In talking to many of my former students, I noticed a disturbing pattern: many of the most talented graduates of the Game Design Program (where I was teaching) – those who had produced the best work in my classes – were either unemployed or working menial jobs outside of the games industry.
They’ve told me things like, “There just aren’t that many 3D game design jobs out there right now!” and, “the 3D game design employment market is incredibly saturated and difficult to get into.”
The fact is, there is some truth to these statements – that’s why graduates need a competitive edge to get hired!
The problem I’ve noticed is this: although these talented graduates are producing great work, their portfolios aren’t quite “job-ready” yet. They are ALMOST there, but they need some work for them to get hired in the industry. By sending out a portfolio that is 80% of the way there you could actually be hindering your chances of getting hired.
With my years of 3D game design experience, I can identify the areas of weakness in their portfolios with one glance, and you better believe those job recruiters – with their sharp eyes for spotting talent – can, too. Often the problem is very simple, and relates to how the 3D work is being presented: i.e. the student has a poorly-designed website that showcases models that actually HURT their chances of landing a job, etc. Other issues I’ve seen include the display of obviously weak technical skills in a particular area, lighting, modeling, texturing and so on.
The sad fact is, in spite of their good intentions to the contrary, many 3D Game Design graduates NEVER EVER FINISH WORKING ON THEIR PORTFOLIOS, nor do they EVER END UP LANDING A JOB IN THE INDUSTRY!
Without the guidance and structure of school or a mentor, portfolio-building is a daunting task. Add to that life’s daily distractions, the need to work other, non-games industry job(s) to make ends meet and pay off student loans, etc., and you have a recipe for a disastrous dead end: the years pass by, the portfolio is left incomplete, and graduates’ dreams of working on cool games is all but forgotten.
This, my friends, is the saddest thing for me to see, especially when I could see that a student was ALMOST there, had incredible potential and gave up before realizing the career of their dreams!
After hearing my former students’ experiences and reflecting for some time, a lightbulb went off in my head, and I realized how I, with my 12 years of industry experience, might help. I came up with a plan: Create an online, live one on one mentorship program which aims to both encourage and build up key skills to get that 80% graduate to 100% job-ready.
So, you may be wondering – I can totally relate to these problems, how can I help you with this? Right now, all this a seed of an idea that is evolving and changing, and I think your feedback can help me grow it in the right direction.
I’d like to know more about you: your needs, the challenges you meet as a new graduate, the fears that keep you up at night, the problems you see out there in the world of 3D game design, etc.
So to help me answer all these questions, I’ve created a 13-minute survey that I would like to share with you.
Thank you for reading,
PLEASE SHARE WITH A STRUGGLING GRADUATE!