Landing a job in the gaming industry is not as simple as more traditional industries. How do you go about it? The industry is competitive and more people that dream job.
We have put together some tips that will help you land your dream job in gaming.
Going to University Helps (but it’s not essential)
Being self-taught is fine. Many people in the gaming industry could code before they got a proper education. Some will swear by a university as the best way to learn. Others will claim a passion, interest, and coding at home is the best way to learn. Many programmers and coders will have learned because it was a hobby first. There are many helpful tools and videos online.
Companies will still prefer and recognize a university degree. A degree will set you apart from a self-taught ‘hacker’’. Going to university will make you a little more productive and give you skills like teamwork and communication.
Develop Skills and Qualifications
Start by doing some research on the job you want. See if your skills match that role and job specs. If you don’t have the experience or skills, what are you going to do to reach that position? For example, will you quit your well-paid job to enter a lower paying job in the gaming industry to gain experience?
Alternatively, you can sign up for nationally recognized courses with Upskilled that teach everything from programming to game design. You can also try starting your own company right away. There are many opportunities to set up a company, get an Apple license, learn to use Unity, then going for it.
Programming Skills Are Essential
Studios are looking for graduates with excellent programming skills. The best way to go about it, get a decent internship with a non-games company as a C++ or Java/C# programmer. This will look great on a CV and far superior to a testing job at a games company.
Internships are sometimes hard to find in this industry. Develop a QA portfolio by becoming active on betas. Also, create an online presence which includes a website. When you are asking for an internship, start with something small, part-time work or internship roles only. Don’t stress out about being paid. You are building experience and your CV.
Develop an Online Portfolio
A portfolio is critical. If you haven’t got one, it’s time to start putting it together. You should have a website and send links to your portfolio when you’re contacting companies. Always start small. When you are making your first few games, you want something that will only take a few weeks.
Why? This is your first shot at it, if something is too complicated or lengthy, you may lose interest. The project will never come to life. Build your way up and see early rewards from the small projects.
Become A Gaming Expert
Technology is always evolving, and so are games. The entire gaming industry will continue to change over time. Nobody will ever truly be an expert because their skillset will never be finished. A person who claims they are an expert will often be the novice. Putting the word expert on your CV is a big red flag.
Get A 2:2 at University
Larger companies will naturally get more applications than a smaller equivalent. Smaller companies have more time to look through your portfolio and CV. This means you are more likely to be considered with a 2:2. A more substantial company will often look at candidates with a higher degree.
The more experience you have, the less this matters. You will still be a promising employee. Make sure your portfolio is perfect, and you gain as much experience as possible.
When you are looking for jobs, try to ignore the part where it recommends the experience you should have. Apply anyway! Often, when a company puts down the job requirements, that is what they are hoping for. If there is somebody who looks good on paper but doesn’t have that experience, they still have a chance.
Sometimes a company will be looking for a person with specific skills. For example, you don’t have the 2+ years experience but you can work with an existing code base, you might get the job.
Concept Art is Highly Competitive
Concept art is one of the most competitive areas of the game industry. If you really want to enter this side of the job, it’s best the locate a studio you like or want to work at.
For example, some companies will prefer you if you can create modern architecture compared to historical architecture. Seek out different styles; not all projects are futuristic cities and monsters. Change it up and visit different time periods and genres.
Don’t give up on your dream job due to minor setbacks. Everything you learn and all the experience you gain will help you on your journey to getting that dream job.