The world of video game development is at a constant path forward. Unity will continue to be a part of that forward charting path. Unity Technologies hopes to educate 80,000 people for game jobs over three years with an education initiative aimed at helping up and coming game devs learn how to program and develop games. This is perfect for school age kids to learn the discipline of game design and how the gaming market works.
Unity is paying for this program with help from its initial public offering, in which it raised $1.3 billion at a $13.6 billion valuation in September. At the time, they set aside 750,000 shares for the Unity Social Impact fund. That is valued at $83.6 million today, and part of it will be used for the education goal. By training up and comers on how to use its tools, Unity is creating new customers for its engine, which is the most popular tool for creating indie and AAA games for all consoles and handheld.
“We’ve formalized a long company philosophy that the world is a better place with more creators in it,” Lindl said. “This strategy is around how we are empowering our employees and our creators to foster a more inclusive and sustainable world.” Says Jessica Lindl of Unity in an interview with GamesBeat. She continues to say, “We will be focusing on our creators themselves who are fostering social impact,” Lindl said. “I think a huge opportunity here in the midst of a massive global recession where we provide alternative pathways to employment. And specifically, what we’re excited about here with the career pathways is that this is an alternative, no-cost pathway to employment in both the games and the technology industry.”
The 80,000 number isn’t an unattainable number in any sense, as there are more than 1.5 million Unity developers in the world. In the past 13 years, they have learned to use the game engine, and many of them have even been employed by Unity that way. If you look at how many jobs have been created per year, that averages out to 115,384.
The initiative is designed for people from a wide range of backgrounds, and supports the company’s commitment to creating inclusive economic opportunities, including for Black and Latin creators and other groups of diversity, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, Lindl said. The pathways are guided learning experiences that help anyone interested in coding and breaking into the gaming and tech industries. You can gain skills for jobs, regardless of prior experience. In other words, you don’t have to go to college.
“It’s a combination of both live learning and self-paced learning, and that is essentially videos and project-based work,” Lindl said. “Our entire pedagogy is focused on learning while doing and learning while creating.” According to Hired.com’s “State of Engineering” report, AR/VR and gaming engineers had the highest job growth in 2019, at 1,400% and 146%, respectively. The growth of AR/VR jobs may have slowed since then, but gaming jobs are definitely on the rise.
The first pathway is Unity Essentials, a 1 to 2 week guided learning journey that teaches people the basics of the Unity engine and is designed for anyone who wants to become familiar with Unity and its real-time content creation. This a good for game devs looking to for an alternative video game design schools.
The second pathway for junior programmers helps people learn various coding skills. This pathway is a 3 to 4 month, 60 hour guided learning journey with no coding or math prerequisites. It will equip programmers with the technical and soft skills needed to find a job in the dev world as a junior programmer. That job has a median salary of $49,000 a year. Eventually, students can get certified with Unity 3D.
The focus isn’t only on the U.S., the company works with different regions that want to create jobs in the gaming world. The country of Senegal is an example where Unity partnered with the government a year ago to help train citizens with Unity tools.