Esports and the uprise of career opportunities

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(Last Updated On: July 20, 2020)

The Hi Tech & Digital Department at South Devon College is preparing to launch a new suite of esport courses. Courses developed by Pearson as a widely recognised and highly valued BTEC qualification with equivalent levels to GCSE’s (level 2) or A levels (level 3). As a result, and importantly, there are questions that we are constantly asked from budding young enthusiasts and intrigued parents are:

How does this lead to a job?

Is there a career path in Esports?

The easy answer is – yes there is. In an attempt to offer some clarity and purpose, the following piece explores the exciting new world of esports and the rewarding future it can provide.
Esports is not yet considered an ‘established’ employment route such as engineering, construction or even digital-based careers in film and media. However, there are now many different career roles and a wide breadth of opportunities starting to emerge within the esports industry.

“This suite of qualifications has been developed to meet this upcoming demand for skills in esports. The qualifications include a breadth of transferable skills that enable students to experience different areas of esports to aid their progression to employment, either directly or via further study.” – Pearson BTEC, 2020

Of course, the first role to discuss is that of a professional player. As player participation and spectator interest has increased so has the volume of professional video game competitions. Individual or team events can take the form of global virtual tournaments which don’t take note of traditional country boundaries. Additionally, the competitions have the draw to pack vast stadiums full of expectant spectators. As reward, the most elite players attract salaries, endorsements and sponsorship that match those earned by traditional athletes.

Although a potential high wage-earning route, this is still not considered a mainstream career path, with only the most passionate and enthusiastic becoming successful which, in comparison, is no different to traditional sports.

However, esports, and the training on offer, provide much broader and, arguably, more sustainable career opportunities. The creative elements lend themselves to content creators and journalism. Content creators are required to film and edit videos that play a big part in games designs where a passion for art and design come to the forefront. Journalism covers publications, writing reviews, articles and social media communications. Beside this, it introduces new skill areas such as ‘shoutcasting’ where a running commentary during live events is provided.

Technical elements of esports offer production and coding opportunities, live stream broadcasting, developing immersive experiences and computer networking. Further skills are developed around marketing, coaching, event management, law and business applications. For the budding entrepreneur, there’s opportunity to explore your own enterprise and perhaps run your own business. Furthermore, the training also explores a wider subject range with health, wellbeing, fitness and nutrition.

There is a growing future for those entering the booming esport industry. This course can be used to harness a passion for gaming whilst exploring and developing a range of skills that are transferable to many career opportunities. Part of the overall approach taken with the esports training at South Devon College is to harness a wide range of skills around esports in the first year and then progress to a specialist route in the second year of study.

“The qualification attracts UCAS Tariff points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to entry requirements for many related courses”
British Esports Association, 2020

Ultimately, the aim is to arm students with the skills and knowledge that will prepare them to operate confidently in a busy, exciting and dynamic workplace.

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