Looking to get into the gaming industry, but keep being told it’s near impossible? Well – things may not be as dire as all that, so long as you’ve got the skills.
According to a recent study by the ARC Centre for Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation – try typing that three times fast – at Queensland University of Technology, the Australian gaming sector is on the up. Spending on games is set to rise from $1.1 billion back in 2009 to $1.6 billion in 2014 – for a total spend of up to $5.8 billion over the next four years.
And those figures should translate into jobs in the industry – for those with the right skills, anyway. According to the study, Working in Australia’s Digital games Industry, 83% of respondents ‘believed that a skills shortage still exists, in spite of the recent downturn in the games industry caused by the global financial crisis.’
Of course, there are skills and there are skills. Disappointingly, perhaps, for all those currently enrolled in the growing number of games courses being offered by unis, tafes and private colleges, the 84% of those polled rated Australian games courses as ‘highly ineffective’, with the main complaint being that these courses are churning out graduates who are ‘not industry ready’. D’oh!
The gaming industry itself is not blameless, with the report identifying the lack of a strong training and development culture and ‘ad hoc, underdeveloped or not maintained links’ between employers and those offering games development courses. The study suggests a whole bunch of initiatives that could go a long way toward fixing the problem, including showcases, salons, better identification of the range of skills game developers actually need and better online resources.
More can be found here and makes for an interesting – if somewhat dry – read, whether you’re currently in the industry or not. As for anyone out there who’s currently enrolled in one of those (maybe) ‘ineffective’ games courses, don’t despair. The whole point of studies like this is to start a conversation and – ultimately, hopefully – make things better. And, if the ARC Centre is to be believed, the jobs are out there, which is more than can be said of some industries.