Two in three CEOs started in different industry
Leading mobile gaming publisher Kwalee has revealed that getting a start in the gaming or tech industries might be easier than many think, following findings that tech-based roles such as gaming, app development and IT are viewed as some of the most difficult areas to get a job in. Despite the perceived difficulty, 59% felt that the games industry would be the ‘most fun/enjoyable’ area to work in if they could just manage to get a job in it.
To discover whether or not this perceived high barrier to entry is misplaced, Kwalee researched over one hundred of the most successful tech and gaming CEOs to reveal their first ever jobs. They found that only slightly over a third (35%) actually started in their current industry of choice, giving hope to anyone currently looking for a route into these industries and revealing that if it’s possible for some of the people at the very top, it must be possible for them too.
While some of the first roles revealed were in fact in the CEO’s industry of choice, with entry level positions ranging from internships and developer positions to games artists, other CEOs came from much more humble beginnings. Most notably, Jeff Bezos, the billionaire CEO behind Amazon started his working life as a McDonalds ‘crew member’, while Fortnite creators Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney started out mowing lawns and working in a hardware store.
The companies and CEOs detailed in Kwalee’s research take in the majority of the modern world’s most notable tech brands, including the first jobs of the CEOs of gig economy giants Uber and AirBNB, all the way to gaming stalwarts Electronic Arts and Rockstar.
Kwalee CEO David Darling CBE, who himself got his first job outside of his choice of industry delivering newspapers, said: “Having worked in the games/tech industry for decades now, I’ve noticed that it can have this aura around it, that it’s on one hand really difficult to get a job in, and on the other, really difficult to progress once you’re in.
From experience, I know that this isn’t the case, and it’s arguably the industry with the biggest opportunity as it’s still evolving. We hope that our research into CEO’s first roles is a novel way to highlight this, and show anyone stood on the outside looking in, that making their way into the industry isn’t as hard as they thought. If the people at the very top of this world came from such humble beginnings, there’s no reason that they can’t do the same, or at the very least, work in the industry they desire and have fun while doing it!”