Mansfield college students hope to turn their video gaming hobby into dream careers

Avid video gamers at Mansfield’s West Nottinghamshire College are harnessing their gaming skills to prepare for the jobs market and hope to turn their hobby into dream careers.

By Shelley Marriott
Monday, 17th May 2021, 1:13 pm

Computer science students took part in a ‘boot camp’ run by Game Academy a pioneering tech venture which provides players of popular computer games with insight into their talent and get them thinking about the job roles they may be best suited to.

A class of 25 learners on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT (Application Data Practitioner) and Level 3 Foundation Diploma in IT (Application Developer) courses have just completed a two-week trial programme of learning – playing their favourite games, working with one another online and attending special streams on the Steam platform.

Now the college is considering using the platform in the induction of new students and to guide the learning process.

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Ben Allen, front, and Laurentiu Nitu have enhanced their employability skills by using the Game Academy online platform. Photo: West Notts College.

Students Laurentiu Nitu and Ben Allen, both 18, were among those who took part in the ‘boot camp’.

Laurentiu said: “It was very useful in highlighting the job roles that I am most suited to.

“Game Academy showed my main areas of strength as being entrepreneurship and leadership, which I hadn’t realised about myself, along with creativity and team-work.

“I aim to work in the IT industry and have applied to study cyber security at university, so the website helped me understand how these skills are going to help me in this area of work.

“You need team-work to win certain video games so if you aspire to work in computer programming or cyber-security you will have to work with people in order to succeed.”

And Ben said by using Game Academy and playing Call of Duty enabled him to improve his leadership and team-working skills.

“My aspiration is to go to university and study a generalised computer science pathway and maybe in the future look at working in website development,” he said.

"This requires team-work because usually there isn’t just a single person behind a company’s website – it’s done by a team of people who contribute to all the elements underneath it.

“I think it’s good that employers are starting to realise that people who play video games on a regular basis are actually building on their employability skills.”