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Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has announced the introduction of an esports bachelor of science degree program, starting in spring of 2020. The private STEM-focused university founded its esports varsity program in 2018, which has since gone on to win the Collegiate Overwatch National Championship this year.
Harrisburg University esports degree
“Students who graduate from this program will have the skills and know-how to succeed in a very promising industry,” said Professor Charles Palmer, who leads both the Interactive Media and Esports undergraduate programs at Harrisburg University, in a statement. “Industry leaders are searching for highly skilled Esports professionals. This program will allow students to follow their passions and land a lucrative career in a $1 billion industry that continues to grow.”
The esports bachelor of science degree will prepare students for careers in the rapidly expanding industry. Through this, students can learn the skills needed to become a successful content creator, event manager, or specialized coach, along with organization and team manager. Other future career paths include esports marketing manager, esports analyst, and more.
Many of these skills are already obtainable through existing courses at Harrisburg University’s business and computer science programs. The newly introduced program will add in the esports aspect so students are more skilled to enter the industry after graduation. Students with traditional business degrees usually need to build up experience first before entering esports.
Partnering with Nerd Street Gamers
“With the announcement of an Esports undergraduate program, Harrisburg University continues to raise the bar for collegiate Esports across every aspect of the industry, including player development, event programming, and most importantly, education,” said John Fazio, CEO at Nerd Street Gamers. “Building the infrastructure for Esports goes beyond finding talented players, it requires a foundation that increases accessibility for more individuals to participate in gaming, and educational training programs that develop talent in early stages.”
Harrisburg University will also partner with esports facility company Nerd Street Gamers, with the latter serving as program partner and advisor. Oftentimes, entry-level esports jobs only have a few openings but come with hundreds if not thousands of applications. Many who are looking to enter the industry are required to work at traditional companies for several years first before making the transition to a senior position instead.
With the esports degree program by Harrisburg University, students will be able to gain real-world hands-on experience by working with collegiate teams. They will also have the chance to do the same with professional esports organizations, which could include the Overwatch League franchise Philadelphia Fusion, as the university has an additional location in Philadelphia.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.