Just a few decades ago gaming was considered to be a ‘nerdy’ hobby for scrawny dudes with greasy glasses, but we’ve come a long way to accepting and even assimilating these new industries into mainstream life. Competitive gaming has become such a mainstream industry that you can now even get an actual degree in eSports at several U.S. and U.K. colleges.
The University of Staffordshire launched its bachelor’s and master’s eSports programs last year and it isn’t the first college to capitalize on a $1.1 billion market. Colleges like Virginia’s Shenandoah University, Becker College in Massachusetts and The Ohio State University are experimenting with courses to teach students everything from management to marketing in the eSports industry. Outside of the U.S. select schools in Singapore, China, and even the United Kingdom are investing in this particular market as well.
But of course students don’t simply go to ‘class’ and play videogames all day; gamers do that all the time. Matt Huxley, a lecturer at Staffordshire University’s Digital Institute London, describes his class as more of a management course: “If you were to go and study to be a director of football you’re not playing football, you’re learning the business behind how (player) transfers work, how you run a stadium and all those kind of operational things.”
With new ventures like the Video Game Entertainment and News Network, or VENN slated to become the ‘ESPN of video games’, more and more potential avenues for people are becoming available in the eSports and video game industry. It is likely that we are only in the beginning stages of the gaming world becoming a part of every day life.
Students can capitalize on this already huge but newly emerging industry. And when we’re in the year 2030 and everyone stays in on a Saturday night to watch the latest Overwatch, League of Legends or Fortnite championship pop off, there’s a fair chance that what you’re seeing is being organized, managed and profited on by a group of ex-students with an exceptional degree on their résumé .
Let us know what you think about colleges offering degrees in eSports. Are you yourself looking into getting into one of these programs? Leave a comment below or come join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.