Finding Your Career Path in Esports
So you’re a high school student thinking about pursuing a career in the esports industry, huh? That’s great to hear, and we’re happy to tell you that you’ve come to the right place!
We’re Hitmarker, the largest jobs website in esports (and gaming), and the good folks at NASEF have invited us here to help you find your career path in our exciting industry.
That means we’re going to share with you the “The Three Whats”, which is our tried-and-tested three-step approach to getting started in esports, along with an example of what our own process would have looked like back when we were in high school.
Do you see “The Sweet Spot” in the diagram above? We’re going to help you find your own “sweet spot” and, with any luck, fill it with great esports jobs you can apply to.
At this point, we feel it’s important to let you know that not everyone has a “sweet spot” (whether they’re in high school or not) and you need to know that there’s nothing wrong with that at all. While this process definitely helps a lot of students figure out what they want to do and where they’re going career-wise, it doesn’t work for everyone.
But let’s see how it goes. You’ll need a good old-fashioned pen and paper for this part or... wait, who are we kidding? If you’ve got your phone with you, or you’re reading this on your tablet, you’re good!
Try doing this alone at first, but if you find it hard then don’t be afraid to ask a family member, friend, or teacher for some assistance. You might be surprised to find how much it helps to get another opinion on what you’re good at!
Step one: “What am I good at doing?”
This sounds super simple, right? But have you ever sat down for a few minutes and written out what you believe your skills or strengths to be in one big list? We’re going to guess not…
Why not give it a try now and see how you find it? We’ll still be here when you’re done.
Hopefully, you’ve got a good little list already, but if not we’d recommend thinking about the following…
- Your strongest subjects at school;
- Any activities or sports that you excel at, and
- Anything you do in clubs or communities where you feel like you contribute a lot.
See if you can add anything to your list with those things in mind, or start from scratch if you haven’t already!
Ready? Great! Let’s talk about what you might have written down…
Your list might include some “hard skills”, which are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to measure like the ability to write code, understand a foreign language, communicate through text, draw/design things, and analyze data. The sort of things you can learn and become better at the more you practice them, basically.
Similarly, your list might be made up of “soft skills”, which are attributes and personality traits that are more difficult to measure like creativity, adaptability, teamwork, leadership, and work ethic.
If there’s already a mix of the two, that’s amazing. If there isn’t, then try to fill in some blanks using our examples above. By the way, it’s also worth doing some of your own research into hard and soft skills, as it’ll help you speak about your strengths to an employer.
Once you’re done, it’s time for the next step.
Step two: “What do I enjoy doing?”
This part should be easier than the last one.
Think about what you love doing most in the world. We assume for many of you this might be playing video games, which is a great start if you’re looking to work in esports in the future.
However, a lot of people rely on being a “gamer” a little too much in our industry. It’s a great boost to an application, but it’s important to think about the work-related activities you enjoy. These are what you’ll rely on if you want to work on the business side of esports, rather than playing competitively.
Again let’s consider your school life here:
- Which classes do you enjoy and why?
- What parts of those classes do you find the most engaging and fun?
- Do you enjoy doing reports because you can write really well?
- Do you prefer group work where you can lead or be part of a team?
- Are you most happy when presenting things to your classmates?
If you’re involved in any activities, clubs, communities, or sports inside or outside of school, take a moment to think about why you give up your spare time for those too.
- What is it about doing a certain activity, being part of a club or community, or playing a certain sport that makes you happy?
- Do you have any organizational responsibilities that you enjoy?
- Do you enjoy being a leader? Is it the fact you’re able to raise funds for a good cause?
This list might be shorter than the first one, and that’s okay. It might also be a lot less structured, which is also totally fine. We’re just trying to get to a point where we can see if there are any jobs in esports where you can combine what you’re good at with what you enjoy doing. Your very own “sweet spot”.
Step three: “What esports jobs are there for me?”
Did you know that Hitmarker has the largest collection of esports jobs online?
Not only do we have companies signing up to our platform to post their jobs directly, but we also collect jobs from other sources like Indeed, LinkedIn, company career pages, and even social media. We find 99% of all English-language esports jobs that are posted online, which means Hitmarker is the ideal starting point for your search.
On Hitmarker you can find jobs based on their location (country, state, city), the level of experience they ask for (in years), and contract type (full-time, part-time, etc.). However, for the purposes of this three-step plan, we’re going to focus on what sector a job is in.
A “sector” is our word for a specific part of the esports industry, like marketing, software engineering, business development/sales, graphic design, and coaching -- all of which exist in esports.
You can see a full breakdown of all of the sectors on Hitmarker here, along with descriptions of what each one means. That’ll be your starting point for identifying which sectors might have jobs where your skills and what you enjoy doing overlap.
Once you’ve pinpointed one or more sectors, it’s time to head to our “Find a Job” page and add them to the “Sector” box. Don’t worry about location, level, or contract type for now. You can always adjust your filter later on.
When you’re done adding sectors, you should have a list of jobs that fit roughly what you’re looking for. Here’s where you can get clever. If these jobs look interesting, you can check out their requirements and responsibilities by reading the job description. If you read through several and see the same two or three points appearing, then you know that’s a skill to try and learn!
Now, remember those lists we made earlier of what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing? Let’s compare what’s on there to what you can see in the job descriptions.
Are you seeing a lot of overlap? If so, that’s great! If not, then it may be time to seek some more support from a family member, friend, or teacher, or to reach out to us directly. A member of our team will be happy to help you one-on-one (free of charge, of course).
Before doing that, though, take a look at our example as it may make things easier for you…
Example: Hitmarker as a high-school student
Give us a moment to think back to the high school version of ourselves.
Alright, we’re here, so let’s get down to business. Here’s what our lists would look like:
Even though sixteen-year-old us only had one hard skill that was really relevant in the above image (writing), it opened up several sectors.
Combined with our list of hard and soft skills it made the Editorial & Writing, Hosting & Presenting, Executive & Management, and Marketing sectors as potential fits for us. Within those sectors, we discovered a bunch of jobs on Hitmarker where the responsibilities and requirements looked like a good fit for our skills. Then we added their most common job titles here.
Now the high school version of us would now have a clear idea of what sorts of jobs would be available to them for internships and further into the future.
This means that they’d be able to use these job titles to think about what sort of college degree and internship/volunteer/work experience would best prepare them for a successful career in esports. Hopefully the same is now true for you, too!
Wrapping things up
We really hope you found this useful, but we also know it can be tough to think this far ahead when you’re in high school. Don’t worry if this seems like a lot to process and too much to do right now. We’ve been where you are now, and we remember that feeling all too well!
However, please keep our three-step plan in mind the next time you seriously have to think about what your future in esports might look like. It always helps to have an idea (however vague) of where you’re going in your professional career, so you can plan as far ahead as possible.
Your lists may well change over time, too, so think about revisiting this process as the weeks and months go by. What you enjoy today, you might not enjoy tomorrow. This process can account for these changes, though, and you’ll get different answers each time depending on what you write down.
That’s a wrap! We’ll see you next time when we’ll be discussing how you can gain work experience that’s relevant to esports while at high school.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!
The Hitmarker Team
To learn more about the careers available within the world of esports, visit our Career Pathways page.