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Sheffield had an exciting event over the weekend to celebrate Britain’s gaming heritage and to inspire a new generation of gamers with Games Britannia Live! The event took place at various venues around the city with plenty to get involved with.

Arcade games lined the Millennium Gallery and gamers young and old gathered round the stalls to partake in workshops and test their design skills.

During the event, I went to speak to the representatives of Aardvark Swift, a recruitment agency for the gaming industry offering advice to those wishing to turn their gaming passion into a lucrative career. The industry is expanding rapidly and more young people are looking are looking at the routes into gaming, including careers such as:

  • Programmer
  • Designer
  • Artist
  • Animator
  • Quality Assurance Tester (QA)
  • Producer
  • Systems Engineer

The growth in popularity of this industry means that competition can be fierce, so gaining the right qualifications and experience is essential for those interested in this career route.

They were mainly giving advice to A-Level students about the right courses to study, but I asked what they would recommend for younger pupils at secondary school who had shown an interest in a gaming career. The importance of Physics and Maths was immediately identified: sound understanding of forces, velocity and acceleration allow games to be more realistic. Art and graphic design would be essential for those interested in the design aspects of gaming. September’s new computing curriculum will also put youngsters in good stead, developing coding and programming skills.

A university degree is desirable for a career in gaming, however other routes such as working as a quality assurance tester does not necessarily require a degree, so being able to demonstrate creativity and passion for gaming, gaining as much experience as possible and keeping up to date with developments in the industry is vital. A QA apprenticeship is also a viable option.

For the pupils looking ahead, degrees in the gaming industry include:

  • Computer Games Design
  • Computer Games Development
  • Animation
  • Computer Science
  • Graphic Design
  • Software Engineering

If this is an industry your pupils take an interest in, advising the right choices for GCSEs, A Levels and beyond is essential. For pupils choosing their A Level options: creative, visual, mathematical or computing subjects are the best to choose to gain the best advantage for preparation to study at degree level. Along with 2 or 3 A Levels in related subjects such as those listed above, a minimum of a C grade in GCSE Maths and English is also a typical requirement.

Are any of your pupils interested in a career in the gaming industry? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!