Thursday, June 22, 2017

A great source of transferable skills: esports

From my weekly dose of pain (a Google Alert for the term "transferable skills"), this gem from a local British newspaper:
Rachel Gowers, Associate Dean of Staffordshire University Business School, looks at the growing popularity of esports and explains why the university has decided to offer an esports degree... 
One thing all of these esports educators have in common is an agreement that esports provides a vast amount of transferrable skills to the participants. 
Top skills for esports include teamworking, resilience, stamina, problem-solving, communication, endurance, decision-making, leadership, critical thinking and analytical abilities.
Just like chemistry! I don't think there is a single major in the university (including the fabled underwater basketweaving) that doesn't teach teamwork and problem-solving.


  1. This is business school BS (blatant statements).

  2. Maybe other people had very different experiences but while chemistry undergrad and grad school provided heavy doses of problem solving opportunities the focus on teamwork was minimal at best where was more an antithesis approach to build individual researchers. It's unfortunate because once in industry pretty much all efforts require collaboration and combinations to progress and could explain sometimes why chemists/scientists can get ignored because they forget how to play in the sandbox with others.

    1. My Ph.D. was in inorganic chemistry. We collaborated extensively with surface scientists, physical chemists, analytical, organic, etc.... It was great.

      All of my colleagues in organic refused any type of collaboration, and often even help from their own lab mates so that nothing could get in the way of publications with just them and their PI as sole authors. This was their holy grail. Which in my opinion is pretty sad.

    2. Anon 4:27PM from Anon 11:36PM I was indeed in Syn Org and glad to hear the breadth of interactions you experienced. Can't say motivations were ever due to limiting authorship desires (agree sad mindset) just more the way projects structured in those labs where even though might have common or overlapping threads each person's efforts mostly dealt with individual contributions and except for making suggestion at group meetings never really promoted collaborate approaches (unless count producing intermediates or reagents that others could use)

    3. My postdoc (in biological chemistry) was in a lab of an academic who had a joint appointment in a national lab. All our lab space was in the national lab, and we had access to the national lab infrastructure. In general, it was much more collaborative than my typical academic grad lab, with the ability to work on larger scale projects. The only downside was that there were few positions for permanent staff, meaning that most of us (postdocs and grad students) needed to move on after a few years. In this case, having at least a few first authored publications under your belt was critical, because people find having a bunch of second or third or seventh authored publications (however significant the contribution or critical it is to get a long term project completed) to demonstrate weak productivity.

      For the better or the worse, people hiring after a postdoc like collaboration to a degree, but it's a cherry on the top compared to having a decent number of first authored pubs. People even have anxiety over whether or not having a co-first authored paper with your name listed second counts as a "real" first authored paper.

  3. Stamina and endurance...yep.

  4. I've noticed a pattern in media interviews of vets returning to civilian work: They all state that no one would hire them and they had to get some form of training when they got home.

    If partaking in actual war doesn't produce "transferable skills" that can be monetized, I kind of doubt that Call of Duty will.

  5. I originally mis-read "esports" as "escorts" and while I agree that stamina, endurance, resilience, and even occasional team working (sometimes?) seem relevant to those positions, I was lost on the similarities to chemistry until I read the comments and realized my mistake.

    Much more used to seeing this written as "e-sports", with the hyphen.