Esports certificates – What to look for

A while back I spoke about if doing a degree in esports was worth the trouble. I spoke about what to look for in a program and what should take place that hopefully can put a student on the right path.

Today, I’ll talk about the world of esports certificates and what to hopefully look for when choosing them. There are a lot popping up and it’s important to make sure you choose one that can offer you something in the world of esports.

A couple of questions to ask yourself would be the following:

Who is part of the program and what are their accreditations?

This is very important and you should do your due diligence on who is involved in the program. Many schools are offering programs at the moment and are hoping to do one thing. That’s increase their offerings and their revenues. Esports is HOT right now so make sure you’re handing out your money to the right program. A few things to check for on accreditations:

  • Who are the professors teaching
  • Who is advising
  • Do they offer co-ops at reputable companies
  • Are the teachers all from the industry or other industries?
  • Is the school spending money on this program or is it a test project?
  • Is the school offering this a new school or well established (ie Seneca etc)

What can this esports certificate offer me that working elsewhere can’t?

The question here would be what can this certificate offer you for furthering your career growth. Is it a job opportunity for the future potentially? Is it a stepping stone or is it a legitimate competitive advantage for you in your job hunt or career swap.

The best way of getting involved in esports is just doing it and starting somewhere. Make sure there is some sort of competitive advantage for this program where you feel you’re getting solid value out of it.

How long is the program and are there multiple steps?

The most important part is the quality of the program. It can be 3 years and teach you absolutely nothing or it can be a weekend long and blow your mind.

However, we sometimes associate length with quality. So if you do that, you should ask yourself the following:

  • Is the program a day and it crowns you master technical director? If so, you’re probably a master of nothing.
  • Is it a few months and it specializes in certain aspects of the industry? Ie marketing or production or tournament organization?
  • Is it a week long course aimed at professionals in an industry already? Ie a certificate tailored to esports project managers?
  • Are there multiple steps involved afterwards? Ie paying $500 for an exam to prove your knowledge and then a mandatory yearly renewal (this exists).

Be sure you know all the caveats of the program and what you get at the end.

Will this potentially help me get a job in esports?

This depends on what your goal is. If you’re taking the program to just learn more about the esports industry in a more chill manner, good on you! If you’re hoping to land a dream job at a company after doing 8 months, it might be much more difficult.

There’s a few ways to look at who certain certificates are targeted towards. They could be the following:

  • New grads
    • This is more than likely the largest group of people. New grads who want to get into esports via a certificate or program.
    • As with any program or certificate, there are no guarantees in life. In this economy it’s even tougher to land a job. My suggestion would be to do also volunteer on top of doing a certificate for some relevant work history or even better make sure the program has a co-op aspect!
    • Check out writing a resume for an esports job, networking in esports & negotiating a job offer in esports.
  • Professional’s in another industry
    • Career shifts happen and some people may want to test the waters in the wild west of esports. That’s completely fine as long as you what’s coming! What better way then to get a certificate and realize what a mistake you made. Just kidding! 🙂
    • This is good if you’re a professional in one field but want to pivot into something else slowly. Example, I’ve done IT Software development on a project management basis but I get a certificate in esports event management. There’s some overlap there and you’d do fine.
    • Chances are, you will still need some relevant esports experience and this certificate will not be enough. Make sure you take the co-op program, volunteer or just start doing your own thing in esports.
  • Industry people
    • Chances are at the moment, if you’re in the industry you’re not going to take a certificate at this time. Perhaps later on.

Is the certificate recognized by a body?

What I mean by this are professionally recognized certificates. Example, the CPA for accountants, the PMP for traditional project managers, the PHR for individuals from HR. These actually do not exist in esports as the industry is so new. If they’re offering a certificate at the end, make sure you frame it but chances are it won’t be recognized anywhere and that’s OK. The most important thing is what you learned & took away out of the program.

Will this help me network in esports?

This is honestly one of the MOST important aspects in life. Networking in esports or networking for a job opportunity is absolutely key and I cannot stress it enough. Will this certificate help you network in the industry or is it just a quick one and done. Getting involved and chatting with people is key.

So, there it is. Some questions to ask yourself when looking at esports certificates. It wildly depends on who you are and what you do. If you have any questions just ask down below or feel free to contact me for some free advice.

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