Brian Heagney

Instructor of Communication for High Point University

Brian Heagney is currently an Instructor of Communication at High Point University (HPU) teaching in Games and Interactive Media Design.
Lately, Heagney and a some of his students have been working in collaboration with an animal behaviorist to develop a mobile application to train and test cognitive abilities in non-human primates.
Prior to coming to HPU, Heagney spent over a decade wielding an arsenal of virtual tools to create visualizations, simulations and animations for architecture, urban planning, simulation and gaming, and even crime-scene reconstruction.

Talk Description:

So You Didn’t Get The Job: How to leverage your game design degree to find work outside of the game industry

I want to give a talk geared to recent graduates with game design degrees, which will focus on how to think of their game design skills as transferable skills applicable to other industries. I’ve gone to a number of game conferences over the last few years and have met a lot of recent grads who are desperately looking for jobs in the game industry but aren’t necessarily finding them. My proposed talk will be beneficial to these students, as well as other professors and academics looking to advise their students about career choices as well as benefits of game design degree in general.
I am proposing two parts to the talk. The first will be about finding a job outside of the games industry using transferable skills gained from a game design degree. For each skill gained from a game design program, I will list several actual job opportunities from LinkedIn. As an example, a game design student interested in level design may also be interested in the following actual jobs:
Wayfinding / Signage Designer
Environmental Graphic Designer
Junior Wayfinding Design Professional
Exhibit Experience Designer
Graphic Motion Designer
I will then show the actual job announcement for select jobs to show how apt they are for a game design student.
The second part will focus on leveraging the skills gained in those jobs to land a job in the game industry as they originally intended. For this part, I will focus on the hard or soft skill gained from jobs outside of the game design industry and show how they are actually applicable to the games industry.

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