“Three billion people worldwide are identifying as gamers,” says Stephen Sye, CEO of Futures First Gaming. And if you’re one of them or interested in becoming one, Wilmington University’s offering a new Esports Certificate to learn the business of gaming.
“I like to say, ‘Gaming’s the carrot, but the learning is the nugget,’” he explains. “This is an opportunity for not just students but parents to really understand that their children can pursue their passions and still be successful.”
I like to say, ‘Gaming’s the carrot, but the learning is the nugget,” –Stephen Sye, CEO of Futures First Gaming
The 18-credit, 100% online Esports Certificate debuts this fall. And it’s the only one of its kind in Delaware — combining coursework in business, technology, entrepreneurship and digital media. With the skills learned through this certificate program, students will be prepared to pursue a career in esports event management, administration or marketing, where salaries start at $40,000 to $60,000.
“This is a growing industry,” says Matthew Wilson, Ed.D., the program chair and a director of the College of Education and Liberal Arts. “It’s an evolving industry. It touches on so many different skills.”
Wilson calls it “a foundational certificate,” which “develops a variety of skills that will transfer into other types of career paths” like computer science, web design and more.
“It’s not just the fact that you’re getting into the field of esports,” agrees Christian Broderick, WilmU’s head esports coach. “Whatever you learn is meant to be applied in many different ways.”
Broderick will teach Intro to Esports Events and Production, one of two new courses. The other, Esports and Data, covers the statistics and analytical side of gaming. The curriculum includes everything from information technology to business strategy to market analysis.
“I think the certificate will give students the tools necessary to really be leaders in the space,” notes Broderick, who “grew up gaming” but studied philosophy and English. If offered an esports course in college, “I would have really enjoyed it.”
He says there’s an increasing need for esports professionals like coaches, content creators and commentators.
I think the certificate will give students the tools necessary to really be leaders in the space,”
“You can apply it to a data analyst, network engineer, social media manager or program coordinator job,” Broderick adds. “The role of a data analyst is something that is always in demand because you just have to be on the cutting edge of how esports is changing.”
This innovative certificate can stand alone or lead toward a degree. Through Dual-Credit ADVANTAGE™, it can be applied to an Associate of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and there are an additional 15 bachelor’s degree programs across four WilmU colleges to which the certificate can be applied as credit already earned.
“From a certificate standpoint, this is the first, so I’m extremely excited about that,” says Sye, who partners with Wilmington University for Futures First Gaming’s Workforce Development Program, which awards six academic credits toward this certificate. “If you’re interested in marketing, content creation, coding, video editing, graphic design — there are multiple companies across the industry that are going to need those skills.”
While students are building career skills, they are also encouraged to check out WilmU’s esports teams and Esports Lab.
“We would love to have as many people join us as possible,” notes Broderick. “It gives students that opportunity to really throw themselves into an extracurricular and become more involved in the community.”
Interested? Learn more and apply at wilmu.edu/education/esports-certificate.