Beginning in January 2023, Rutgers University–Camden will begin offering a certificate program to prepare students for jobs in esports, a lucrative and fast-growing industry that has captured the imaginations—and the thumbs—of gamers worldwide. The School of Business–Camden’s certificate in esports management, the first of its kind in the South Jersey region, will enhance student competitiveness in a dynamic new segment of sports and entertainment.
“The global esports market is projected to exceed $2.8 billion over the next five to six years with a compound annual growth rate of over 20 percent,” said Monica Adya, Ph.D., dean of the Rutgers School of Business–Camden. “This is a tremendous opportunity for growth in esports careers. As an anchor institution committed to preparing our learners for emerging opportunities, we can use the esports certificate to deliver on our mission of developing the workforce of the future.”
In partnership with the state of New Jersey’s Esports Innovation Center in Atlantic City, a hub for workforce development, research and collaboration, Rutgers–Camden is offering the esports certificate to students interested in learning about the business side of the industry. The program is geared to students who are new to the industry or already work in esports and want to strengthen their employment prospects in positions related to marketing, supply chain, tourism, computer programming, communications, and other areas of the field. Enrollment will begin in December.
“We have to prepare people for 21st-century careers,” said Peter McAliney, Ph.D., director of professional and executive education in the Rutgers School of Business–Camden. “TikTok influencers didn’t exist 10 years ago. There are careers that are being created every year, and the esports industry is a prime example of that sudden growth.”
Rutgers–Camden students enrolled in the certificate program will take courses taught by faculty from the University of California, Irvine as part of a unique partnership between the two universities.
“I have been following the development of esports as an industry and know that UC Irvine has developed the pre-eminent esports programs in the country,” McAliney said. “We are proud to be able to offer that same level of instruction at Rutgers–Camden.”
Rutgers–Camden will offer in-person meetups to complement the program, along with networking opportunities with industry professionals and companies. McAliney emphasized the complexity of the esports industry, noting that the program will prepare certificate holders for careers just like the ones found in older, more established sports leagues.
“Esports is more than just young people playing video games against each other,” said McAliney. “Think about what it takes to run a football, baseball, or basketball league. There are so many jobs created and so much infrastructure that is needed. There is a whole ecosystem around esports, and our students will have the opportunity to take control of the industry’s future.”
Creative Design: Beatris Santos