British Esports Association partners with Pearson to offer world’s first BTEC qualification in esports

The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and support grassroots esports, has partnered with global learning company Pearson to create the world’s first qualification of its kind for a career in esports.

The new BTEC qualifications in esports are skills-focused and are a major step forward in supporting the creation of long-term careers in the growing esports industry both in the UK and internationally. The esports industry is projected to generate revenues of $1.1 billion in 2020, a year-on-year growth of +16%, with the total esports audience set to rise 11.7% to 495m individuals, according to Newzoo.

Institutions in the UK and around the world will have the opportunity to offer these new qualifications to students from September 2020, with funding confirmed in the UK from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The new Level 3 esports qualification consists of 20 units, including enterprise and entrepreneurship, strategy and analysis, events management, live-streamed broadcasting, video production, shoutcasting, coaching, health and wellbeing, the law and legislation, computer networking and more. The qualifications will enable some learners to enter careers in the esports industry and for others it will offer an opportunity to upskill and progress their careers.

The units are designed to provide deep insight into esports and may be adjusted to update content and to reflect variations within the industry internationally and in the future. Learners will develop a wide range of transferable skills and knowledge that can be applied to other careers and sectors including digital and STEAM-based careers. This is especially valuable to learners in a changing world where job roles are likely to continually change and the emphasis is increasingly on flexibility, adaptability and transferable skills.

To ensure that the content meets industry needs and provides high quality preparation for progression, the partners engaged experts within esports, including employers, professional body representatives, university and further education lecturers and teachers.

Stakeholders including the University of Chichester, Sheridans and the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). British Esports Association board members including Mark “Garvey” Candella, Director of Education and Student Programmes at Twitch and Craig “Wizzo” Fletcher, founder of Multiplay/Insomnia, supported the work of the partners, reviewing content as it developed.

Andy Payne OBE, British Esports Association Chair, commented: “Esports is a growing, exciting industry that many young people are looking at with interest and it’s important they have the opportunity to unlock their potential and be the leaders of tomorrow. The industry is still finding its feet, but with big names like Pearson coming on board to bring learning and curriculum design expertise, this bodes well for the future workforce.

“These qualifications are a unique development that can elevate esports education in the UK and around the world.

“We have taken our time to ensure the qualifications are as comprehensive and high quality as possible, in order to provide students with a valuable qualification that will give them the knowledge and skills they need to pursue a career in esports, video games, tech or other related sectors.”

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeships at Pearson, commented: “The world of esports offers huge employment potential both in the UK and across the world and these new BTEC qualifications will give learners the knowledge and skills they need to build a career in this exciting sector. We have worked closely with industry experts to create a career-focused set of qualifications that will support the rapid growth of the esports sector and offer learners a pathway into working in esports and related industries.”

Dr Jo Twist OBE, Ukie CEO, said: “We are pleased to see the launch of the Pearson BTEC qualifications in esports. This has been put together with direct support and partnership from the industry led by the British Esports Association with input from the University of Chichester, Sheridans and the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). We hope that this high quality qualification will provide a pathway to a fulfilling career in the growing esports and related industries in the UK.”

Mark ‘Garvey’ Candella, Director of Student and Education Programs at Twitch, commented: “The BTEC in esports really addresses the core competencies needed for students to become empowered and confident young professionals in the gaming and esports industries. To meet students where they are and teach highly transferable and valuable emerging, new and digital media skills in an engaging way is the future.”

More information on the qualification ready to teach from September 2020 can be found here.

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