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Even as April showed a drop in U.S. retail sales of various video games and associated products, there are still many jobs available for those wishing to be the first to test new products. Not only that, but experts say the industry is strong and these jobs are going to be increasing in availability. Is it the gravy job you’ve been looking for? founder and career coach A. Harrison Barnes says, “Not necessarily”. Let’s take a look at what goes into the perfect employee who tests video games for a living:

It’s actually quite competitive. This is why it’s important to get a head start. Consider a game design education or at least be willing to start on the ground floor and work your way up.

It’s an uncertain industry, even with its growth potential. Once a market becomes saturated with the latest “must have” console, the industry as a whole usually hits a plateau, says A. Harrison Barnes. This means there may times throughout one’s career that he is unemployed for periods of time. Still, there are always those new and better systems coming down the pipe, it’s just that makers know how to time the releases.

The video game makers are human. They worry a new release won’t garner the response they’re hoping for, so it’s not uncommon for them to overthink their product lines. “They can’t predict the future and the gaming industry is tough”, says the founder.

Believe it or not, the gaming industry, due to its “escapism” factor, does well when the economy’s in a slump. People won’t to run away from life for a little while and often, these video games provide that solution. That doesn’t mean the industry as a whole crashes once the economy improves, it just means it’s another factor to keep in mind.

Different companies require different educational backgrounds; what worked for one might not even be considered a plus on your resume to another company.

Finally, many Americans have discovered they have a better career opportunity overseas. While some are fine with relocating to Asia, many of us simply don’t want to leave home. That’s OK, most Americans are traditionally “home bodies”. Again, it’s just another factor to keep in mind, says the founder.

If it’s a career in this industry you want, there’s no reason not to pursue it, provided you can balance those downtimes against the upswing of the industry. Then again, many careers are like that. Often, it’s simply a matter of deciding what you’re willing to sacrifice and how hard you’re willing to work for your own version of a dream job. Just be sure to consider all of the pros and cons.

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