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The global gaming industry is worth over $138 billion, making it one of the most lucrative commercial markets in the world. With global revenues increasing year-on-year, young gamers and students interested in a career in gaming are increasingly looking at how they can turn their passion into a career allowing them to make a living in the games industry.

Vega (a brand of The Independent Institute of Education – The IIE)  and Big5 Games share some insight into the top four career opportunities in gaming for anyone looking to make their mark in this exciting and emerging industry.

  1. Game designer and/or programmer

Designers come up with the concept of a game, considering everything from layout to look and feel, and how to achieve it all within budget. They often work as part of a team or in collaboration with programmers (also known as developers) who write the code that brings concepts to life. Game designers who have programming skills are understandably in higher demand, because they can execute and test ideas according to their unique vision, which means it’s worth looking into how you can hone as many relevant skills as possible.

“I would say that almost any future career could benefit from understanding coding, whether it’s a photographer writing a small script to rename all their photographs or an HR manager using Excel formulas to calculate a staff member’s annual leave,” says Pieter Joubert, Gaming and Programming Navigator at Vega.

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  1. Digital animator

Where a game designer is responsible for the artistic side of creating a game, and the programmer writes the code that brings it all into existence, a digital animator works with the designer’s graphics to make the game’s characters and environment more interactive and provide a sense of visual depth. A digital animator works closely with the game designer and developer to help create storyboards, and may use their own artistic skills to draw animations by hand where appropriate, but will more often make use of digital software to generate imagery for games.

  1. Gaming journalist

If your interests lie in journalism as well as the tech and gaming arenas, then it makes sense to consider a career reporting on the gaming industry. With the growth of esports, major broadcasters like ESPN now cover news and events in the gaming industry too, as esports is increasingly recognised for its merits as a sport, and not just a competition. Whether you choose to work for an existing digital publication or branch out on your own, pursuing a career in gaming journalism may the ticket to a more fulfilling career.

  1. Content creator

Pursue it as a hobby in your spare time or make a living from it as a full-time freelancer – whichever way you choose to go about it, there are a wealth of opportunities available to content creators with a passion for gaming. You can also become a professional live-streamer, sharing your own video gameplay to audiences on the internet. Streamers earn an income from this through sponsorships, subscriptions, and even donations from their fanbase. For instance, Sam Wright, better known as Tech Girl, uses her blog as a platform to share tech and gaming related content, while Samplayze has recently become a full-time content creator and streamer. They are both proving that it is possible to make your mark in the gaming industry as a content creator or streamer.

Sam and Samplayze will be speaking at the Games + Esports Careers Day on 23 February at Vega School in Johannesburg alongside other influential South African gamers, where they will share how they built their careers in the gaming industry, and where they believe the next big opportunities lie.

“The global games industry is bigger than music and movies combined, and it’s important for South African youth to see all the incredible career opportunities that the games world can offer,” says Kevin Meltzer, CEO of Big5 Games. “The Games + Esports Careers Day is our way of contributing to the local gaming community and bringing together talented gamers to inspire the next generation of professionals.”

Tickets to the event are free and available online at www.careersday.co.za.

Vega and Big5 Games invites parents, existing and potential students and anyone interested in pursuing a career in the gaming industry, to attend the Games + Esports Careers Day taking place at the Vega campus in Johannesburg on 23 February 2019. Find out more about the exciting world of gaming and how to turn your passion for video games into a lucrative career, as well as more information on The IIE BCIS degree in Game Design and Development and other IIE qualifications available to study at Vega.


Vega is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The IIE is South Africa’s leading and largest private higher education institution and is internationally accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

Vega’s teaching philosophy is built on the mantra of wisdomwithmagic, creating an academic environment that is based on experiential learning where creatives are trained in strategy and strategists in design-thinking. As South Africa’s only brand focused school, Vega aims to inspire a new breed of thinkers with the expertise to generate meaningful brand ideas that link business profit to adding value to people’s lives.

The IIE Vega students graduate at a work-ready level, with 95%* of 2016 graduates employed within 6 months of completing their qualification. Vega was also ranked first in the national Loerie Awards Top Educational Institutions in 2017, maintaining its reputation as a leader in the South African higher education arena.

Students can enrol for IIE undergraduate and post graduate degrees, diplomas, higher certificates and short courses in design, brand communication and brand management, at The IIE Vega campuses across South Africa. These are available to study on a full-time or part-time basis both on campuses nationwide and online.

 *includes part-time and freelance positions www.vegaschool.com



Big5 Games is a mobile games and esports company dedicated to growing the games industry across Africa.

Big5 Games operates a gamification platform that delivers easy to play, data optimised mobile games relevant to the African audience. We gamify fans’ deep passion for sports, esports, entertainment and stocks with unique games built around Fantasy League, Prediction and Trivia-based concepts.

In esports, Big5 Games runs several initiatives aimed at growing the community by bringing in a new audience of gamer fans and helping to create a sustainable esports industry in Africa.