Many people hold the dream of working in the gaming industry. They want to work in a field that creates entertaining and fun products. Video game careers allow employees to spend their days doing what they grew up doing at home during leisure time. The problem for most individuals is how to get a job in the gaming industry.
The gaming industry is highly competitive. Employers receive so many applications and resumes that they can choose from among the most talented people. Prospective gaming workers should be cognizant of the level of difficulty associated with securing a job. Despite a decent career outlook, applications simply outnumber available positions.
One ray of hope is that certain specialties and geographical regions tend to have more openings than do others. It is wise for job seekers to aim toward these demographics. Programmers who can produce 3-D graphics remain in constant demand. In addition, residents of California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington live in the states housing the majority of video game producers. Applicants in these areas have increased possibilities of finding gainful employment.
Types of Jobs
Video game companies hire people to perform various functions. Designers actually conceive of the entire theme of the games. They are the visionaries who have to decide what the public desires from the next generation of video games. Programmers create gaming software. It is their responsibility to turn abstract concepts into a working model. Game testers check for bugs and glitches in software. Multimedia artists develop the images for video games. Their task is to produce visual effects that will enhance the overall quality of the software for consumers.
In the past, many gaming employees did not have formal training in the industry. Some individuals became familiar with gaming by simply sitting at home playing. Today, companies are more selective in their hiring practices. The sheer fact that more people are applying for the limited number of jobs allows this added degree of scrutiny.
Moreover, the increasing complexity of the industry and the buying public means the workers must possess advanced knowledge of math and programming. A computer science or information technology degree of some sort is becoming virtually necessary for entry-level positions.
For designers, a college degree with some evidence of social science and humanities courses will help. They must be storytellers who can create whole worlds in their minds.
Some higher educational institutions offer degrees tailored for gaming careers. Some-profit independent schools have specific majors in gaming. Students at comprehensive liberal arts institutions should take math, computer science or engineering coursework related to gaming, if possible.
Getting Into the Industry
Internships in the industry are the primary means of getting a foot in the door, so to speak. Companies are always willing to employ college students, and others, for temporary assignments. Quite often, these positions pay little or no money. Yet, the connections made and the knowledge gained will prove invaluable.
During the interview for permanent video game positions, candidates should emphasize both their education and practical experience. They should do the same on their resume or CV. Employers want to know that candidates have a firm grasp on the theory that drives the industry and that they have had an opportunity to actually deal with concrete workplace problems.
Description of the multimedia artist position published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Description of the computer programmer position published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Electronic Arts (EA) internship program.