It turns out that when your mom took away your Playstation controller, she may have done harm to your professional development than good. Now, thousands make video games professionally, and many are seeing a huge amount of success. The popularity of a career in video game design is exploding, as a result of this growth, bachelors programs, master degree online program and supplementary design classes are being offered by an increasing number of outlets. The industry is moving quickly, as Wiis and Playstation 3’s invade America’s living room: video games have become a $10 billion industry, as of 2009. Here are some academic plans that could land you a job in the industry.

The course of education leading to a gaming career is changing quickly, and institutional programs are extremely diverse. One of the best known video game design master’s programs is at Full Sail Real World Education, in Winter Park, Florida. The master’s program offered at the school in Game Design teaches students how to produce a game, handle corporate responsibilities with management at a studio, and lead a creative team.

If you want a program close to the industry hub, DigiPenn, in Redmond, Washington, is a stone’s through from video game giants like Nintendo America and Microsoft. The school is considered, along with Full Sail Real World Education, to be one of the top five video game programs in the world, and the proximity to real-life industries improves students’ chances of finding internships while finishing their degree, as well as jobs after they’ve completed the master’s.

There are even Ivy League master’s degree in video games. Penn started a program in 2004 in Computer Graphics and Game Technology. Alumni from the program have gone on to work with Pixar and the Harry Potter franchise on graphics, and 10% of Dreamworks technical directors are graduates of the program. There are 40 students in the year-long program. The degree focuses mainly on design theory, so it can be applied to both graphics in film and in video games.

If you’re interested in something a little less technical, check out the program at the University of Utah. This interdisciplinary degree is in entertainment arts and engineering games studio. Students work with advisors from both the School of Computing, as well as the Film and Media Arts Department. The University of Utah is a great option for those who don’t just want to design video games but also want to produce and direct them.

Video game design can be an incredibly lucrative field, with the average salary of a employee in the industry falling just barely below six figures. Getting a master’s degree in a video game-related discipline is a great way to learn concepts, network, and get your foot in the door. So take that, moms of the world. Video games are good for something after all. I would still advise not sitting too close to the TV screen though.