Working in the gaming industry is the type of job many people dream about when they are growing up. The industry can be a lot of fun, allow you to exercise your creative muscles, and earn a good living. As you can imagine, if you find the idea of working in gaming fascinating, so do many others. If you are interested in breaking into the field, be ready to put your best foot forward.
If you have grown up gaming, know the history of many popular titles, and the back catalog of the biggest companies in the industry, you may feel that you are prepared for a job. Not so fast. A college degree will get your resume in front of the people who do the hiring. Because the industry itself is so laid back, and the work culture at these companies is often focused less on appearances and more on production, it is easy to believe that skills and passion are all that matter. It is important to remember that gaming companies are, at their root, companies just like any other. They are in business to make money. While passion and game knowledge is important, investing in your education shows the company you are dedicated to building a career with them. Finances are often an issue when it comes to college. Taking out private student loans allows you to pay for your degree. Graduating with a degree in a related major will make you much more employable.
Widen Your Focus
When people think of working in this field, they often think of building the actual game. If you don’t have the interest or knowledge it takes to learn to program, you may believe there is no space for you in the field. Again, these companies are companies first. They hire people to handle marketing, sales, and human resources. If you want to be closer to the action, but are not comfortable programming, consider a job in web design, games writing, graphics, or project management. The types of jobs available in the industry are varied. Some do require a high level of technical know-how, while others rely more on creativity, number crunching, or communication skills. Visit the corporate website of your favorite game developer and check out their careers page. That can give you a good idea of what is available and the skills required.
Networking is Vital
Due to the competitive nature of working in gaming, networking is a tremendously valuable tool. There are a variety of ways to make these connections. You should plan to attend game jams in your area, games con events, and polish your social media. When you make a connection, nurture it. No one likes to feel like they are being used, and this is a common situation for individuals who work in the gaming industry. You can be certain that these folks are hit up regularly for connections, to answer questions, or even to supply references. Cultivating a relationship with giving and take and genuine interest will go far in building your network.