Y-TAC, Charlotte’s first Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp, provides high school seniors seeking careers in technology a way to combine classes in coding and information technology with esports and video game development. Y-TAC recently announced their new Apprenticeship Program that will run from April 20 – May 15, 2020.
Y-TAC planned to start their Apprenticeship Program in July, but due to COVID-19, decided to make this a virtual program so students could participate while they have free time. With other schools closed and many businesses paused at the moment, Y-TAC is giving graduating high school seniors a chance to learn a new skill that can give them a career, and pay them for participating.
Students are paid an equivalent of $10 an hour in addition to receiving their apprenticeship certification. After completing this month-long program, students can be selected for the Carolina Fintech Hub WIN Program, which expands upon their original training and lasts for six months. This expansion program guarantees students a job in the technology field with a starting salary of $55,000.
In addition to being tasked with labs and projects, each student in the Y-TAC program develops their own game and plays video games as part of their curriculum. Through learning what makes up a great game and how to code it themselves, students develop a solid understanding of technology skills that put them on the path to a great career. Read more about the benefits of playing video games in this American Psychological Association article.
The Charlotte Phoenix and CLT Esports reward Y-TAC students for their participation in the program by putting on several LAN (Local Area Network) Tournaments for students to compete in. Both organizations involve students in the steps it takes to put on and run an esports tournament. These learning opportunities provided in partnership with Bank of America give students valuable experience in the industry of esports as well as marketing, event planning, and, of course, technology.
As the esports industry continues to rise, the need for esports positions will expand simultaneously. Many esports leagues and franchises were created as a result of streaming becoming one of the biggest forms of entertainment. Currently, streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer are pouring millions of dollars into increasing their audiences. Within just six months of 2019, jobs in esports rose over 185%. Sites like Hitmarker.com advertise esports jobs in various fields, many of which fall in the technology category and require different types of tech-based skills, including coding.
Programs such as Y-TAC give students a unique advantage in applying for jobs that combine technology with gaming, because they would already have experience in many different assets of each industry. Information technology experts with the experience of setting up LAN events and online streams would have a unique and highly sought after resume to show future employers. The Charlotte Phoenix and CLT Esports want to make sure students that have a passion for esports and gaming can get the experience they need to succeed in a technology career, and so the tournaments described above give students the opportunity to participate and learn.
To keep up with all upcoming Y-TAC tournament efforts as well as other community outreach and engagement programs based in Charlotte, follow both the Charlotte Phoenix and CLT Esports on social media.