Are there any industry respected certifications for game or graphics developers?


I am thinking of professional certifications similar to Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), but specific to game development.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A good portfolio :) \$\endgroup\$ – Ray Dey Aug 26 '11 at 22:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Plus one to Ray Dey's comment. Certification means nothing. Show me you can do something. Show me credits on an existing product, and point to something you did on it. \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Holt Aug 26 '11 at 22:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ For graphics developers it is masters degree in computer graphics. In my opinion much more valuable than some general "game degree" (for graphics programmer)... But still, without having demos (or experience in CV of course), it has not a big value. But at least you are not stucked with games, you can do tons of other interesting things, starting with film and ending with medical visualisations \$\endgroup\$ – Notabene Aug 29 '11 at 20:44

Autodesk offers professional certifications in Maya and 3D Studio Max, if by "graphics development" you mean 3D modeling and not graphics programming. But this says little about artistic skill.

Programming certificates are a joke, inside or outside game development.

Stuff like CCNA is useful if you're a large company with a giant Cisco network and need to hire five mediocre guys to keep it working but don't really want to expend a lot of resources hiring. It works because an expert at replugging cables doesn't really give you much benefit over a novice at replugging cables.

There is no equivalent scenario for game development, nor for programming. Good programmers are dozens of times more valuable than mediocre programmers. Good designers are infinitely more valuable than mediocre ones.


For the US, there's GuildHall at SMU. They offer both a Master's Degree and a certification. The only difference being the Masters have to write a thesis; and Full Sail

For international persons, as Ray Dey commented, a good portfolio is all I can suggest.


Just remembered: There's an industry respected program at DigiPen as well.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does Full Sail really count as "industry respected"? \$\endgroup\$ – user744 Aug 27 '11 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Joe Wreschnig I see your point, but I didn't want them to feel left out. Just like all those weeds that popped up similar to Brown College's online-based program. \$\endgroup\$ – Casey Aug 27 '11 at 16:40

Realistically you could have every certification known to man, and you will probably get a job. But in the same respect you could have never stepped foot in a school, and have some amazing demos with your name on it, and get the same job, if not a better one.

Ideally, both is best.

I'm studying at a college in Canada for a diploma in Game Development. So they do exist.


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