A student and a professor give their perspectives on gaming in higher education, and what comes next after earning a degree in this growing industry.
Sophomore, Major: Esports Management, Production, and Performance, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
The first piece of advice I would give to students interested in a career in gaming is to be passionate. Entering the gaming industry can be a daunting task as there are many ways to go about it, but having an intense passion is necessary to be successful. You can learn new skills, but you can’t learn passion. Another piece of advice I would give is to be able to take and give constructive criticism. In esports, most people you talk to want to see you thrive. Any advice or criticism given will strengthen your work and skills, helping you even more as you grow in your career.
I didn’t always know I wanted to enter the gaming industry; I almost became an architect. I’m still currently carving my path within the gaming industry, however I know I want to work in the esports (competitive gaming) side of the industry. When I learned about how big esports had become a few years ago, I found I really wanted to work in the esports industry to ensure its longevity. From there, I decided my career goals would involve esports and gaming which is why I enrolled at Harrisburg University where I feel I can achieve those goals during my undergraduate studies. Currently, I am researching more roles in team management, partnerships, and live events to try and find my eventual end career.
Michael J. Lee, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, Dept. of Informatics, New Jersey Institute of Technology
When talking to students, most only think about the development/programming, testing, and art careers. There are so many additional aspects of gaming that they overlook. The lesser known jobs that students gravitate towards after they learn about them include game designer (concept, storyline, characters), animator, and user experience designer (controls, interface). I have also seen some students go into localization (i.e., translation), and audio engineering (sound effects), and composition (music). One last thing that students tend not to realize is that they do not have to necessarily make games themselves, but they can create the tools that the industry uses to produce games.
Games themselves are becoming more diverse, complex, and immersive. No matter your interests, there is probably some part of the gaming industry that can benefit from your expertise. While there is currently a lack of diversity in the industry, it is something that they are aware of and (many) are trying to address. You can be a part of the solution by pursuing a career in gaming and actively advocating for more diversity.