Scotland has a challenge when it comes to careers in technology (including games). Uptake of computer science at high school is dropping like a stunned owl. It’s almost, but not quite as popular as woodwork.
Which leaves us with a problem for the future of the games sector. not just with technical roles, but with interest and understanding of using digital technology to create, well, anything…
You (yes, YOU) can help.
SmartSTEMS is a Scottish charity which helps children and young people to find careers in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) careers – which includes the videogames sector.
They have started an initiative to promote the idea of STEM to young people across the country, with real world, practical examples of what a career in STEM looks like.
They’re building a repository of inspirational short videos about people working in every area of science, tech, engineering (arts) and maths, which will be freely available to young people and – more importantly – their parents, to encourage them to consider a career in STEM (which seriously, absolutely and fundamentally includes videogames).
Educating Parents (and Young People)
This is important. A lot of research shows that parents play a significant role in steering children and young people towards, or away from particular careers. When it comes to ‘tech’, there’s a general perception (especially here in Scotland), that STEM is for geeks, loners, weirdos and that careers are very much for men only, involve long hours, brain-wracking stress and difficult sums.
So SmartSTEMS are doing something positive to change this.
They’re looking for volunteers
SmartSTEMS would like people working within all STEM sectors to record one or two videos focusing on:
- My job – What you do, why it’s awesome
- My journey – How you got where you are, where you’re going
SmartSTEMS is also looking for online advocates, who can help spread the message of tech and science careers, and take part in online sessions and events on an ongoing basis.
Games Are Awesome
Let’s face it, videogames is still the cool, fun and cutting-edge face of the digital world. In Scotland we do suffer from being a little bit insular, a little cut off from the rest of the real world and we do tend to assume that with so many gamers out there, there will be LOADS of people who want to make games.
That may not be the case. We could be facing a future, where the uptake of computer related subjects is so low we cannot populate the games courses, or degrees in the same way we do today.
So please, regardless of your position, your job title, your seniority, consider signing up and helping SmartSTEMS show just how fascinating, exciting, diverse, challenging, and FUN working in the games sector can be.
This is NOT just for programmers. Artists, animators, testers, producers, designers, founders, managers, you’re ALL working in STEM. YOUR job and your journey could help young people decide that making games (or science, or engineering, or technology) is something they can do and something they would like to do.