Gaming is a hobby enjoyed by countless millennials. If you really love video games, why not make it your full-time gig? Believe it or not, you can build a real gaming career out of your passion for video games! Passionate gamers have countless career options. You could pursue a job in the e-sports industry, learn how to code and get a job at a video game studio, or even start your own gaming company. Your options are truly endless. Not sure where to start? Keep reading to learn how you can break into the gaming industry!
Go Back to School
While there is nothing wrong with being self-taught, going to university is a smart move for anyone keen on entering and creating a career for yourself in the gaming industry. Don’t have time for school? Attending an online university is a flexible and affordable alternative to traditional on-campus schooling. Earning an online computer science degree will help you learn in-demand skills in a variety of areas, including data structures, artificial intelligence, and computer theory. You will also develop several soft skills that will set you apart from other applicants when it comes time to hunt for your first gaming job.
Explore Different Gaming Career Paths
Before you go to school, decide which direction you would like to take your career. This will dictate the credentials or courses you will need in order to land a job when you graduate.
First, determine whether you would like to make money developing games or playing them. Jobs in video game development range anywhere from coding and game design to voice acting and sound engineering. You could also work as a video game writer, translator, marketer, producer, or sales representative. You could even get a job doing administrative work or accounting for a video game studio.
If you’re drawn to the idea of earning money while playing video games, consider live streaming, reviewing games, testing games, or playing competitively. There are a number of additional jobs up for grabs in the esports industry including coaching and broadcasting. Explore your options and decide on a path that sounds the most exciting to you!
Get Your First Gaming Gig
The process of landing your first job will look a little different depending on your career path. For those looking for work in game development, Game Developer Tips suggests building a portfolio to showcase your best projects so potential employers can get an idea of your skills and style of work. Making connections is also essential. Beyond looking for work on job boards, start networking in the gaming industry so you can forge connections with everyone from indie game developers to big company leaders.
If you’re nervous about networking, you’re not alone. The trick is to not overthink it! Like most things in life, the key to success in networking is to fake it until you make it. Get out there, introduce yourself to people, feign confidence (even if you’re really nervous), and keep your eyes on the end goal. Chatting up strangers at gaming events will begin to feel more natural the more you do it!
Start Your Own Gaming Company
You don’t have to work for someone else to make money developing video games. With the right skills, anyone can start a gaming company! Just make sure you’re prepared for the costs involved. Polygon breaks down many of the initial and ongoing costs facing gaming companies, and the result is far from pocket change. Working with investors or launching a crowdfunding campaign can help you get off the ground. If you want to test the waters without spending a lot of money, try developing a simple mobile game to see how you like the process of designing, developing, and marketing a game of your own.
Landing a career in the video game industry is not the far-fetched dream that it once was. Today, there are countless opportunities out there for passionate gamers who want to lend their skills to this ever-growing industry. Whether you decide to earn a tech degree and land a job at a development studio or join the ranks of competitive e-sports players, your career is bound to be exciting!