Unlike other sports and activities, gaming has always carried a reputation for being a “waste of time,” or “unhealthy.”
And while it’s true that gaming addiction poses major health risks, gaming under the right conditions can actually improve your chances of succeeding in the workforce.
A recent study by Missouri S&T even found that gamers who played MMORPGs like World of Warcraft displayed the kind of employable qualities that are in high demand amongst employers looking for those who work well as part of remote teams.
But how does your gaming experience help you find success in the workforce? Here’s a quick guide.
Most of the skills you develop through gaming are termed “soft skills.” Soft skills include things like creativity, problem-solving, communication, and emotional intelligence. Games that require you to find creative solutions to problems through communication, teamwork, and critical thinking promote these soft skills and help you find success in the workplace.
For example, let’s say you love playing first-person shooters like CS: GO. Well, while playing CS: GO, you’ve learned how to communicate quickly while under pressure, and have developed some serious team working skills.
Gaming can also introduce you to the “hard skills” you need to succeed in your workplace. Hard skills refer to the technical knowledge and capabilities you need to be successful in a role. Oftentimes, these hard skills are niche and are taught directly by an employer or university. But they can also be learned through games.
This idea applies best to folks who want to pursue a career in STEM. This is because gaming can spark an interest in STEM, as the two pursuits are closely related. For example, games like Minecraft and Robocode teach gamers how to leverage design interfaces, and can help you improve your skills as a programmer. While this experience is unlikely to make it onto your resume, it will help you succeed when you land a job in the STEM field.
Upskilling for a Career in Gaming
The gaming industry employs many, but it is also competitive, and you can’t expect to simply waltz into Rockstar or Ubisoft without a strong resume. Here are a few courses that will help strengthen your resume:
- Web Design Courses: web design courses teach you the basics of UX design and prepare you to create the interfaces that video games rely on. These skills are essential if you wish to get into gaming production.
- Degrees in Game Design: a degree in game design will give you the chance to explore multiple career options in gaming, so you can feel prepared to enter any project from scriptwriting to indie game production.
- PR Training: the gaming industry is a network of content creation, advertisement, reviews, and marketing. As a PR professional, you’ll be responsible for bolstering the brand image of a game or studio.
- MFA in Creative Writing: the folks who write your favorite video games are skilled writers who usually publish work in multiple forms like fiction, film, and music. By completing an MFA, you can expect to make professional connections and seriously improve your writing ability.
Regular gaming can give you the skills you need to succeed in the workforce. However, in order to land a career in gaming, you should invest time and effort into career-specific courses which bolster your resume and help you stand out from the crowd.