UNCW Announces New eSports Certificate Programs

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Beginning in fall 2020, two new certificate programs in eSports, an expanding industry with global reach, will be available to UNCW’s undergraduate and graduate UNCW students. The programs, offered by the Watson College of Education, are the first of their kind in North Carolina and among the first in the nation.
“After a successful launch of the eSports club at UNCW in the fall of 2019, we quickly realized that students needed a pathway for a career in eSports,” said Ray Pastore, associate professor of instructional technology and coordinator of the eSports programs. “The certificates are designed for professionals interested in a career in the rapidly growing field of eSports; K-12 educators looking to start an eSports program in their school or district; and UNCW students in any field of study who are interested in gaming, streaming and exploring eSports career options.”
According to Pastore, eSports is a global industry with a bright future.
“A new, billion-dollar industry, eSports has an estimated 35 percent growth rate each year for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Viewership of eSports events rivals the Super Bowl, and the eSport platforms Twitch and YouTube Gaming each have more subscribers than Netflix.”
Each 18-credit-hour certificate includes an internship as well as the development of a portfolio, and both programs can be accomplished completely online. Students in the certificate programs will develop the knowledge and skills needed to lead eSports teams; create gaming content and media for the industry; incorporate eSports and gaming into education; and design and manage related programs and events.
“These certificates are designed to provide students with industry experience so that they can go on to build a successful career in myriad fields,” said Pastore. “With careers in eSports now spanning Fortune 100 companies, the U.S. military and educational institutions, job roles are diverse, allowing students to choose to focus on a career path that aligns with their interests.”
The new programs will provide increased opportunities for post-graduate career placement, a priority identified in UNCW’s Strategic Plan. Graduating students will have prospects in a variety of fields, including broadcasting, podcasting, event planning, multimedia development, social media marketing and more.
Applications are now being accepted, and interested students can find more information on the programs’ webpage.
-- Christina Schechtman