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How to kick-start a career in gaming

Asian woman playing a video game

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Gaming needs fresh young talent with a range of skills in coding and development. It can offer great career prospects with dedication.

THE TOTAL GLOBAL VALUE OF THE GAMING SECTOR IS AROUND $200 BILLION DOLLARS, AND BY 2026 ITS EXPECTED THAT IT WILL GROW TO AS MUCH AS £321 BILLION.

But this growth can only be realised if skills gaps are met. This is why the education of young creatives is key.

While a career in gaming can seem an enticing opportunity, it can be tricky to know how and where to start.

Stefana Coroiu, Games Course Leader at Access Creative College’s London Campus

For young people looking to take those first steps into a career in gaming Stefana Coroiu, Games Course Leader at Access Creative College’s London Campus, breaks down how they can make their passions a reality.

“Young people wanting to forge a career in gaming are often met by the same stigmas. Usually from parents or guardians, that it is neither viable nor sensible. The truth is gaming can offer young people a fulfilling career filled with prospects.

THE PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT

“The programming department within games studios is supported by a variety of specialist programmers and developers. For those starting out it will tend to be as a generalist programmer.

“As a generalist you’ll be expected to have levels of proficiency in languages like C, C++ and Python.  Knowledge of games engines is also hugely valuable, as well as visual scripting languages, like UE5’s Blueprints.  

“These are built on coding language, but don’t require a developer to physically code a game’s function line by line. These are crucial because most modern gaming engines have a visual scripting environment.

“These skills can all be taught at the Further Education stage, ensuring a good level of foundational knowledge and awareness of industry standard tools.”

EDUCATION PATHWAY

“A levels or Level 3 BTECs are a good start, with art and science subjects complementing each other nicely for these kinds of roles.  There are also vocational qualifications if you want to go straight into a job or an apprenticeship. Beyond Further Education, degree level could be an option you want to explore, if the vocational apprenticeship route doesn’t appeal.”

EMPLOYMENT

“Some employers and studios may be looking out for a generalist who has some level of previous employment of relevant experience. Which, understandably, can be tricky when you’re fresh out of education.  Therefore, building your own portfolio is so important to showcase your skills.

“You can do this alongside your education, honing and showcasing your abilities as you learn and develop. This could be on solo projects you’ve made and coded yourself, or even modding on pre-existing platforms and code.

“There are now so many opportunities for young gaming enthusiasts to forge a positive and meaningful career, doing something that they genuinely love.

“Working in gaming is really a career of passion, the most important thing for any young person to note is that you get out what you put in. Effort and dedication always yield the most positive results.”

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