Student FAQ

Just the FAQs...

Students and recent graduates are a critical part of our workforce and a key to our future growth. Below you’ll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions posed by people like you. 

Click on the question below to view the answer.

Q: EA is a massive company. Will I get lost in the crowd?

A: Absolutely not. One way to look at EA is as a collection of smaller businesses that make up the larger company as a whole. Each team has its own identity, culture, and leadership style. There are many opportunities for individuals to shine in this kind of environment.

Having said that, there are also benefits of working at a larger company:

  • More opportunity for career growth and promotion.
  • Lots of variety – you can work on different projects across teams or studios.
  • Greater stability.
  • Greater sharing of ideas and new technologies across teams.
Q: Many EA games are released for multiple platforms. Are there advantages to working across different platforms? 

A: Yes, there are big advantages. 

  • By working across multiple platforms, our employees get an opportunity to work on and learn about different technologies.
  • It also gives them new challenges while allowing them to expand their skill base.
Q: Does EA provide training and development opportunities?

A: Yes. One of EA’s core values is to create an environment that encourages employees to learn and grow.

  • LEAP (Learning, Engagement, and Performance) is an internal team at EA focused on training and development programs. They ensure that people across the business get the opportunity to access training courses in a range of areas, including skill and management development. 
  • EA Knowledge is an extensive intranet site dedicated to employee learning. At EA Knowledge, employees can share experiences and learn new methods from their peers. The site features articles from professionals across the company on new tools, technologies, experiences, and more. 
Q: What are the opportunities for career progression within EA?

A: Developing and promoting people from within is a central company goal. 

  • We aim to support and inspire our internal talent to cultivate their long-term goals at EA.
  • At EA you are not locked into a linear progression; you choose your own career path.
  • Opportunities are available to you should you want to try something new and challenge yourself.
Q: EA has many teams around the world. Are there opportunities for movement between teams?

A: Yes. We encourage employees to work on projects they're passionate about. 

  • Let your manager and your HR representative know and they can work with you to highlight opportunities.
Q: I've heard about the difficulty of maintaining a good work/life balance in the games industry and at EA. Can you tell me about that?

A: Here are some of the points to consider and some of the steps we're taking to address this controversial issue:

  • Work/life balance is an issue that has challenged the games industry as a whole, as well as other creative and technical fields such as film, television, and software development. It affects any project-led, deadline-driven industry. 
  • The biggest work/life challenges we face typically occur towards the end of the development process, when the team is putting the final touches on a game. With time running out before the game goes to market, game developers have historically worked longer hours to achieve their goal of releasing the highest-quality game possible.
  • EA is committed to working hard on ways to improve work/life balance. We have taken concrete steps to address this important issue, including putting processes in place to ensure that game design and scope are locked down as early as possible in the production process. This helps us plan more effectively from a scheduling and personnel standpoint.
  • We’ve also taken steps in the pre-production process, clearly defining the scope of the game, the timelines involved in producing it, who we'll need on the project, and when we'll need them. Thus, our project managers can more effectively schedule the entire development process, minimize work/life balance issues, and lessen the need for "crunch" periods.
  • In the end, we realize it's inevitable that working hours will increase when we near the end of development. As game makers, we are proud perfectionists of our craft and want to create the best game possible. 
Q: How does EA encourage individuality? 

A: All employees are encouraged to share ideas that will help us improve the company and propel our ongoing evolution.

  • Our recruiters are always on the lookout for candidates with a natural flair for creativity and the confidence to voice their ideas and opinions. 
Q: How does EA encourage creativity?

A: Creativity is the lifeblood of what we do! EA is fuelled by people who think not outside the box, but as if there is no box.

  • We pride ourselves on encouraging employees to take chances and calculated risks. Without fear of failure, employees can work in an environment that promotes creativity.
  • More formally, we have launched a new program called EA Inventor, a patent process and inventor incentive program designed to recognize and reward creativity internally.
Q: Does EA have a dress code? 

A: EA promotes creativity and with that comes individuality. As long as your clothing, hairstyle, etc. aren't offensive to your co-workers, you can wear whatever you want. 

Q: How do junior and senior members of the staff interact with one another? 

A: Everyone on a game team works together in the same area – regardless of level – and we encourage open communication between all employees at all times. 

  • Collaboration among all team members is highly valued and crucial to our success. New graduates often have fresh skills and knowledge to share with senior team members, having studied the latest trends in technology at school.
Q: Is there a lot of after-hours socializing at EA? 

A: How does the saying go: “Work hard, play hard”? That’s EA.

  • That means there are plenty of opportunities to unwind with your co-workers! 
  • As an intern/co-op or new graduate, we understand that you might have relocated for your new job at EA and you may not know anyone in the beginning. Don’t worry, that won’t last long. Students often go out for lunch together, see movies, play laser-tag or watch the local sports teams. 
  • If you’re a recent graduate, you have the opportunity to be part of our new grad community which encourages others like you from all areas of EA to participate in social events where you can meet other new grads, connect about your experiences, and share ideas. 
  • Whatever your interests, whether it be team sports, volunteering in the community, or battling it out together to defend the empire in Star Wars: The Old Republic, there’s always something happening at EA.
Q: What kinds of skills and experience does EA look for in a Software Engineer? 

A: As a Software Engineer at EA, you should definitely know C++ , C#, and Java very well, but experience with HTML5 and JavaScript for mobile games that run anywhere is also critical.

Depending on your area of interest, it may also be important to understand JSON, REST, Thrift, NoSQL, and distributed cache systems for modern server technology that delivers scalable and reliable gameplay. 

Some teams also look for hands-on experience with MapReduce, Hadoop, and Hive to collect, process, and translate data produced by our best-in-class tools.

  • We tend to hire people who are well-rounded and who show us they can adapt and learn quickly on the job. We also look for people with experience working in a team environment and who know how to interact with a range of people with a diverse range of skills, ideas, and backgrounds. Sure, we want people who understand technology, but we also want them to have great communication skills and demonstrate the potential for becoming leaders. 
  • The bottom line is that we're looking for people who know how to write and read code, as well as people who like to learn new things. And, of course, we're looking for people who are passionate about playing and making games. 
Q: I'm currently in a Computer Science or Software/Computer Engineering program. What courses at school are most applicable for working in the games industry?

A: For a career in programming or engineering at EA, a Computer Science or Software/Computer Engineering degree is required for most positions, so you are on the right track already. When it comes to courses, the following subjects are very important:

  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Mathematical Logic
  • Computer Graphics
  • Abstract Data Types
  • Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
Q: Is it possible to get a job at EA without a degree?

A: Yes, it's possible to get a job at EA without a university degree. To be considered for internship or co-op positions, however, you must be enrolled full time at a college or university.

Though a degree isn't required to work at EA, we believe in the value of getting a university degree or completing a comparable educational or vocational program. Why? Because your experience at such programs (particularly an accredited degree program) provides innumerable opportunities for learning and development. It gives you a solid foundation to build upon. 

If you don't have a degree, the most common route into the games industry is to start your career as a Game Tester (Quality Assurance). This is a good way to get your foot in the door and learn the fundamentals of making games.

Q: How does EA rate the importance of artistic vs. technical abilities for a Game Designer?

A: For a Game Designer, we'd lean towards technical abilities. Game Designers (more specifically Level Designers) aren't hired to make things look pretty. Instead, it's their job to decide what objects are placed in a level, where the objects are placed, and how the objects interact as part of the gameplay experience (it's then up to the Artists to make it all look pretty). 

  • It definitely helps to have a good eye as a Game Designer, but it's not a requirement to be a trained artist. About a third of our game designers come from a background in the arts, but there are many, many others who developed their skills through other means. Some have a background in the humanities, some are trained architects, and others have picked up their skills by playing games. Whatever your background, it is always helpful to have a strong knowledge of the different types of software involved in game design.
Q: How many interns/co-op students do you typically hire in each semester?

A: Because EA only hires students into meaningful positions that are critical to the success of a project, the number of students hired in each term varies based on business needs, location, and team.

Q: Are there many opportunities to transition from being an intern to a full-time employee?

A: Yes! Not only are there opportunities, but having you join us full time after you graduate is truly the basis for our internship and co-op programs. EA’s goal is to show you what we have to offer! We want you to have an unparalleled work experience that showcases our talented people, the exciting work we do, and the endless career possibilities in front of you should you choose to come along for the ride. 

Q: Will EA help me relocate for an intern/co-op or full-time position?

A: Yes! Many intern/co-op positions provide relocation assistance for students hired into a role outside the state, province, or country they attend school in. 

  • The relocation package varies by studio but most include return airfare and a lump sum to help you transition to your new work location.
  • Some full-time new grad positions also offer relocation depending on the position and location, but it’s best to check with the recruiter for each role to confirm.
Q: What benefits are available to a university grad hire or intern/co-op students?

A: Our compensation and benefits are intended to attract and retain the industry's best talent and motivate you to achieve your highest level of performance. EA is proud to provide a culture and work environment that looks out for each employee's professional development, health, and happiness.

Benefits for university grad full-time hires*

  • competitive salary
  • company- and performance-related bonus plan
  • spot stock awards
  • retirement savings plan
  • employee stock purchase plan (ESPP)
  • healthcare coverage
  • employee assistance program
  • life insurance
  • income protection
  • business travel accident insurance
  • travelers medical and security assistance
  • medical benefits abroad
  • retirement savings/pension
  • great culture
  • paid holidays
  • onsite childcare
  • education assistance
  • free onsite gym or gym membership subsidy
  • employee discount program
  • employee training
  • onsite restaurant
  • free EA games

Benefits for intern/co-op hires*

  • paid work experience alongside industry professionals
  • relocation assistance
  • student social events
  • onsite restaurant
  • free EA games and discounted EA swag
  • great culture
  • paid holidays
  • free onsite gym or gym membership subsidy
  • healthcare coverage (after six months of continuous employment)
  • lunchtime speaker series with EA’s leaders – just for students!
  • scholarship opportunities
  • great potential for full-time offer before you graduate

* Benefits offered may vary depending on location.

Q: What are the recruitment cycles for intern/co-op positions?
  • As a general rule, EA begins the recruitment cycle for any given term four months ahead of each term. 
  • For example, for the Fall term, which begins in September, we begin the recruitment process in May.