Careers Newsletter: May 2023

Careers Spotlight: Games Designer

As a game designer, you'll bring ideas, build prototypes, create interactive narration and develop the game's mechanics. You'll design systems that are easily maintainable, expandable and comfortable to use, while injecting fun into the user experience.

Games are available across a variety of formats and platforms, including mobile, virtual and augmented reality, console and PC, and you'll need to use a range of technical and creative skills to imagine, test and develop your ideas.

Game designers work as part of a multidisciplinary team that includes game developers, programmers, game artists, animators and quality assurance testers.  Although game designer is usually a clearly defined job role, in smaller companies you may get involved in some of the art or programming elements. Subfields within game design include level designer, content designer and interface designer.


As a game designer, you may work on a design that you've conceived yourself or from a pre-approved idea, such as a game based upon a film. Whatever your role, you'll need to:


Salaries for entry-level positions, such as a junior/intern, typically range from £17,000 to £18,000. Salaries for quality assurance (QA) tester roles, another common way into games design, are approximately £18,000 to £22,000.

The average salary for a game designer is £30,000, although you can earn up to £45,000. As a senior game designer you could earn up to £65,000.

Salaries vary depending on a range of factors such as your skills and experience, the size of company you work for, the type of game you work on, and location.

What to expect

Work is mainly studio based within a multidisciplinary team including artists, engineers, programmers, animators, producers and content developers.

The majority of game companies in the UK are either microbusinesses (with typically fewer than ten employees) or small businesses. There is a large concentration of game design companies in London and the South East, as well as other major UK towns and cities such as Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Guildford and Manchester.

According to the UKIE 2022 UK Games Industry Census, which looks at diversity within the UK games industry workforce, older people and women are underrepresented. Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) games workers are also underrepresented, particularly at senior level. The aim is to redress these imbalances by raising the awareness of the games industry and its career paths, and through initiatives such as RaiseTheGame.


Although you don't need a degree to become a game designer, according to the UKIE, over 80% of game designers do have an undergraduate degree. Games-specific degrees are particularly useful. Relevant subjects include:

The Independent Games Developers' Association (TIGA) accredits a number of games courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Science, technology and engineering degree subjects are also useful. It is also possible to get into the industry with a social sciences or arts and humanities degree. Employers are looking, in particular, for relevant experience and games knowledge.

It's important you build an online portfolio of your projects and any work you've completed to showcase your games design skills and experience.

You'll also need to be up to date with current trends within gaming across all platforms and enjoy playing games as well as making them.

If you don't have a degree you could take a Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX. You can also do a higher apprenticeship, which allows you to earn as you learn through on-the-job learning. For more information, see the NextGen Skills Academy.


You'll need to have:

Work experience

Competition for game designer roles is fierce and it's essential that you get relevant work experience. Employers typically expect games designers to have at least two years' work experience within the industry. Ideally, this experience should be with both free-to-play (F2P) and premium or AAA games across a range of platforms.

One way of building up experience is to participate in game jams. The aim of these game jams is for groups of people to collaborate to plan, design and create a game in a short space of time, usually over one or two days. It's an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills, obtain evidence to put in your portfolio and network with others. You can find game jams listed on sites such as and Indie Game Jams.

Student membership of Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment) provides access to paid placements and internships as well as CV advice, industry guides, careers advice and industry news.

If you would like to find out more about games design click on the links below:

Boosting your CV

In this section we have looked at how boost your CV.  A good CV will get you noticed and invited for an interview, but no further.  The key to a successful interview lies in soft skills.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills relate to how you work. Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others. They are among the top skills employers seek in the candidates they hire, because soft skills are important for just about every job.

Creative problem solving and innovation

The last few years have presented many new challenges for companies. The last thing an employer or hiring manager wants is an employee who sees a challenging situation or new task and says, “Wow, I don't know what to do here.” Instead, they want to know that you can think logically and creatively to develop solutions to the problems or obstacles that arise from day to day.

They also hope you'll help to come up with new ideas while addressing existing problems. And the more creative, the better; that kind of thinking leads to innovation and improvements within the company.

On your CV, be sure to highlight your problem solving skills and list situations where you had to use your creativity in the face of adversity by coming up with innovative solutions to the problems you encountered.

At your interview, express your enthusiasm for tackling challenges. Every job has hurdles and employers want to hire people who aren't afraid of tackling those challenges. Make sure that your interviewer knows you're one of those people.

Here are 6 steps to follow to help you to improve your problem solving skills

1. Identify the problem

2. Think about why it’s a problem

3. Brainstorm possible solutions to the problem

4. Evaluate the solutions to the problem

5. Put the solution into action

6. Evaluate the outcome of your problem-solving process

If the solution hasn’t worked, go back to step 1 of this problem-solving process and start again. Perhaps the problem wasn’t what you thought it was, or the solutions weren’t quite right

Careers in Hertfordshire: Education

If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, Hertfordshire is a great place to start. Teaching is a unique and rewarding profession, with a wide range of career paths available teaching children of all ages, across many subject areas and with the opportunity to develop many specialist areas of expertise. You may choose to teach early years (0-4 years) in a pre-school or nursery setting, or primary age children (4-11) where you will have your own class and be responsible for teaching all areas of the curriculum. Alternatively, you may want to concentrate on a particular subject and teach that to a higher level at a secondary school or college. Either way, a teaching career guarantees that you will keep learning alongside your students and that no two days will ever be the same!

Teaching isn’t the only role in education though, and our schools, trusts and settings also depend upon many other professionals including teaching assistants, administrative and finance staff, HR, facilities managers, business managers and more. Many of these roles offer on the job training and excellent opportunities for progression.

Hertfordshire’s education sector has its own dedicated careers site, Teach in Herts, where you can research a wide range of career options and view vacancies at almost 700 schools and settings across the county. The website also houses a range of useful information and advice to help get your career in education off to the best possible start.


Hertfordshire is one of the most highly performing education authorities in England. We have around 700 schools and settings, offering a wide range of career opportunities.

Schools in Herts consistently achieve standards well above national averages. The county is committed to providing high-quality education and support for all children in every school and setting, from early years through to further education.

The wide range of settings in the county not only means you can find your perfect post, but can also create opportunities to build upon your skills and enjoy a varied and rewarding career.

More than 500 newly qualified teachers complete their induction every year in Hertfordshire and benefit from a supportive network and access to great training, resources and information to support them through their induction and beyond. There is also a ethnic minority forum for Herts schools, offering extra support to teachers and school staff from minority backgrounds.



Teach in Herts supports educational settings by advertising positions in the following 4 areas:

For more information please go to 

Current Opportunities

This month we have an opportunities to learn about careers in the hospitality industry,  a careers session with Amazon Web Services, the opportunity of work experience at international finance firm KPMG and a session from the Careers and Enterprise Company about T-levels and apprenticeships .


Apologies for the late notice of this week’s HOP webinar. Due to some technical issues we have not been able to confirm that the session will be running until now so please share with any students/teacher who might be interested to learn more about Careers in Forensics.


This Thursday (25th May) we will be running a webinar about Careers in Forensics. Our panellist is Vicki Stuart, a forensics Scenes of Crime Officer employed by Hertfordshire Police Constabulary to investigate crimes. Vicki joined the Police as a civilian previously working as an assistant investigator and more recently on road collisions. She will be able to explain her own role, her journey and discuss how and why young people may want to explore careers in forensics.


Registration is now available via the HOP Virtual Encounters website here -



I’m inviting your students in years 10-12 / S3-S5 / NI11-13 to a free, virtual Get into Dentistry conference on Saturday 27th May from 9am-1.30pm. This is now a crucial time of the year for dental applicants as application summer is approaching fast. This conference will put your students a step ahead of the competition.

As this is a free conference, a limited number of spaces are available. We’re aiming to close registrations at MIDDAY on FRIDAY but we may have to close registrations earlier. I encourage your students to book today to avoid disappointment.

All aspiring dentists and students still thinking about their career paths are welcome. They just need to click below to register:

I will cover the following:

- How to Get Dental Work Experience

- Application Timelines

- How to Tactically Choose Dental Schools

- CV Building

- Personal Statements

- Interviews

- Medical Leadership and Awards Programmes

- UCAT and BMAT - Entrance Exams to Dental School

- Accessing Scholarships

This is a fantastic opportunity for your students to hear about applying to dental school from those who understand the application process best - dentists and dental students.

All students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for safeguarding purposes.

Registration Link:

Nikki Abbott

Head of Medic Mentor Education 


It’s less than one month to go until our FREE online Insights: Your Guide to Hospitality event. This event will give you a chance to listen and ask questions of career professionals in the sector. 

This event will be held between 5.30pm and 7.00pm on Tuesday, May 23rd 2022

 This event has been designed to showcase the huge range of Hospitality careers in the region. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a chocolatier, chef, sommelier, or work in a customer-facing role, this is your chance to find out! The volunteers, from a range of different industries, will give an excellent insight into their work and pathways. Here is a list of just some of the companies represented: 

 Clip n’ Climb

 This virtual event is open to all students from Years 8 and above, as well as their parents / guardians, and has been designed to allow students to:

 · Interact and connect with some of the region’s leading Hospitality sector employers

· Learn about pathways available to a career in the Hospitality sector, including apprenticeships and graduate opportunities

· Find out about different jobs and opportunities

 In order to register a place, please click on the following link:


It is important that parents/students visit the registration page and click ‘join event’. You will be asked to register with Hopin, which is free.   


Amazon Web Services (AWS) 


On Tuesday 23rd May at 11am – 12pm, AWS and Inspiring the Future are running an interactive virtual careers chat themed on apprenticeships. From engineering and operations to IT and health & safety, AWS offer a range of apprenticeships across technology and business that enables young people to kick start their careers with world class support and training.


For the session, we will have a panel of AWS professionals that students will hear from and interact with:

 Ø  Samantha, Programme Manager for AWS Apprenticeships

Samantha will talk about the different types of positions available to apply for, what the process is like and timeline for applications. She’ll also provide an overall introduction to the programme and share tips on how students could work towards an application when they are post-secondary school or how teachers can support students in preparation for apprenticeships.

 Ø  Maria, Account Manager Apprentice

Maria is a current apprentice at AWS who’ll talk about her journey to obtaining an apprenticeship, what she does on her programme, and share tips for exploring your passions and securing opportunities.

 Ø  James, Director of Enterprise Support, UKI and Nordics

James started his career in tech as an apprentice over two decades ago and has worked his way to being a skilled leader at AWS. He’ll talk about his journey, providing a sense of the positive trajectory an apprenticeship can take your career on.


There’ll be Q&A’s throughout where students can ask our speakers questions, as well as quiz questions where students can pick up fun facts along the way.


If you’d like to join, please register your details on the below link. The session is for students in years 9 – 13 and equivalent.


Taking place on Wednesday 14th June from 17:30 - 19:00 online, this free of charge event is designed specifically for parents and carers who would like to explore the apprenticeship and T Level options available to their child.

This event will be interesting for all parents and carers, but will be particularly useful for those supporting children in year groups 10, 11, 12 and 13.

There are many benefits of coming along to this event, including:


Computacenter, Morgan Sindall, CareTech, Sky, Warner Bros, Herts Police, ISales Academy and many more to be confirmed.

Also representatives from all four FE Colleges and independent training providers.


Are you interested in kick-starting your career and gaining work-experience with a world renowned professional services firm? If so, you do not want to miss this opportunity!

Did you know that KPMG is one of the largest professional services companies in the world? With over 227,000 employees across 146 countries, their work spans five major areas of Finance and Personal Services; they Audit some of the UK’s biggest companies and their people in Consulting, Deal Advisory, Tax & Law, and Technology & Engineering work, with clients (from the smallest of start-ups to international mega corporations) across every industry imaginable. One of the ‘Big 4’, KPMG pride themselves on being a diverse and inclusive workplace.

KPMG are hosting a work-experience day on Tuesday 30th May from 10.00am – 4.00pm, and we would love for you to attend. During the day, you will have the opportunity to learn key employability skills, such as how to communicate your message and build your personal brand. You will also have the chance to meet KPMG colleagues to hear about their career journeys and even complete a business pitch challenge! If you are unsure what you want to do when you finish school/college, or if you would like to explore more options, then this session is perfect for you. The KPMG Student recruitment team will also explain the different career paths into KPMG.

This work-experience day is a fantastic opportunity for you to gain valuable insights into the world of work and build your professional network, not to mention a great addition to your CV. Plus, you can join us from anywhere in the country, as the event will be held on Zoom.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today and take the first step towards your future career with KPMG!

Sign-up link:

Best regards, 

Kelly | Young Professionals