Let the Games Begin!

Useful Tools for Employment?

Useful Tools for Employment?

This week, we heard from Wake Technical Community College student Steve Hardister, who is enrolled in the college’s Simulation and Game Development curriculum. Steve told us that one career area he’d like to pursue after graduation is producing computer simulations for educational purposes.

It turns out that simulation development and “gaming” are not just for amusement anymore. Far from it. Today, video games and “virtual worlds” are being used in fields from medicine and health care to the automobile and aerospace industries. Computer simulation is widely applied throughout academia and computer modeling is used to help safeguard our country against terrorism.

Last year, Bill Waite, chairman of AEgis Technologies Group (a Huntsville, Alabama company that creates simulations for both military and civilian applications) told the New York Times, “It almost doesn’t matter what kind of world you care about; you can use simulations. If you’re a defense agency, you want to create a simulation that will allow a missile……to detonate. [These] same tools and same set of skills are used in the pharmaceutical industry to figure out how the little beads in [an aspirin] are going to get from your stomach to your brain.”

What it boils down to is that designers of computer simulations are sought in a wide variety of fields to help understand complex, multifaceted ideas that are too expensive or dangerous to study in real life. In fact, US News & World Report predicts that job opportunities for Simulation Developers will continue to grow with the wide availability of broadband and ever faster mobile Internet access.

It also turns out that gaming skills are now highly valued by employers in general as the new book, Total Engagement describes.

Now, you may ask, how can a video game like World of Warcraft make you more marketable in the workplace?

Well, just ask Stephen Gillet, a gamer who became Chief Information Officer of Starbucks while he was still in his 20s. According to an article this week on Forbes.com by playing World of Warcraft, Gillet developed the ability to influence and persuade people through leadership rather than trying to order them around. Other important job skills that video games can help you develop: Dealing with unexpected challenges and new situations; managing and organizing information; entrepreneurship; and, of course, mastering competition.

Let the games begin!

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