Gaming Industry An Attractive Employment Prospect in the South West
The UK game industry employs 12,100 full time employees, along with thousands of other part timers and freelancers, according to Olsberg SPI. Many people mistakenly assume that the industry is exclusive to London but in actual fact there are opportunities across the the whole of the UK, including right here in the south-west. As video games continue to gain popularity, a career in the gaming industry is becoming and attractive option for many in Dorset. Here are some ideas on how people in the south-west can get their foot in the door.
Gaming at University/College
Although it is far from essential to have a degree to get a job in the gaming industry, a good gaming degree is an asset. There are many great courses available in the south west. Bournemouth University and Somerset College for instance offer both further education and undergraduate level courses. As well as technical knowledge and an impressive certification, a good degree course may have connections with gaming companies where you can find your first internship and contacts which will help you further down the road.
Build Up Your Portfolio
Especially if you are looking for a design role in a gaming company, your portfolio is one of the most important things to employers. A university course is one way to build up your portfolio, but if you are trying to get a gaming job without a degree you will have to build it up yourself. You could show you can successfully modify existing games or, even better, make and launch your own game. The latter will show you have marketing skills and business savvy as well as technical ability.
Gaming Companies in the South West
It’s undeniable: London is the game design capital of the world. It’s true that there are many opportunities in the capital but actually there are plenty of game companies in the west of England too, especially in cities like Bristol, which has 49 registered gaming companies. Within Dorset itself, Bournemouth has proved to be a hub, exemplified by a group of gaming graduates forming the already highly successful Static Games in 2016.
Recent advances in technology have made it far easier to work from home in many industries, including gaming. Many people across the UK are employed in gaming companies anywhere from Amsterdam to San Francisco – all without leaving their homes! According to the office for national statistics, over 4 million people work from home in the UK, with the south west having the highest home working rate at 17.1%. It may be that working from home will lead to a revival in rural areas such as Dorset. This option may be easier to secure if you already have some experience and contacts in the gaming industry, but it is definitely possible to get a job in gaming without stepping out of your front door.
It’s clear that there are many options to try if you want to get a job in the gaming industry. If going to university or moving to London are not paths you want to take, do not presume this avenue is closed!