Despite esports becoming big business overseas, the Australian government has yet to properly recognise the industry’s potential in the local market. But while debate continues to rage about the economic benefits of video games on a federal level, Victoria’s government is taking matters into its own hands.
In a recent win for Australia’s esports industry, the Department of Education and Training Victoria has approved funding for a Wyndham Tech School and BIG Esports pilot course designed to teach students about the entrepreneurial side of esports.
The pilot will kick off later this year, and invite year nine students to learn about esports from a “behind the scenes” lens. Topics planned for the course include how to: run an esports event, establish a business, navigate sponsorship proposals, understand influencer marketing and develop branding. It’ll also teach practical skills like using the internet as a marketing tool, setting up the networking for an event, tournament operations, internet security, and more.
All of these skills are valuable and transferrable, even beyond their context within the world of esports. They’re certainly skills many would consider essential to navigating businesses in the modern landscape.
In addition to these courses, the funding will allow the school to build a new esports room decked out with 26 “gaming-grade” computers supplied by PLE Computers and shiny Razer peripherals.
Should the nine-week pilot program be successful, BIG Esports will also work with Wyndham Tech School to roll out a wider course in 2022 which encompasses students running their own gaming competition.
“At Wyndham Tech School we are always looking to best prepare our students for the future of work,” Gail Bray, Director of Wyndham Tech School said of the program in a press release.
“Along with our work in artificial intelligence and robotics, we identified esports, game design and development as a growing industry providing transferable skills for students.”
Gaming is an industry growing at an incredible pace — and esports is an important facet of this growth. Overseas, the industry is on track to surpass $US1.5 billion ($2.0 billion) by 2023, and it continues to grow year-on-year.
It’s an important industry Australia should engage with, and an essential one for students to learn more about. The jobs of the future are changing, and it’s essential we educate kids about what jobs are actually out there.
A decade ago, working in esports seemed like a pipe dream. Now, it’s a real, viable career path — and it’s one we should help kids embrace. The work BIG Esports and Wyndham Tech School is doing is invaluable, and it’ll be exciting to see it in action.