Trouble getting into the industry.

I think this may be a common problem for people these days. You could say you are going to get work experience and move your way into the industry from there. Has anyone had trouble even getting work experience? Just out of curiosity and also just your opinions on things like programs run that companies offer work experience to people for instance. No matter what experience you have previously had, the companies choose how ever many people they can have fit in their office and give them work experience. Not only will this give people industry experience, it will also:

1. Can save the person money if they realise a particular area in the industry isn't for them. Instead of paying for a course then not being interested.

2. When people apply for jobs such as QA they have something to show they have industry experience. Most companies now want experienced people even though you may have the skills required.

3. It will boost self confidence in the industry, possibly making it bigger and gain interest in these particular jobs and widen the network of game developers.

Just a thought.

J I Styles's picture

Just in random reply to the points you raised, I'm here to play devils advocate:

- a company is not willing to shell out $3000+ for a work rig, plus another $4000+ for software so an in-experianced person can play around and be non-productive taking up 3x3 meters of space and needing constant attention to answer questions and direct in the right direction. It's a general rule of thumb that it takes around a week for new employee to start producing useable assets (after they've gotten over technology and technical obstacles). $28,000 setup costs isn't a very comfortable figure for setting up to accomodate for 4 work experiance people.

- time lost on other employees needed to direct the work experiance people, answer questions, teach proprietry (and potentially sensitive) information/skills so they can actually attempt to try working.

- legalities -- a lot of states, it's not legal to take on work experiance people unless minimal wage is paid. So now we're paying wages on top of setup fees based on awards per age.

- taking on someone unproven to be employable. Skills and abilities are one thing, but the most important thing in a new employee is if they're going to mesh with the company culture and existing employees. We don't want an arsehole.

Usually there's two reasons to people not obtaining jobs in this industry. Either they're not as good as the competition going for the jobs, or their aren't the jobs there to begin with. These people left over are the ones looking at work experiance, which aren't that attractive to a company. They should be looking at improvement in base skills first, or potentially other applications of those skills in other areas.

my disclaimer here is this was written very fast before heading off, so apologies if I come off rude -- like I said, playing devils advocate [:)]

Mdobele's picture

Yep pretty much have to side with J.I. Styles on that one.

Experience is one thing but showing what you can do is another. If you can't get work experience simply try to join a small team and produce a small indie games title. Work on your skills to make yourself so attractive to companies that your resume gets put on the top of the pile.

Just keep working at it, Its not uncommon to have to wait a year or two before getting the job you want.

skunx's picture

Yeah i agree with both McKnight and the rest. I believe that getting work experience in this industry is nearly equal to landing a job. Especially in Australia that is. I'm pretty sure that someone who has had even a couple of months experience in a company has a greater advantage over the rest, even though his skills might be worse in general. On the other hand the companies usually have enough problems of their own and cant be bothered taking on inexperenced staff and guiding them through everything.
Its a tough situation and it sucks. But as the industry grows over here, i'm sure that sooner or later there will be more work experience placements. If you look at the UK industry which is an old one and has grown considerably over the years, you can see that there are loads more opportunities for work experience there. Mainly from big companies that have some cash to spare in order to train and find new talent. Once bigger companies start arriving in AU (thq for example) and you can be sure they will eventually, then there will be more room for work experience too.

kit's picture

J.I. Styles is bang on!

Here's a thought if your straight out of school. Film Victoria runs an internship program where they offer to pay a portion of a 30K wage for seven months. There are a limited number of positions available but if you are accepted as a potential candidate you are allowed to approach companies and tell them that if they want to approach film vic on your behalf they could have you as a new employee/intern at half price for seven months. This is a great incentive to look at taking on a beginner. I realise your in QLD and not VIC but you should check out if the QLD government does something similar!


ussmc's picture

Kit, have applied for the Internship?

- If you have who did you approach first, Film Victoria or a company?
- What's the best way to contact a company for the Internship purpose, should I ring them, email, or send them a letter?

kit's picture


You can only apply for an internship through Film Victoria if you live in Victoria (so don't get your hopes up if you don't).

Approach Film Victoria first. You will have to fill out some forms and send in a show reel. There's no guarantees but you should be accepted as a POTENTIAL intern.

You then have 2 options.

1) sit back and wait as interested companies can look you up through the internship listings. (not the best option)

2) Start sending your resume out with a cover letter that explains the internship. You are allowed to say you are a potential candidate. If the company you approach is interested they have to contact Film Victoria also. In your resume include the url's for the internship info pages on the Film Vic web site (you will have to hunt these up). And mention that you will give them a phone call in a week to see if they're interested.

There are only a limited number of internships and they can go to anyone in the visual arts industries not just gamers so competition for positions is pretty fierce. You have a better chance of winning an internship if you can get a company interested in hiring you!!

It also dosen't hurt to get your folio up online if your able. Link to your website through your sumea profile. Also try listing that you are looking for an internship and have potential funding on the "looking for work" forum here on sumea!

And yes I did all of the above and yes this is how I got into the industry so it is possible [:)]

Good luck

ussmc's picture

Thanks Kit, now I can breathe a little easier when I finish my course.[:)]