Ohio is the nation’s seventh largest state. Thanks to a population of more than 11.5 million, Ohio’s sizable collection of colleges is the sixth largest in the U.S. The state’s 215 Title IV degree-granting institutions vary from traditional universities to art and design schools to technical colleges. Although different, Ohio’s Title IV schools have several things in common. They have (1) accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (2) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, (3) have signed a participation agreement with the Department, (4) grant an associate's degree or higher, and (5) they have been in business for at least two years. All Title IV schools must meet these requirements in order to be eligible for Title IV financial aid programs.
Many of Ohio’s Title IV schools have excellent art and computer science departments. Even better is, most of these schools are actually affordable, while still managing to maintain high quality programs. Just a few of Ohio’s most affordable schools for aspiring game designers & developers include The Ohio State University, Kent State University, and Shawnee State University.
To learn more about the state’s best schools for game designers & developers and what they cost, take a look at the most expensive to least expensive schools below.
Most Expensive Ohio Game Design & Development Schools
Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland - Tuition Information: Undergraduate $35,270 for the 2014-2015 school year.
Least Expensive Ohio Game Design & Development Schools
Ohio University, Athens - Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $10,536, nonresidents $19,500; Graduate residents $9,444, nonresidents $17,436 for the 2014-2015 school year.
The Ohio State University, Columbus - Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $10,037, nonresidents $26,537 for the 2014-2015 school year.
Kent State University, Kent - Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $10,012, nonresidents $17,972; Graduate residents $8,730, nonresidents $14,886 for the 2014-2015 school year.
Shawnee State University, Portsmouth - Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $6,250, nonresidents $11,504 through Summer 2015.
More Game related programs to consider:
- Orlando, Florida (Online Programs Available)
Ohio Game Design & Development Scene
According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics Report (March 2012), Ohio is home to 58,970 salaried artists, designers and related occupations, and 31,940 software developers. Many of the state’s designers and developers work in the game design & development industry, holding titles such as such as art director, game mechanic designer, game tester, programmer, content designer, lead designer, level designer, and more. Salaries for game designers & developers may vary by title, seniority, company, and more. This means, an entry-level quality assurance tester may earn as little as $49,000 per year, while a senior designer or developer may earn $100,000 or more.
According to salary and career sites such as SimplyHired and Indeed, Ohio-based game designers average $62,000 to $84,000,000 per year, and game developers average $68,000-$98,000 per year. However, salaries may vary by hundreds, even thousands of dollars, depending on the factors listed earlier and where you live. For example, according to Indeed, Cincinnati-based game designers & developers average around $83,000 to $96,000 per year, while Columbus-based designers & developers average around $85,000-$99,000 per year. Meanwhile, Cleveland game designers & developers average around $78,000-$91,000 and statewide, software developers in general average $83,260 to $89,120.
Ohio is home to hundreds of computer systems and design firms and dozens of creative and interactive agencies. Just a few include:
- Creative Spot, Columbus
- Half Heart Entertainment, Akron
- Lightborne Communications, Cincinnati
- Loreful, Cincinnati
- Mills James Creative Media, Cincinnati and Columbus
- Rockfish Interactive, Cincinnati
Although many of the biggest game design & development companies can be found in Ohio’s top five largest cities—Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Akron, a number of smaller companies and start-ups can be found much smaller cities such as Canton (pop. 72,535) and Youngstown (pop. 65,184).
Awesome Animation Fact: According to Infinigeek, Superman 64 was originally going to be an ambitious free-roaming open world game, but ended up being poor because of internal conflicts between DC Comics & Warner Bros. and the developers. One of the demands that didn’t sit well with developers was that Superman should not be able to hit real people.