With professional gaming events selling out major North American arenas and gamers and streamers gaining the celebrity of professional athletes, there’s no denying that Esports has become a big business. Career options in the industry are growing, but there’s a lack of trained talent working in the industry in Canada.

Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario saw this trend and used their strong background in business and sports management education to create a Canadian first: the Esports Entrepreneurship and Administration diploma.

Donna Church, the Vice President of Academics at Lambton, says that the school is always keeping an eye out for new program ideas. “In some cases, this means entering burgeoning labour markets,” she says. “The crescendo moment for Esports hasn’t come yet, but it’s building.”

The concept for the two-year diploma program came from examining the labour market and student interests.

Goldman Sachs valued the Esports industry at $500 million in 2016, and expects it to grow to over $1 billion in the next few years.

Lambton College’s diploma program was developed in consultation with advisors from the Esports industry, including representatives from the Twitch live-streaming platform.

“We were overwhelmed with the reception we received from employers talking about where the sector is going and about the fact that, in very short order, they saw a need for a program that’s focused on the business side of Esports,” says Church.

Church adds that due to the expanding market and wealth of opportunities, Esports companies have been taking talent from each other. That means there’s room in the market for new job seekers with a practical knowledge of Esports administration.

A Canadian first

Lambton’s Esports Entrepreneurship and Administration diploma program isn’t just fun and games: it means business. The curriculum is designed to give students a well-rounded education in business and sports management. There are also courses specific to the industry, including gaming courses, a tournaments and league management course, and an Esports gaming capstone project.

“The capstone project is an actual Esports event that the students put on and execute themselves,” says Church.

One of the core features of the program is Lambton’s brand new Esports arena. It’s not just for teaching — it allows students to play games in a state-of-the-art lab during their leisure hours. It’s quickly becoming a central meeting point for diverse students across the campus. The Esports arena also hosts one of Canada’s few varsity Esports teams, the Lambton Lions, who compete in three different games against teams from across North America.

Lambton students can immerse themselves in their passion for Esports as much as they want — whether that’s through the diploma program, playing socially during their leisure hours, or playing at a competitive varsity level.

Exciting career opportunities

Rob Kardas, Lambton’s Vice President of Student Success and Campus Services, expects to see big growth in the industry.

“Think of all the jobs available in the mainstream sports areas,” he says. “I expect that all those jobs will eventually exist in the Esports industry, too.”

Graduates of Lambton’s program will be prepared to pursue a variety of career opportunities, including team and league Esports management and organization, marketing and promotions, and event management. Graduates can also pursue entrepreneurial careers in Esports as pro players, coaches, event organizers, or streamers.

Lambton Esports Entrepreneurship and Administration students can further their career options even more by applying credits from their diploma to a bachelor's degree in business from Nipissing University.

To learn more about Lambton College’s Esports Entrepreneurship and Administration diploma program, visit their website today at www.lambtoncollege.ca/esea.