Nowadays, people are flocking to the gaming industry. Why shouldn’t they? Gaming is one of the fastest growing sectors today with its revenues projected to reach $108.9 billion in 2017. In the US alone, there are thousands of companies that are developing and publishing games.
Many of these companies require their employees to have advanced training in multiple disciplines such as programming, animation, computer graphics and software design; to name a few.
So, how do you get a career in a space that is becoming more and more competitive? Below are six tips from pros in the industry on how to get a career in video games:
Tip #1: Finish a Video-Game Related Degree
The most direct path to getting a career in video games development is to get a degree that is most relevant to the industry. Attending a game design program improves your chances of landing a job with a studio. If that doesn’t work, you can launch your games as a freelancer and build your portfolio, until you get acquired by a large company.
Many of the schools offering related courses to gaming are quite flexible regarding the schedule they give and the variety of programs they teach. If you can’t get to the top universities and colleges, don’t lose hope as there is not just one path. You can even get a traditional college degree first and then transition to game development later.
Tip #2: Intern at a Video Gaming Company
Landing an internship at a video gaming company is just as tough as landing a job in one. But, if you become an intern in one and you prove to be a great contributor, and a team player chances are they may hire you after your internship program.
Interning still has a lot of advantages. First, you get something to show in your portfolio. Second, you get to learn new things, especially the demands of the job. Third, you get to have a few contacts in the industry. Now that’s a great way to jumpstart your career.
Tip #3: Build Your Portfolio
Aside from your educational background, recruiters are also scrutinizing your work experience in the field. As such, you need to build your portfolio. If you have the opportunity to get a small project, don’t hesitate to grab it by the horns. It’s important to get started as early as you can.
Participating in game jams is not as bad as you may think. Here you can put into action the things you have learned while learning to work with a team and under constant pressure. Think of it as a training ground. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people.
Tip #4: Networking
Often, it’s not what you know, but who you know that helps you land that job. In which case, expanding your network and contacts in the gaming world is just as crucial as every other tip in this list.
So where do you find these people who could potentially help you advance in your career? There are tons of places and events you can try to expand your network. Even attending the Game Developers Conference can give you a lot of contacts if you know how to pique people’s interest and start a conversation. Doing small projects, attending conferences and industry talks, and even joining developer groups are a great way to land new associates, even friends.
Tip #5: Be Visible Online
Today, companies and HR managers use the Internet to screen their applicants. As such, you need to be visible and have a clean online footprint.
In this regard, you should make LinkedIn your new best friend. Don’t be afraid to connect with people in the same field as you, even if they are recruiters. In fact, you need to be connected with recruiters because they can be your ticket to get to the gaming industry.
Tip #6: Share Your Knowledge
Even if you are someone new, it’s not too early to share some of the things you’ve learned over the years. Starting a blog can be advantageous, in the sense that it can help those who are also pondering their future in the gaming industry.
If you’ve finished a video game related degree, why not share your expertise with younger people. Be sure to translate your passion into giving and who knows, a video game company might just notice your efforts.
A career in the video game industry is rewarding, not only financially but on several other aspects of life. If you are serious to take this path, we recommend you follow these pro tips and never give up on your dreams.