There are lots of reasons to learn to code: Cybersecurity jobs, building mobile apps, and something long considered the dream job amongst programmers: Video game development.
But it can be hard to find that first job in the gaming industry. It's highly competitive and even starting the search can be daunting. Indeed uses the data it gathers from postings and users to provide feedback on the state of a variety of industries, and now it's tackled gaming.
If you're a potential game developer, you'll do yourself a service by taking a look: The numbers could affect the future of your career.
Is the industry tightening its belt?
The first, and potentially most alarming, fact is that job postings for game developers have dropped by 65 percent since 2014. That harsh number isn't alone: Searches for game development jobs have grown by 50 percent.
Plainly put, there are far more game developers than there are development jobs.
There are a number of reasons why the gaming job market has declined so much in the past few years. Small teams get swallowed by big companies, big projects scale back to a maintenance team, and new tech emerges that makes certain jobs obsolete.
SEE: Top 10 hottest IT jobs for 2017 (TechRepublic)
Indeed economist Daniel Culbertson doesn't think the industry is necessarily dying. "This could mean that traditional gaming jobs as they have been known in the past are on the decline," he said. As traditional jobs disappear he says it's time to look at trends.
Indeed's numbers point to one obvious hot thing: virtual and augmented reality jobs. Postings have grown by over 400 percent since 2014, meaning a lot of the jobs still posted are looking for VR and AR devs.
Don't change your career plans immediately, though: Job searches have increased too. By 1,500 percent.
So, where are the jobs?
Game development is always going to be a small industry. Games don't protect the world from hackers, they don't catalogue the world's data, and they don't make life easier. They're entertainment, and jobs in entertainment are always hard to find.
SEE: The 2016 tech job market reveals 2017 tech trends, says Indeed (TechRepublic)
Developers who have the ambition to make it in the games industry are likely undeterred, and hopefully so: The jobs are out there. They're simply waiting for someone talented and driven to fill them.
If you're looking for a job in gaming these companies are the biggest hirers:
- Electronic Arts
- Blizzard Entertainment
- Epic Games
- 2K Games
- Nexon America
- Nintendo of America
If the potential of a big paycheck is what draws you to gaming then there are five locations you should look at. Not only do these places have a high density of game dev postings but they also are large paying jobs too.
- San Francisco, average salary $134,796
- Seattle, average salary $97,558
- Los Angeles, average salary $80,870
- New York, average salary $95,367
- Silicon Valley, average salary $111,397
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- The number of game development job postings on Indeed has dropped by 65 percent since 2014, and searches by job seekers have increased by 50 percent.
- The industry is flooded by devs with not enough jobs to go around.
- Job seekers should focus on emerging technology like VR and AR. That industry has grown by more than 400 percent.
- Report: Tech sector growing, but IT is hemorrhaging jobs (TechRepublic)
- Want a good tech job? Report says open-source skills are hotter than ever (ZDNet)
- 16 tech jobs with the largest gender gaps (TechRepublic)
- IT contractors and the future of tech jobs: What you need to know (ZDNet)
- 9 jobs with top work-life balance (CBS News)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.