New College Level Esports Certificate Prepares Gamers for a Competitive Industry

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This fall, Wilmington University will offer a certificate for serious gamers who want to take their talents to the next level.

The new 18-credit, 100%-online certificate, the first in Delaware, was created in partnership with Futures First Gaming (FFG). It can stand alone, or its credits can count toward an associate or bachelor’s degree. The certificate combines six credits of esports-specific coursework, including Esports Events and Production and Esports and Data, with nine credits of industry skill-based curriculum that will provide students with many flexible career opportunities.

“Three billion people worldwide are identifying as gamers,” says Stephen Sye, CEO of Futures First Gaming. “I like to say, ‘Gaming’s the carrot, but the learning is the nugget.’ This is an opportunity for both students and parents to really understand that their children can pursue their passions and still be successful.”

FFG is committed to both gaming and education, and it provides a primary gateway to the new Esports Certificate through its accredited Workforce Development Program. In addition to hosting esports competitions and conferences, the program broadens gamers’ perspectives of the many possible career options in the world of gaming and esports. And FFG awards students who complete the Workforce Development Program with six academic credits to apply directly to the new WilmU Esports Certificate program. This saves gamers both time and money while also building their experience and professional portfolios as they learn about business, technology, entrepreneurship, and digital media in gaming as a profession.

“People too often are driven toward professions that are of no interest to them,” Sye added, “and the opportunities FFG provides aren’t even presented. To have a technology-literate workforce, we have to meet those with technical aptitude where they are, in gaming and esports, and give them a roadmap to a future of possibilities that appeals to them.”

“This is a growing industry that we are proud to be a part of,” said Matthew Wilson, Ed.D., program chair and a director of the College of Education and Liberal Arts. “WilmU has a new esports lab and its competitive esports teams are participating in events we host with FFG, so we see this as the next logical step.”

“The underlying beauty of this foundational certificate,” Wilson added, “is that it connects into WilmU’s Dual-Credit ADVANTAGE, which makes the credit earned with the certificate even more valuable toward a degree. The curriculum covers everything from information technology to business strategy to market analysis. And WilmU has about 15 bachelor degree programs that tie into the gaming field, so it’s a real opportunity to learn the gaming business and explore career paths tied to the industry.”

“It’s not just the fact that you’re getting into the field of esports,” agrees Christian Broderick, WilmU’s head esports coach, who will also teach Intro to Esports Events and Production. “The certificate’s courses develop various skills that can transfer into other types of career paths.”

“You can apply it to a data analyst, network engineer, social media manager, or program coordinator job,” he added. “Data analysts are always in demand and must be on the cutting edge of how esports is changing. What is learned can be applied in many different ways.”

“From a certificate standpoint, this is the first, so I’m extremely excited about the fact that this is the first academic offering that will open up great careers in gaming and esports,” said Sye. “If you’re interested in gaming and have an interest in marketing, content creation, coding, video editing, graphic design — there are multiple companies across the industry that are going to need those skills.” 

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