Schell Games Partners with Community College of Allegheny County to Create Apprenticeship Program for those Aspiring to Join the Game Industry


Schell Games, the largest full-service educational and entertainment game development company in the United States, today announced a partnership with Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) to create the Schell Games Apprenticeship Program (SGAP), a hybrid training curriculum that will guide aspiring gaming professionals through a three-year Associate Degree in Multimedia Programming, Simulation, and Gaming.

The program, which launches in the fall of 2022, is a blend of classroom study (20 hours per week) and paid on-the-job training (20 hours) at Schell Games’ Station Square office, including professional training and development company-specific onboarding, and curriculum and project work. Schell Games will pay the full tuition of the apprentices, two of whom will make up the program’s inaugural class. The company will also provide public transit or parking passes to cover students’ commutes.

“Game development companies today need to be as innovative in our recruitment and development of talent as we do in our games and applications,” said Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell. “This partnership with CCAC is the first degree-granting apprenticeship program in the games industry. It represents a grassroots effort for the greater Pittsburgh community but also a first step in the creation of a broader, deeper talent pipeline inclusive of students who can’t or choose not to attend four-year universities.”

Once reserved primarily for trade industries, apprenticeships are becoming more strategically important in sectors such as technology and games. A recent McKinsey & Company study stated that half of all work activities could become automated as soon as 2035, potentially creating a global shortage of skilled workers. Apprenticeship programs address these issues by closing skill gaps or reskilling those uprooted by automation.

In the SGAP, participants will work side-by-side with game developers on actual projects to gain real-world experience in the games industry. They will have the opportunity to mentor under every discipline, which includes engineering, design, art, and production. At the end of their apprenticeship, they will have the skills and knowledge to confidently enter the games industry workforce.

“The only way to keep up with the pace of automation and close the skills gap is for public education and private companies to come together in new ways,” said Rebecca Dupont, Department Head of Computer Information Technologies, North Campus and West Hills Center for CCAC. “We hope that this initiative with Schell Games is a template for business and academia alike.”

CCAC students interested in applying for the SGAP can do so through the school’s website. The application includes a 300-word essay indicating their desire and outlining their strengths and what they hope to gain from the program. A selection committee will interview finalists chosen from the application pool and select the final candidates no later than July 2022.