Croydon College is launching a BTEC in Esports from September 2022. The Esports BTEC qualification was first launched in the UK in 2020 by education provider, Pearson, in partnership with the British Esports Association, and is now available for the first time to students in the South London borough.
The first qualification of its kind, the internationally recognised BTEC is a skills-focussed qualification, set up to help sustain esports by educating students who want to explore a career in the sector. The Esports BTEC course at Croydon College comprises 20 units covering a broad range of subjects, as diverse as events management, entrepreneurship, video production and live-stream broadcasting alongside the more specific elements of game design, sports law and computer networking.
“Esports” refers to competitive video gaming, played by both professional, and amateur gamers who play against each other online and at events, often in large indoor arenas accommodating thousands of spectators, for medals, trophies and cash prizes. Esports attracts millions of viewers worldwide, with an audience of more than 495m at the end of 2020. (In comparison, the 2021 FA Cup Final was watched by a peak audience of 9.1m viewers and last year’s Super Bowl attracted 96.4m viewers.)
The Level 2 Esports qualification will prepare learners for work or an apprenticeship by giving them the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge, technical and practical skills, as well as the chance to apply these skills in work-related environments. The Level 3 Esports qualification is aimed at people wanting to progress to employment in the Esports industry or who wish to enter Higher Education, with many universities offering degrees in the subject. Endorsed by the British Esports Association, it will be recognised by employers and could lead to a job as an Esports player, team coach, social media influencer, data analyst and much more.
Martin Silverwood, Croydon College’s Vice Principal Education and Quality, said: “Esports education is an exciting opportunity for learners in the local area and we’re excited to be able to bring it to Croydon. While people may just think of it as playing video games, it’s much more than that. By studying these courses, students can develop themselves personally and professionally while also learning a number of key, inter-changeable, skills which can be applied to a number of career options across virtually any sector.”
BTECs are the most popular vocational qualification in the UK, recognised by universities and employers in over 70 countries. They combine practical learning with subject theory and can be studied alongside, or instead of GCSEs or A Levels. The BTEC will help fill the enormous skills gap developing in the esports sector and provides a clear, effective path to employment in the industry.
Deidre Williams, Head of BTEC Applied Qualifications at Pearson, said: “We’ve been delighted to work with the British Esports Association to develop the first esports qualifications for learners aged 16 years of age upwards. Every year, hundreds of thousands of learners go to university and further education into careers and apprenticeships from BTECs, so we’re delighted to have esports join this family. We want learners to be prepared to go into new and emerging careers that have yet to be imagined.”
Laura Hall, Sector Manager and Digital Product Owner for Business, Enterprise, Esports, Marketing and Law at Pearson, said, “Universities recognise BTECs and it’s a popular progression route for BTEC students, as are apprenticeships and employment. We are hugely engaged with British Esports to support the growth and progression of students into employment.”