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Esports qualifications give young people skills to turn passion into profession

20 September 2021

Esports Summit 2021

Steve Curtis, from Pearson BTEC talks about the rise of the esports industry.

There is far more to the esports industry than first meets the eye.

Esports (electronic sports) is organised, competitive video gaming, where people play against each other online and at spectator events in indoor arenas, usually for a cash prize. Because of its very nature, many people assume that esports is ‘just playing games,’ but that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Esports is played by both amateurs and professionals and is inclusive — it is open to all, regardless of gender, physical ability and so on. Esports can be played on PCs, consoles, and mobiles. Because its big showcase events bring in tens of thousands of fans into a physical arena and many more in online streams, the industry is booming with people working in journalism, nutrition, event management, coaching, and more. The billion-dollar market for competitive video gaming is continuing to rise year-on-year, with a rise of 14.5% expected from 2020 to 2021.

Esports qualification

Due to the growth and rapid development of the esports industry, Pearson has partnered with the British Esports Association to deliver the first qualification of its kind in esports. Available at Level 2 and Level 3, the BTECs in esports give young people the experience, ability, and confidence to launch their career using esports as a foundation.

Esports also gives learners the chance to align social, physical, mental, and financial skills into one qualification to deepen and expand their learning beyond the traditional subjects. It offers the unique opportunity to study a sector that crosses multiple subject areas, such as Business, IT, Enterprise, Creative Media, and more.

Transferable skills

There is a whole host of transferable skills learned that can be used in a range of professions, not just in esports, the games industry or entertainment industries. Every organisation needs people who are effective in communication, teamwork, leadership, resilience, and are confident engaging with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects – which esports learners gain in spades.

The belief that engaging in video games is bad for the health of young people is also one that is fading into the background. There is evidence that games improve behaviour, attendance, and concentration levels in school pupils, and can improve reaction times, boost reading, communication, and teamwork skills. Not to mention they are a fun recreational activity that allow people to unwind and enjoy themselves.

Career opportunities

Once BTEC esports learners complete their qualifications, there are plenty of opportunities to progress. Because of the British Esports Association endorsement, employers from across the industry recognise the qualification and support entry into a range of esports roles, like esports players, team coaches, data analysts, photographers, and more.

As with all BTEC qualifications, the new esports qualifications also attract UCAS Tariff points and are recognised by higher education providers as meeting the entry requirements for related courses. Learners can progress to degree programmes like BA (Hons) in Esports, Event Management, or Media.

Young people are energetic, passionate, and full of ambition. Pearson and British Esports are committed to giving them the opportunity to turn their passion for games and esports into a profession by harnessing the exciting esports industry and giving them a platform to express themselves and grow their skills at the same time.

Find out more about the industry at the free Esports in Education Summit on 28 September.