The UK games industry offers a plethora of career opportunities for all. Jobs with games skills needed are growing in every sector, and it‘s time to take a job in games seriously.
Whether you're a hardcore gamer or someone looking to turn their passion into a profession, the video game industry holds diverse career pathways waiting to be explored. In this short guide, we'll delve into the process of choosing the right career in gaming, explore typical career paths, discuss the viability of gaming as a career, and recommend suitable educational options.
How to Choose a Career in Gaming:
- Identify Your Strengths and Interests: The first step in selecting a career in the gaming industry is to recognize your strengths and interests. Do you excel in programming, design, storytelling, or management? This will guide you towards a specialized role that aligns with your talents.
- Research Various Roles: The gaming industry encompasses a wide range of roles, such as game developer, game designer, artist, programmer, quality assurance tester, and marketing specialist, among others. Research these roles to find the one that resonates with your skills and passions. Use our career and role tool to explore your options.
- Skill Development: Once you've identified your desired role, focus on enhancing your skills. Enroll in relevant courses, attend workshops, and gain practical experience through personal projects. A strong skill set will make you more competitive in the job market. You can explore our own courses here.
Typical Career Paths in the Video Game Field:
- Game Programmer: As a game developer, you'll be involved in the creation and coding of games. This role requires a deep understanding of programming languages, software development, and problem-solving. See more about a Gameplay Programmer this role here.
- Game Designer: Game designers conceptualize gameplay, mechanics, and narratives. They collaborate with various teams to bring their vision to life and ensure an engaging player experience. See more about a Game design role here.
- Artist: Artists contribute to the visual elements of a game, including character design, environments, and animations. A background in fine arts, digital art, or graphic design is beneficial for this role. See more about a Character Artist role here.
- Quality Assurance Tester: QA testers play a crucial role in identifying bugs and ensuring the quality of games before release. Attention to detail and a passion for gaming are essential traits for this role. See more about this role here. See more about a Quality Assurance role here.
Is Gaming a Viable Career Path?
Gaming has transformed into a billion-pound industry, offering substantial career opportunities. The rise of esports, mobile gaming, virtual reality, and augmented reality has created a demand for skilled professionals. However, breaking into the industry is highly competitive, and success requires dedication, networking, and continuous learning.
Best Educational Pathway for the Gaming Industry
While there isn't a single "best" degree for the gaming industry, several fields of study can provide a strong foundation. Currently, 86% of new games sector hires come from universities, so for the moment, it offers the most successful route into the sector.
- Computer Science: A degree in computer science equips you with programming skills crucial for roles in game development and programming.
- Game Design: Specialized degrees in game design cover aspects of gameplay mechanics, storytelling, and user experience design.
- Digital Art or Graphic Design: For aspiring artists, degrees in digital art or graphic design provide the skills needed for creating captivating visuals in games.
- Marketing and Business: The gaming industry requires marketing and business professionals to promote and manage games effectively.
When you are looking out for a degree or college course, please consider the amount of industry connections a university has. Do your research and look for places that have internship offers directly with studios.
You should also make sure that the course is as practical as possible - you can only learn to make games by making them (and lots of them), and courses that are too academic will not serve you well when looking for work.
While universities seemingly offer the best chance of getting hired, every game studio will confirm that they don't really care about the degree itself. What they will be looking for is the quality of your portfolio and general attitude to work and learning. It's perfectly possible to not go to uni and get a job in games, it's just that universities provide a three-year period of time to get that portfolio in order.
Choosing a career in the video game industry is an exciting journey filled with endless possibilities. By identifying your strengths, researching roles, developing skills, and pursuing a relevant degree or vocational route, you can carve a successful path in this dynamic and rapidly evolving field. Remember, passion and perseverance are key ingredients for a fulfilling career in the world of gaming.