Careers & Coffee #2: Become a video game programmer?

Onet - a job seeker treasure trove

In this episode Dan & Liz answer a job seeker question about how to get into video game design or other very specialized job paths.

They explore this question and share how job seekers can use the tools available to all in O*Net, the occupational database of the United States to determine what skills are needed and how you can take steps to get to the job you want.

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O*NET in-it

This page includes information from the O*NET Career Exploration Tools by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY-ND 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.

Full Transcript

Dan Holterhaus
Okay, hi, everyone. Welcome back. I’m Dan, joined by Liz. This is to have careers and coffee. Welcome Liz. How are you?Liz Kennedy,
Good. Are you doing?Dan Holterhaus
Good get your coffee going?Liz Kennedy,
Okay, yeah, this prestage here. I got my French press. Fancy.Yeah. Cool. I’ve got my my Backbone Trail Run. Hopefully they do another one of these trail runs the backbone this spring.Dan Holterhaus
Oh, did you do that? Did you do that?Liz Kennedy,
Yeah, it’s really fun.Dan Holterhaus
Oh, that’d be awesome. Cool. Um, well, let’s go ahead and dive in here. We are coming off of career week, last week, which was the last kind of full week in March. They’re the 22nd through the 25th. How to go less.Liz Kennedy,
I think it went really well. Especially the job seekers, we talked to really appreciated the number of resources that we had the opportunity to talk with employers. And it just it I don’t know, just overall was really good resource.Dan Holterhaus
Yeah, that’s great. And so what’s going on moving forward? If job seekers are still looking for resources, or want to tune in to some of those podcasts and shows that we had last week? How can they do that?Liz Kennedy,
Sorry, my kid is coming in here. No, can you leave? Thanks? No, I don’t want any mango.Dan Holterhaus
Zoom. I’ve been working from home, this is how it goes.Liz Kennedy,
You can cut that out. Okay, what was the question?

Dan Holterhaus
I was just wondering if if job seekers are still interested in learning about career week, or, you know, seeing some of the resources that we published last week? How can they do that?

Liz Kennedy,
Yes. So they can go to quarter careers, comm slash career week. And we have all our resources tagged. So you can just pick the day that you were interested in looking at the resources for on the schedule, you click that link, it’ll take you to the full page that has all the resources for that day, including any videos or panels that we had. So

Dan Holterhaus
awesome,

Liz Kennedy,
pretty easy to get to corridorcareers.com/career-week

Dan Holterhaus
Great. And I know from career week, we actually ended up with quite a few questions from job seekers in the area. Just about anything and everything right. And we wanted to focus on one of those this week. Do you have that in front of you?

Liz Kennedy,
Yeah. So we had a job seeker asked about a really specific job title. And this is just a good gives us a good opportunity to talk about, okay, I’m really interested in a very specific type of job title. So this one is interested in future, a future regarding video game programming. You know, what jobs can help me build towards that in any way? And that is a hard question to answer for some jobs that are kind of like very specialized like that. So I thought this would be a good way for us to check out Oh, net. We have been learning and growing our knowledge of ownit, which is a public resources paid for by you, taxpayer. So we own it. It’s the occupational resource database that the government puts out and has been for a long time. So it’s really rich in the data that it has, as it draws occupational data from across the country. And what ownit is really good for is using its tools to kind of understand, okay, what skills and tasks and technology skills are required for certain roles by typing in a job title. And so if you want to try this for yourself, you go to onetonline.org, that’s o-n-e-t-o-n-l-i-n-e.o-r-g. And there’s a search bar there. And you can just type in, like I’ve typed in video game designer. And so some of the technology skills that a video game designer is going to need is my SQL Server, server, query software. So that’s like a database skill. It also recommends some of the specialized programming that they’re going to need like Objective C, or Oracle, Java, or just regular HTML, PHP and Ruby on Rails. And so some of those things, you may this person may have some awareness of like HTML, that’s a more simplified programming skill. And then the more specialized knowledge of things like you know, some of the game design, if you click the plus sign on any of the skills that will show it, like conferral, the total skills because they have everything in here, there’s there, there are so many, it’s like information overload, but in a good way. So So when you’re thinking about this, okay, I’m gonna get into video game design in the future. And this is kind of a cool idea of like, okay, I want this is what I want. So when we talked last week, Dan, we were like, What do you want, that’s like the big key there. So this person knows what they want. And now they’re thinking, Okay, there’s all kinds of obstacles, because I don’t see any video game designer job ads anywhere. And so what he could do, or she could do in this market, is okay, I want to work on the skill set that I’m going to need in order to become a video game designer. And to do that, you could start looking for jobs that have some of the technology skills that you’re gonna be working towards. So if you don’t have a lot of database expertise, maybe you could get a start by a working at a IT help desk. At any other, you know, there’s so many positions in our market for help desk providers, so that would be someone who is like a technician, maybe they’re recently graduated, they’ve got some basic technology skills as well, some specialized kind of software setup skills, they’re gonna learn about video drivers, and all those kind of gnarly things that you and I Dan don’t mess with. And those skills are gonna be really good as they work towards that ultimate career path. So it is, I have this post it note on my door, it says you’re taking small steps in the right direction, because you got to take those positive steps in the right direction, wherever your goal is. But do them daily and do them by building your skill set. But that would be my recommendation, and then eventually is going to have person is going to have to find Okay, is there a location where most of these jobs are located? And my guess is that has changed since COVID. So may be able to find, like, maybe there are a lot of video game designers located in on the west coast. But now those same companies have worked from home opportunities, so they could potentially stay here in this market, and and work work towards that career path in a really positive way.

Dan Holterhaus
Yeah, absolutely. You bring up a good point there with the work from home or work remotely. More and more companies are trending in that direction. Let’s let’s go back to owner online real quick, because I know we were kind of discussing just one topic. But this is a super broad and really awesome tool. I mean, I you can search for any job on here, it gives you things such as projected job openings upcoming it gives you a median salary, not only in the United States, but also in Iowa and also in our market see rapid diversity. Pretty powerful tool. Anything else you’d like to add on top of that?

Liz Kennedy,
Well, I would say it’s powered by occupational data that comes straight from the source. So while like a glass door is going to give you a nice salary range, they’re also going to try to pull they may even be pulling from Oh, net, I don’t know. But I like to go to the source for information and own it is definitely a source. Is it sexy? It’s not one of those websites that you’re like, Oh, this is great. It looks like your library website, you know, from from when you’re in high school or something like that. But looks can be very deceiving, because the content in here is true and real and accurate and is really powerful.

Dan Holterhaus
Yeah, absolutely great, great resource. Touching back to kind of the question from our job seeker, and them knowing, you know, where they want to be in the future, you know, maybe this person it sounds like maybe they’re either going through a career change or just starting their career. What you kind of said, like, okay, you know, taking baby steps in the right direction. What What would you say to somebody who is maybe getting frustrated in in the, in their certains? You know, where they’re at right now? versus where they want to be like, maybe I know, in the past, like, I’ve been impatient wanting to get something quicker. But what would you say to maybe a frustrated job seeker?

Liz Kennedy,
Yeah. And you were sharing a story with me last week about that. And I just think that the reality is, you’re not alone in your frustration. Every job seeker, whether you’re working or not working, may have a certain level of frustration as to where they are in their career currently, and where they want to be. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because what happens when we’re comfortable, we never change, right?

Dan Holterhaus
Sure, if you’re uncomfortable,

Liz Kennedy,
use that uncommon. ability to motivate you to try something new. And maybe it’s networking. One of the panelists on the Ask the Expert talked about, if you don’t have experience, it’s, it’s 110% more important that you’d network to, to find a connection, and a resource that a company that you want to work for, so that they can advocate for you as a potential hire. Whether it be highlighting the truck crossover skills that you have that and what you would bring to the table, or your trainability you know, that is one of your assets. Like I’m a quick learner, or I’m really interested in learning. Now you can hear my dog. So those are the things that I would, I would suggest people focus on.

Dan Holterhaus
That’s great advice. Okay, well, that’s gonna do it for Episode Two careers in coffee or coffee and careers. I’m not even sure if I quite have that right yet. But, you know, we’re drinking coffee and we’re talking

Liz Kennedy,
about coffee, talking about jobs.

Dan Holterhaus
We’re gonna keep doing it. We’re trying to have fun and you know, if you guys have questions are you want us to talk about a certain topic? You can send us an email, contact at corridor careers Comm. We’ll be happy to take your questions and hopefully just keep this thing going and have a have an open chat about careers and what it’s like here in the corridor.

Liz Kennedy,
Yeah, give us a like or thumbs up. We’re gonna be producing this on multiple channels. So really appreciate your feedback.

Dan Holterhaus
Yeah, absolutely. All right. Thanks, Liz. Thanks.