New certificate helps students level up

By Mira Radovich

Once a hobby exclusively for gamers, esports (electronic sports, also known as competitive video and computer game play) is evolving into a popular industry full of business and career opportunities.

New for fall 2022, Rio Salado College in Arizona offers a certificate of completion in esports to meet demand in the esports industry.

“The audience for esports is growing,” said Gina Pinch, faculty chair for business and management at Rio Salado College. “With increased growth, the industry will need employees to organize, plan and run teams and events.”

According to Statista, as of 2022, the worldwide esports audience size reached 532 million people. And Mordor Intelligence predicts the gaming market will be a $340 billion industry by 2027.

Enter Rio Salado’s certificate program which was designed to provide students with workforce skills for entry-level careers.

“The certificate includes courses in computer technology, communications, marketing as well as GBS109, a new course that introduces students to the knowledge and skills required for a range of careers available in the field of esports,” Pinch said.

She added that students are also able to select an elective from a list that includes creative writing, screenwriting, literature and various business courses – depending on their area of interest.

Esports in the job market

Skills learned in an academic esports program can also be applied to other industries, such as hospitality, marketing, business, management, event management, creative writing, computer technology, and/or video game production.

“Students studying esports can learn important life and job skills such as communication, collaboration, ethics, and tech skills,” Pinch said.

This article originally appeared here.

Mira Radovich

is a senior contributing writer at Rio Salado College, one of the Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona.