“We are priding ourselves on the fact that we could be the first with an actual degree program,” SOU Professor, Jeremy Carlton said.
Coming this fall, Southern Oregon University will allow both an esports team and an academic program, a minor in the field. Esports is now a billion-dollar industry attracting millions of viewers per year since 2016. People make money playing games competitively from Fortnite to Minecraft and beyond.
“We’re more concerned about the logistics and support that students will be able to do for esports altogether,” Carlton said.
Program organizer, Jeremy Carlton said SOU will address everything from soft-skills leadership to event management to digital arts and media. The business professor was surprised SOU supported the idea.
“It’s something that could really pay off in the long run for a lot of people,” SOU Student, Matthew Robitz said.
The business student is excited about the addition. He said esports goes much further than just playing video games.
“Gaming, in general, has changed a lot and it’s getting more competitive and with the size of esports now, its good to get a jump on it,” Robitz said.
Carlton thinks the program could grow exponentially and help put SOU on the map.
“We’re SOU, we’re raiders and we want to be making our mark in a big way,” Carlton said.
Devin Gooden graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a Master’s degree in Sports Journalism.
She has spent most of her life in Atlanta, Georgia and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Business Management.
When she’s not reporting, Devin practices yoga, reads thriller novels and loudly cheers for her beloved Georgia Bulldawgs.