Graduates are vital to the wellbeing and growth of the games industry, yet it wasn’t that long ago when many studios wouldn’t even consider hiring graduates. Developers would often opt to hire juniors with more experience, but this simply wasn’t sustainable or healthy for the future of the industry.
With a distinct shortage of skilled workers to fill every studios’ recruitment needs, graduates provide an amazing opportunity to home-grow young talent into the developers you need. Their passion, self-motivation, and willingness to develop their skills and learn new methodologies is a key trait that can enhance studio pipelines for years to come.
Even though time and resources have to be invested into non-experienced developers, the trade-off is that graduates bring fresh eyes and new ideas into entrenched working methods, being able to look at a project objectively and potentially showcase ways of working that haven’t been considered before. Their recent education in the most up-to-date software packages might also highlight more efficient ways of working, or introduce new tools that dev teams may not be aware of. Their ability to navigate new and innovative technologies is regularly one of their biggest advantages.
Although it varies studio-to-studio, the capacity for graduates to bolster your team can be completely built around the needs of your specific studio. From in-house ‘incubator teams’ to working on live projects with a dedicated mentor, being able to experiment and see where they can empower your team best is key.
Graduates have never been more ready than they are now to enter the workplace. Cross-industry careers education, bridging the gap between academia and employment, has undergone an evolution over the last few years. From studio internships (such as those conducted by Sumo Digital), to the early years’ education of potential game dev career paths (such as the work carried out by Into Games), and the game dev challenges such as Search for a Star (hosted annually by Grads in Games), students are now leaving university armed with a more rounded arsenal of skills and experience that studios are actually looking for.
Working alongside graduates can also boost the skills and experience of the team you already have embedded. From developing their people management skills, to solidifying their own knowledge-base, this experience will better prepare them for future career opportunities within your business as they look to become a Senior, Team Lead, or Department Head.
At Aardvark Swift, we know a thing or two about graduates, with our Managing Director, Ian Goodall, having founded the Grads in Games initiative over 11 years ago. Grads in Games is a not-for-profit community-interest company, responsible for a number of annual game development challenges, including the aforementioned Search for a Star and Rising Star game jams.
Over the years, this has resulted in many talented, aspiring developers honing their skills, becoming more employable, and entering the wider industry thanks to this showcase. As a result of our links with Grads in Games, we have access to this impressive talent pool, so there’s never been a better time to discuss your graduate hiring plans with us.