Video Game Tester Career
It is not too difficult to find a series of individual video game testing jobs; however, it is a greater challenge to fashion a career in this field. What follows are some tips for those looking to make a serious living as video game testers, as well as some advice for those looking to advance or broaden their horizons in the industry.Building a successful career as a tester will take time and effort, but the work can pay off with some great opportunities in the end.
The Corporate Ladder
As with any career, there is a hierarchy involved in the gaming industry, even when it comes to video game testers. Amateur testers will have to enter on the ground level, either via an internship with a gaming company or as a beta tester. Once an individualís work gets some recognition, however, he or she may draw the attention of a larger company that will offer a permanent position.
The Skills Required
To build a successful career in video game testing, it is necessary to go above and beyond what is required of the most basic level of testers. For example, in addition to developing a knowledge base with regard to different games, gaming systems and programming glitches, it is also a good idea to familiarize oneself with the larger aspects of the gaming industry. How are the graphics developed? What does a video gameís design team look like? Who is the target market for specific games? Learning the answers to these questions can give you a leg up on the competition in the field.
Build a Resume
One of the most important steps in fashioning a career as a game tester is building an impressive resume. Companies look for experience over formal education when it comes to game testers, so make sure to list any and all jobs that provided training in the field. Applicants should include a list of skills as well, and indicate where their strengths lie, whether it is the ability to locate program issues or to identify problems with graphics. A good resume can be the ticket into a company that will offer a secure position in a field where most individuals work on a per-project basis.
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Opportunities for Advancement
An ambitious video game tester who not only proves his or her ability to identify problems but who also demonstrates a broader knowledge of the gaming industry (as indicated) above will be presented with more opportunities for advancement. An entry-level tester might be promoted to permanent in-house tester, then to a testing team manager or director, and ultimately, provided they have the necessary skills and training, to a design or development team.
Those interested in making more money and gaining additional prestige in their career might also consider working in the development, design, or marketing sectors of the gaming industry. While it is possible to build a career as a video game tester, that position can only go so far. It can, however, open many doors into other related areas in the field.