Gone are those days when earning a degree for a passion was not easy, especially when related to esports. The esports industry has been growing vigorously and institutions now understand and cater to that trend. As a result, universities and even high schools are now offering various esports programs that will nurture students into fully-equipped professionals. Launching an esports career has never been easier through educational institutions.
University of California Irvine
UCI was the first public university to create an official esports program. It is without a doubt one of the most comprehensive programs available when launching an esports career. The program officially started in 2016 alongside the opening of the UCI Esports Arena. It is also known for offering esports scholarships, like the Pokimane Scholarship, to students in need.
UCI’s pillars in their esports program are competition, academics and research, community, entertainment and careers.
- Competition: UCI recruits the best of gamers to compete for their teams in North American collegiate leagues. It also supports club teams with access to the arena, jerseys, and travel expenses.
- Academics and Research: UCI is at the forefront of game-related education and research. For instance, in a neuroscience study, it was found that 3D immersive games can improve memory.
- Community: UCI is the home to some of the biggest gaming clubs in the United States with a powerful presence. The Association of Gamers (TAG), UCI’s largest club, supports casual and competitive play, also connecting gamers for socialization.
- Entertainment: The arena presents abundant opportunities for gamers to learn such as developing the skills necessary to pursue a career in fields like video production, streaming, hosting, among many others.
- Careers: UCI hosts networking nights, career discussions, as well as activities to find internships and job opportunities.
Staffordshire University Esports Degree
Staffordshire University, in the United Kingdom, offers a BA(Hons) esports program, which focuses on esports’ business. Students are taught about hosting and managing all kinds of events, developing skills for single-player and multiplayer team tournaments, creating business plans to build teams, creating online communities, and promoting events through digital marketing, which are just a part of the curriculum. They also offer scholarships to top players, helping them pursue an esports career.
Situated in Singapore, Informatics Academy launched its diploma in esports and game design in collaboration with Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association. The course lasts eight months for full-timers and twelve months for part-timers. The course equips students with knowledge on the fundamentals of game development, game programming, live streaming trends, and management aspects of the esports ecosystem, making them esports ready.
Located in Canada, Lambton College offers a two-year Esports Entrepreneurship and Administration diploma to launch an esports career. As a result, students gain essential esports business knowledge by studying esports marketing, analytics, tournament, league management, special events management, accounting, and communication.
Lanxiang Technical School Esports Degree
Lanxiang Technical School is the first Chinese school offering an esports and management course. The three-year course improves the gaming skills of the students. First-year classes are composed of 50 percent gaming and 50 percent game theory. Afterward, the best gamers focus on becoming professional players while others will learn accompanying skills such as event organization, promotion, or coaching to ensure an esports career.
Online Platforms like Udemy & Coursera
For countries without universities offering esports programs, online platforms are here. Udemy provides a comprehensive esports program designed for aspiring professional gamers. Coursera boasts of a few of them as well, with the esports specialization being one of the top programs one should check.
In Europe, America, and Asia, schools are each developing esports programs. Day after day, esports becomes an industry that everyone wants to be a part of. These schools have an important job as they are one of the entry tickets to the esports industry.
Written by Chandan Padhi