Fans and players alike have been seeing an influx of esports courses, especially during the lockdown in this pandemic. These programs and curriculum have their own set of benefits. Although the principal argument is that these degrees may give more chances and opportunities in the esports industry. However, one could ask if this is really the case.
Understanding Esports Degrees
There is a plethora of esports course content available through various sources. Distributing them by prospects/fields will help in getting a clear picture.
- Business: If someone wants to work on the business side of esports, look at a business degree. And as the name suggests, there is no specific degree that is the perfect fit for esports. On the contrary, something like international business and general management are safe bets for an esports career.
- Content creation: With the dawn of the internet, fans have seen the rise of various popular media platforms that would have been otherwise nonexistent. From popular streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch to media platforms such as Esportz Network, there is no limit to content. So a degree related to journalism or communications might be a good fit here if one is interested.
- Marketing/public relations: There has been an unprecedented explosion of partnerships and sponsorships for the esports industry. But how do they work? At the heart of it, everything goes back to marketing and collaborations. There’s no marketing degree specifically designed to cater to esports so a marketing or public relations degree would suffice.
There are a number of other lucrative fields to work for like being a developer, publisher, distribution partner, professional player, shoutcaster, host, coach, analyst, admin, referee, broadcast/production crew, event manager, statistician, lawyer, finance, etc.
How to Proceed
Get your hands dirty with different experiences in order to compete with other career candidates. Even without the value of an esports focused degree, experience holds a special place for the industry.
- Work experience: Get in contact with teams, organizations, tournament providers, broadcasters, and other companies that sponsor or are involved in esports in some way or other. It might be as close as your local gaming club to a notable game developer. Take that leap of faith and come up with suggestions as to what you could do. A good impression can go a long way, especially when done with the right intent. One never knows what doors will open in the future following positive work experiences.
- Niche centric: Although being a jack of all trades may take you most places, it’s not the best for esports careers. It is essential to understand that focusing on and developing skills related to a particular field has its own benefits. Begin with what interests you and dive deeper from there.
- Volunteering: There is no shortage of volunteering opportunities for paid and unpaid roles across various organizations. In fact, people are often on the lookout for the right candidates. Prospective employers will be impressed and appreciate if you volunteered before. Adding a review from whoever you volunteered with adds a cherry on top of the cake.
- Path of education: With the ever-rising amount of esports jobs cropping up around the world, educational establishments are catching on. Many colleges already offer scholarships in esports and others are following suit. Most of these courses are new and you’ll have to evaluate the cost of attending and the value gained.
Esports Degree or Experience?
While having a degree is never bad and has certain benefits, the experience is more important. Any degree/profession of any industry has a similar weight in esports since the esports industry still needs every normal profession. Real esports value comes in from contributing to the esports industry as long as possible. Everything else that accompanies it helps you to a certain degree.
Based on years of work in this industry, I would suggest that an esports guy learning a skill is a better trade-off than a skilled guy going into esports. It’s important to learn what’s involved in the industry.
Written by Chandan Padhi