Initiatives to prepare young people in the regions for jobs in technology

Growing up in Rouyn-Noranda, Antoine Berthiaume-Dutil never thought that he might one day be developing video games. The lack of information and available programs made him believe he would never be able to make a living from his passion. Today at Ubisoft Montreal, he tells us about his journey and the positive impact that technology programs have in the regions.

Working as a game designer for Ubisoft Montreal and a mentor for Youth Fusion’s Video Game Design program, Antoine shares with us his journey into the world of technology. He mentors students in Rouyn-Noranda, where he once studied, by video conference. For him, it’s a way to give back and help demystify jobs in the video game industry.

In his job as a mentor, Antoine hopes to act as a role model and source of inspiration for high school students. His aim is to tell young people what his job involves and prove to them that they too can become video game designers. “When I was their age, someone who made video games may as well have been an astronaut. It was practically impossible as a career possibility,” he confides. Crazy about computers from a young age, Antoine was naturally drawn toward programming without even realizing that jobs in the video game sector might be open to him. It wasn’t until he got to CEGEP that he discovered the different video game programs available at the École NAD-UQAC (School of digital art, animation and design) and enrolled. His dream job now seemed more than ever within his reach; the program had lit a spark in him. It was through his participation in several game jams and the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition that he touched upon his future career and came into contact with individuals who are now his work colleagues.

Although he initially worked as a programmer at Ubisoft Montreal, Antoine’s dream to become more involved in the creative side of things and the gaming experience motivated him to change paths. It was after talking to Human Resources managers and various teams that he made the leap: “A project finally took a chance on me, and I’ve been working as a game designer now for the past 10 months.”

And there are many more stories like Antoine’s. When he was young, there weren’t any initiatives that allowed young people from the regions to learn more about technology. “Before, it was practically inaccessible. Video games were a kind of closed shop.” However, with all the various online tools and the different initiatives now being rolled out in the regions, young people have much more access to a future in technology, and the programs are no longer exclusively reserved to the big cities. According to this young man from Rouyn-Noranda, “The next generation of young people are going to sweep in like a breath of fresh air, and using technological tools is going to be part of their DNA.”

The various initiatives available in the regions, such as those organized by Youth Fusion, provide young people with a chance to learn more about their future jobs, meet role models from their regions, and get inspired.

Meeting people from the industry and starting to make games from a young age allows you to quickly realize just what you’re capable of! As Antoine says, “Never give up on your dreams, dare to think the impossible, and you’re sure to succeed!”

 

To find out more about the initiatives and programs available to young people in the field of technology, consult our list of partners providing programming  and mentoring activities.

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