Playing Video Games Really Can Open Up Jobs

You may have been taught that it's wrong to gloat, but it's not out of line to be pleased about an payoff. For every gamer whose parents told them they were wasting time and brain cells, your time has come: Some of the most important work in tech is perfect for video game enthusiasts.

The cybersecurity company McAfee has just released a report claiming that gamers and people who grew up playing video games tend to be the strongest candidates for IT and programming jobs. McAfee surveyed nearly 1,000 industry insiders, more than three-quarters of whom agreed on the value of gaming skills. These candidates not only provide a fresh outlook on cybersecurity issues, according to VentureBeat reporting, but 92 percent of respondents said gamers have "experience and skills critical to cybersecurity threat hunting," including "logic, perseverance, [and] an understanding of how to approach adversaries."

At a time when massive data breaches are becoming more and more frequent, the industry says it's having trouble filling open positions. Astonishingly, three-quarters of survey respondents said that even if a gamer had no cybersecurity training or experience, that wouldn't rule them out as a job candidate. Meanwhile, experts say keeping up with hackers and bots will eventually require automation — and humans who are able to work with AI.

We already know that turning unpleasant tasks (like paying down debt) into a game can increase productivity and get better results. If you're already good at thinking strategically and innovating on the fly, consider a switch to cybersecurity. The industry may have been waiting for you all along.