Instead of just playing the latest computer games, you could be helping create them. Your dream job in the games industry doesn’t have to be out of reach.

Whilst once games were developed by small teams of programmers, games publishers now employ entire production teams. As a result, there has never been a better time to get a job in this exciting industry.

The most obvious path to a career in the gaming industry is as a programmer. A computer science degree, great maths skills, a cracking demo reel and plenty of tenacity could see you landing your dream job. The industry standard language is C++, but the more useful programming languages you learn, the more employable you’ll be.

Have you thought about becoming an animator? Many universities offer animation courses that will teach you the basic skills you’ll need. Don’t worry about learning every 3D animation software package, employers are looking for a strong understanding of basic animation principals. Creating a great show reel will get your foot in the door and give you the chance to transfer your skills to other programmes.

Don’t forget – jobs in the gaming industry are not all completely computer-based. You could use your fine art skills in a concept art role or your project management experience as a producer. Other essential, but often overlooked, roles in the industry include script writers, texture artists, testers and publishers.

As with any sector, if you want a job in the games industry, stay up-to-date with the latest news. Read games-related magazines, follow industry professionals on Twitter and read gaming blogs. Enthusiasm for the industry is essential but stay professional – show prospective employers you’re serious about their vocation.

No matter how much theory you know, hands-on experience in invaluable. If you’re still at university be proactive and find yourself an industry work placement during your summer break.

Are you looking for a job in the gaming industry? Share your experiences below.

Do you already have a gaming-related job? Why not leave a comment and share your tips for breaking into the industry?