Since the launch of video gaming systems in the 1970s, video games have risen in popularity. Statistica reports that the global gaming industry generated over $104 billion in 2017 and expects the industry to be worth over $138 billion in 2021.
The industry’s growth means there are increasing employment opportunities in gaming. Gaming enthusiasts may be drawn to this field so they can spend their careers focusing on something they love. You may wonder if there are career opportunities in gaming for you and what kind of education you need. Let’s look at some of the gaming career options you can consider and how to get the qualifications required for those careers.
Game developers are the people who write video game software. Software developers and computer programmers work in game development. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that software developers should have bachelor’s degrees in computer and information technology or a similar discipline, such as engineering or mathematics. Computer programmers also need bachelor’s degrees, although computer science is the recommended discipline for these professionals.
The BLS reports that software developers earned median annual incomes of $110,140 in 2020, while the median salary for computer programmers was $89,190 the same year. While the BLS expects opportunities for software developers to increase by 22% between 2020 and 2030, it projects opportunities for computer programmers will decline by 10% during the same period.
Streamers are gamers who broadcast their gaming over live streams on platforms such as Twitch. Subscribers pay for ad-free access to their streaming channels, which is how streamers generate some of their revenue. They also earn income from Bits donated during gameplay.
Streamers don’t have to have any formal education. They may have received their education through online charter schools, where they focused on technology and computer science during their high school studies or concentrated on business classes.
Streamers don’t have to fill out any applications. They need to create compelling channels that attract viewers to generate revenue. Streamers do this by varying the games they play and interacting with their viewers through live chat. Once streamers have enough followers to become Twitch affiliates, they can start generating revenue.
It’s possible to become a professional video game player, and pro gamers don’t need degrees. Pro gamers must spend a lot of time mastering gameplay. They may start as streamers and use their streaming to form connections with other gamers, leading to opportunities to join pro teams. Pro gamers typically have one or more games they specialize in during competitions. They enter esports tournaments and generate revenue by winning tournaments. They may also earn money from sponsorships and product endorsements.
A pro gamer needs to understand the equipment they use, ensuring they choose the best mouse pad, computer, monitor and headset for their gaming. While non-gamers might not realize the significance of every piece of gaming technology, each component of a gamer’s setup can significantly impact their performance. For example, the most common mouse pads are either hard or soft. Hard mouse pads are typically made from glass or steel, while soft mouse pads are cloth. Cloth produces friction. Hard mouse pads offer increased control over small movements, and it’s easier to move the mouse, which means the gamer won’t have the same level of hand strain they get from using a cloth pad.
The best mouse pads available today include the Razer Sphex V2 mouse pad, the Corsair MM600 Dual-Sided Gaming mouse pad, the Logitech G240 cloth mouse pad and the Steelseries Qck Heavy XXL mouse pad. Large mouse pads enable a wider range of motion, allowing a gamer to continue playing without repositioning their mouse.
The education requirements to work with video games vary. Game developers may need bachelor’s degrees while there are no academic requirements for streamers or pro gamers.