to real-life problems, often with a team.

For example, one of the assignments in the Game Design Pathway is to design and build an interactive game to help a nonprofit raise awareness of the lack of access to safe, clean water. The game must be entertaining and incorporate the best in design and application integrations, including functionality, to generate ad revenue for the nonprofit. Students also have a chance to test and play other students’ games.

Our Game Design Pathway Curriculum in Detail

All students take the core courses required for high school graduation in their state. The chart below shows the additional classes students take as part of the Game Design Pathway. You can see the rest of the curriculum by viewing the full course list.

These courses provide an opportunity for students to gain insight into potential careers.
These courses are building blocks that prepare students for more specialized pathway courses.
These courses prepare students for industry-recognized certification exams.
While not required, these courses provide an opportunity for students to gain knowledge and skills that are useful in their chosen careers.
IT Explorations  Computer Science Principles

Computer and Cloud Fundamentals††
Video Game Design
Intro to JavaScript*
*Algebra 1 is a pre-requisite for Intro to JavaScript
Green Design and Technology
Game Design 1
Game Design 2
Game Design for Chromebooks 1
Game Design for Chromebooks 2††
Virtual Reality
Mobile Apps

Note: Pathway courses are subject to change.
New in fall 2022
††New in spring 2023

Get credentialed.

In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications provide a credible, third-party assessment of a student’s skills and knowledge of a given subject. Students in this pathway can prepare to take these industry-recognized certification exams:**

These baseline certifications prepare students with domain-specific, entry-level job skills.
IC3 G5 Living Online
CompTIA Cloud Essentials
NOCTI Computer Programmer
NOCTI Visual Communications and Interactive Media
These certifications indicate students have acquired skills needed to perform a job with little or no support.
ICT Gaming Essentials
AWS Cloud Practitioner

Get ahead of the competition.

We encourage students to jumpstart the job search by helping them create a professional résumé, cover letter, and profile on Tallo, the leading professional networking platform for Gen Z. Plus, they connect virtually to working business professionals and entrepreneurs through Nepris.***

Find a school near you that offers the Game Design Pathway.

Stride Career Prep programs with the Game Design Pathway are available at tuition-free K12-powered, public online schools in the following states:

Insight Academy of Arizona

California Virtual Academies

Insight School of Kansas

Stride Career Prep at Agora Cyber Charter School

Don’t see your state? Check out the tuition-based option here in the Game Design Pathway. There are also tuition-free options in related fields like web and digital communications

Choose a career. Prepare for the future.

Students in this pathway can prepare for a wide variety of careers in the field of gaming, including:

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers write and test code in languages such as C++, Java, and Python that allow computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. There can be an overlap with the duties of software developers.

2021 Median Salary

Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030

Typical Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree preferred; some employers may accept commensurate experience, demonstrated through a portfolio of programming content including apps, and/or give job candidates a coding challenge to complete.

This data reflects the information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook on June 29, 2022. To learn more about this occupation, visit bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm.

Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers

Software quality assurance analysts and testers design and execute systems to check the software for problems. As part of their testing, these workers document and track the software’s potential defects or risks. They also assess its usability and functionality to identify difficulties a user might have. After completing testing, they report the results to software or web developers and review ways to solve any problems they find.

2021 Median Salary

Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030
Much faster than average

Typical Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree  

This data reflects the information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook on June 29, 2022. To learn more about this occupation, visit  bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm.

Special Effects Artists and Animators

Special effects artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, images that appear to move, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media. Some special effects artists focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows.

2021 Median Salary

Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030
Much faster than average

Typical Entry-Level Education
A bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, animation, fine arts, or a related field is usually required. Employers typically prefer to hire candidates with a good portfolio and strong technical skills, both of which students may develop while earning a degree.

This data reflects the information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook on June 29, 2022. To learn more about this occupation, visit bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm.


Companies in the game design field are often more interested in a portfolio than in any degree. They want to see that you’ve already designed games with high-quality graphics and animations. That’s why developing a portfolio is so important and why we help students start their portfolios through our unique project-based curriculum.

Learn more about course offerings in the other Stride Career Prep career fields.

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Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

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Business Management & Administration

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Criminal Justice & Community Services

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Education & Training

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Engineering & Manufacturing

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Health Sciences

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Hospitality & Tourism

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Information Technology (IT)

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Visual Arts & Communications

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*Stride Career Prep is a program for grades 9–12. Some schools offer career exploration in middle school.
**Many Microsoft®️ Office certificates can be earned after completing one course. Other certificates require more classes to be better prepared, and students who participate in the program for at least two years will have further preparation for certification testing.
***Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.