With spectacular advances in graphics, artificial intelligence (A.I.), and increasingly complex story arcs and character development, video gaming is more popular than ever. And competitive online video gaming—also known as esports—has taken what once was considered a frivolous pursuit enjoyed by the young and turned gaming into a global phenomenon and economic powerhouse.
Indeed, the most recently available statistics show how just how big gaming has become not only in the United States but also around the world. Nearly 30 million Americans watched esports in 2022—a number estimated to grow to nearly 35 million by 2026. Globally, there were 532 million esports viewers in 2022 alone, a staggering number. (Source)
With the advent of leagues, tournaments, esports scholarships, and technological leaps in high-speed internet quality, like the high-speed broadband internet delivered by S&T, the industry’s future is promising. With these developments—and the billions of dollars in annual revenues—come significant opportunities for gamers to turn their passion into a career.
Below we highlight some of the career opportunities and other more practical advantages that today’s gamer can attain. In this way, gaming is far more than just a diversion—it can also be a game-changing career move! (Pun definitely intended.)
Esports College Scholarships
Let’s start with one of the best and earliest benefits of gaming—and one that parents should pay close attention to esports scholarships. Though many are surprised to hear it, esports is a growing source of college scholarships. More than thirty American colleges and universities presently offer esports scholarships, a number that grows each year.
Esports scholarships can pay upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to star competitors and gamers with tangential skills like graphic design. In this way, gaming and esports are helping put college and higher education in reach for more families—just as college athletics has done for other sports for decades.
To see more proof of the seriousness of competitive gaming, a collegiate esports association was actually founded in 2016. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) comprises of 230 colleges and universities in America and hundreds more associated members.
According to NACE, there are more than 5,000 student-esports athletes competing at the college level for their schools. Thus, skilled gamers—and their parents—should take notice of the seriousness of esports and take some time to research potential esports scholarship opportunities.
Building Skills for Any Career Path
Though gaming is obviously, first and foremost, a ton of fun, there are many more practical benefits to playing and competing in video and online games. And employers have started to notice, as well. Indeed, analysts have identified several categories of gaming skills that are valued by businesses and employers more generally, which we briefly discuss below.
Collaboration and Social Skills
Today’s advanced video games almost always involve some form of social interaction—whether with your fellow team members, against opponents, or even with an A.I. character. And the quality of this collaboration and communication often makes all the difference in whether a player achieves his or her goals.
Obviously, employers value the ability to work well in teams—especially with other driven, dynamic, and even competitive co-workers. Gaming helps cultivate appropriate collaboration and social skills to serve gamers well in their chosen careers.
Problem-Solving and Resourcefulness
As gamers are regularly thrown into all manner of chaos, turmoil, and peril, problem-solving on the fly is a skill they must attain if they hope to master their game. Whether it’s through frequent puzzle solving, deciphering riddles, completing quests with ambiguous clues, or finding a way out of a tangled maze of obstacles, gamers must demonstrate broad resourcefulness to navigate intricate and thorny problems—and fast!
These skills are easily transferable to the business world, as firms often need to pivot quickly, whether dealing with supply chain snafus or customer service complaints. Gamers have relevant practice to help manage such issues both quickly and efficiently.
More than most people engaged in other hobbies, gamers get regular practice with pattern recognition, a key advantage for both planning and problem-solving. The hours upon hours of gameplay allow gamers to notice recurring themes or patterns and exploit that pattern recognition for good use in completing a task.
Similarly, in business, an employee’s ability to discern patterns among the dizzying quantities of data a company deals with is a skill highly esteemed by employers.
Another quality that many gamers develop over time is leadership, especially when playing multiplayer games. Many of the best players learn the critical skill of task delegation—intuitively knowing which of their teammates best fits a certain responsibility.
Good gamers also know when it’s time to make a decision and cut off further debate. They learn how to do so both assertively and respectfully to their fellow players.
In today’s collaborative work environment, employers greatly appreciate leaders who know how to bring out the best productivity in their staff and execute a job well done while making everyone feel respected and valued for their contribution. This is a skill the best gamers routinely develop!
As we’ve just highlighted, gaming builds skills for just about any kind of career. But as the business of online gaming continues to expand, there are plenty of careers in the gaming industry itself that gamers can consider.
Some gaming careers are more technical in nature and involve complex computer languages for coding. Others are more creative, such as graphic designers and artists, scriptwriters, music composers, and acting and voiceover artists. Both technical and creative skill sets can lead to a successful career in the gaming industry!
Beyond creating the games, there are also the communications, marketing, and journalism aspects of the gaming sector—all of which are rapidly growing as esports and gaming expand too.
At S&T, we know that few people understand the value of our high-speed internet as well as gamers. From our lightning-fast speeds to generous bandwidth capacity, our internet is the best a gamer can use.
For more information about how S&T’s advanced, high-speed internet improves your gaming experience and makes esports come alive, follow our social pages or check us out at sttelcom.com