Gaming Industry Careers: Start Doing the Job You Love, Today

Jun 15, 2016

Virtual Reality, New Age Gaming | Gaming Industry

Ever since video games really began to take off in the 1980s, electronic games, computers, and consoles have been big business in The USA and across the world. In 2015, Gaming Industry was estimated with 155 million active Americans gamers and the average household in the United States contains at least two people who play games regularly.

With so many gamers in The USA, it’s no surprise that over half of households in America contain a dedicated video game console of some kind, while 80% of households own a device which can be used to play video games, i.e. a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet device.

The next time someone tells you that you can’t make a career in the gaming industry, simply show them these statistics. These numbers underline the health of the market and highlight the need for skilled professionals in the industry. Whether you want to be a video game designer, marketer, tester, or developer, there is a career for you in this diverse field. Read on for more information on how to get started.

In Gaming Industry, Play to Your Strengths

Design Video Games to enter the Gaming Industry

As we have seen, video game development and marketing is a diverse field, and it is also a competitive one. In order to be successful in the industry, you need to select a role that enables you to use your strengths and passions to succeed.

Perhaps you are adept at creating new and exciting ideas in terms of plot and artistic direction. Maybe you are able to conjure three-dimensional, believable characters from thin air, or perhaps you’re all about atmosphere and building the right setting in which a story can take place? Answer yes to any of those questions and a career as a video game designer could suit your talents perfectly. The average salary for this role is around $75,000.

If your talents lie more in the field of creating the visuals and aesthetics to match plot and setting, a career as a video game artist and animator will provide you with the challenges and rewards you seek. Gaming Industry covers lots of bases, ranging from cinematic artists who create promotional video material, to 3D modelers and animators, concept artists who provide aesthetic inspiration to the team, and lead artists who ensure all efforts are unified. There may be some crossover with the role of video game designer, but for the most part, these are two distinct careers. The average salary is around $75,000.

If you are a coding wizard with a penchant for creating software magic, a job as a programmer will suit you. Programmers are the individuals who turn the concepts and ideas into a sellable product, constructing all the environments, items, puzzles, artificial intelligence, and interactions within the game; basically everything under the game’s universe. As a lead programmer, you could be looking at $92,000 a year.

Qualifications and Experience

A relevant degree is a minimum requirement for most entry-level positions in this field. Depending on which discipline you wish to break into, you have several different educational and academic choices open to you. Prospective video game designers and artists will have their credentials boosted by a course in Game Art & Design, like the one offered by SAE Expression College in Northern California

Candidates wishing to break into programming or marketing will find that the skills they require are a little different to those displayed by a video game designer, and so they should enroll in courses which facilitate their professional development. For example, coding and business respectively.

Battlefield 3 Game | Gaming Industry

However, as with any modern industry, a degree alone is not a guarantee. Prospective employers are looking for more than this; they are looking for experience gained and the skills acquired from this experience. Many view this as a sort of catch 22 in which you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job, but resourceful candidates will find a way around this.

Throughout college, be on the lookout for different competitions, projects, or internships relating to your field. Keep in close contact with peers and with management and academic staff and act on any tips you receive. One or two short internships during college will stand you in good stead when it comes to entering the jobs market.

Beyond this, gaining experience will also help you to develop personally and to become better at what you do. Video game designers, or anyone else in this industry, should never stop learning, and should constantly be seeking out opportunities to hone their skills and develop.

Nail the Interview

With the qualifications and experience gained, it is time to put what you have learned into practice in the job interview. Whether you are interviewing for the position of marketer, video game designer, or another role, nailing the interview in Gaming Industry is vital. Follow these tips and succeed:

Be energetic

One way to get over the nerves of an interview situation is to put yourself on the front foot. Be friendly, be polite, offer handshakes, ask questions, and show that you really want to be there.

Be honest

No one is perfect, and if you present yourself as such, the interviewers are going to see right through you. Discuss things you have done wrong in the past and how you have learned from them. Self-awareness and a capacity for critical thought are attractive qualities in an employee.

Show your credentials

Have you worked well in a team in the past? Let the interviewer know. Do you have examples of your video game design or animation work? Bring your portfolio and show your prospective employers.

Get to the point

“I performed well in this role” is a meaningless statement. When discussing your achievements, focus on the results you accomplished and what that meant to your organization. Employers want to know the specifics, not vague platitudes.

Be Inquisitive

What does an employer want? An employee who keeps quiet and makes mistakes or an employee who admits when he or she does not understand and decides to ask? Of course, it is the latter. Show that you can ask the right questions, and prove to the team that you have an inquisitive nature.

Just remember, enjoy the ride as you progress towards your dream career in the gaming industry.

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