So You Want a Career In The Video Game Industry?

Careers in Gaming

 Hi guys, here is a guest post which i know a lot of you fellow geeks will find VERY interesting, this is written by a fellow named Aaron Walker.

DualShock 3 - Red & Black
DualShock 3 - Red & Black (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those of us at a certain age may remember being warned by our parents that 'video game tester' isn't a real job. These days, not only is the generation gap slowly disappearing when it comes to video games, but there are also more career options in the gaming industry than ever before. Whether your skills lean towards programming, marketing or story design, if you're a video game enthusiast, there's a good chance a career in the industry might be right for you.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry was a $24.5 billion a year business in 2011. CNBC reports that, in America, "there are more than 32,000 people directly employed by publishers and developers," and that, "on average, industry employees receive an annual compensation of $89,781."
So, how does one get a foot in the door of this lucrative industry?

Have the Right Skills
If you're interested in working in development, make sure you have the skills that employers want. Especially at smaller studios, multitasking is highly valued. You should know the basics of all aspects that go into a video game, including programming, level design, 3D modeling and audio.

Have the Right Education
As with most industries, a degree from a well-respected school can open a lot of doors. The Princeton Review publishes an annual ranking of the best video game design programs in the country. Top of the list for 2012 was the University of Southern California, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Utah.

Have a Strong Portfolio
A strong portfolio that demonstrates a working knowledge of both industry and technical aspects may be enough to make up for the lack of a prestigious education. Be active on gaming message boards. Start your own blog. Attend trade shows. Most of all, if you're a designer or programmer, start making games. Having a working demo of something you made is the best way to show your skills to a potential employer.

Know What Else is Out There
Just like every other business, video game companies need salespeople, marketers and admin staff to properly function. If you're not computer savvy, that doesn't necessarily rule out a career in the industry. You will need to work a little harder, though, to demonstrate your credentials. Companies will be looking for someone who knows the industry and preferably has professional experience. You may need to start in an unpaid internship position.
Your career in video games can take you anywhere, from a high-level marketing event in a Tokyo hotel, to a closed door lobbying meeting at a washington conference center. Breaking into the industry is no different than in any other profession. If you're passionate about gaming, have a strong drive to succeed, and are just a little but lucky, there's no reason you can't make it your life.

About the author:
Aaron Walker is a tech enthusiast who loves trying new gadgets, reading true crime novels, and hiking. He hopes to someday end up in a writing career combining all of his interests.

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