You’ve just graduated from college. Your degree is still warm in your hand and you’re ready to join the working world, specifically the games industry. Suddenly, you hit a roadblock. You realize all these jobs you want require a few years of experience – experience you don’t have yet. But how do you get the experience if no one will hire you based on your lack of experience? This catch-22 is part of the reasoning behind Ubisoft’s new Graduate Program.
Come September this year, 25 graduates from around the world will be given the chance to join the program and explore two career paths: Programming and Project Management. Over the course of two years, graduates will be integrated into multiple teams and gain the experience needed to continue in the industry. “We are looking for strong team players who are results-oriented and have excellent problem-solving skills,” says Clémence Bataille, the Project Manager for the Ubisoft Graduate Program. “They must be open to working in different locations worldwide, in English, and within multicultural teams. Of course, we expect applicants to have a genuine interest in videogames!”
What, exactly, does this program entail? We’ve got a full overview along with information specific to both possible paths. Take a look, and if you have any further questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to provide an answer.
Location, Location, Location
For the first year of the program, you will be placed in a studio located in your home country. Unfortunately, if you are not from one of the countries that are involved in the Graduate Program you will not be able to apply.
Studios currently involved in the program:
- Paris (France)
Blue Byte (Dusseldorf, Germany)
Redlynx (Helsinki, Finland)
Massive (Malmo, Sweden)
Reflections (Newcastle, UK)
RedStorm (North Carolina, USA)
While Ubisoft hopes to expand the program to other studios in the future, these are the studios involved in this year’s program. Once the first year is completed, students will transfer to a new studio in another country. Where the graduates transfer to will depend on the needs of the project as well as the graduate’s performance, according to Bataille. All participants will need to be prepared to work in different locations on different projects.
Applications are open now and can be found on the program’s official website. The application deadline is March 15. Once you have applied, the selection process will involve local interviews, technical tests and assessment, and interviews with teams at Ubisoft’s headquarters. All graduates will be selected by April 30.
Yep, you’ll get paid! “As employees to the firm, you will be paid a salary,” Bataille says. “Salary will be adapted to each local market, competitive offer. For the year abroad we shall fund the relocation cost and housing.”
“The Ubisoft Graduate program is a two-year custom-made experience designed to accelerate access to a career in videogames. We give our graduates responsibilities within specific projects that we know will help them learn faster,” Bataille tells us. “Our goal is that graduates accumulate four years of experience in the space of two years. At the end of the program, they will be armed with considerable knowledge of the videogames sector and the company, and will be able to take on the challenges of new and exciting responsibilities within Ubisoft.”
What’s the Program Actually About?
Each graduate will be immersed in a full-time job at one of our studios where he or she will complete missions that have been specifically tailored to suit each individual. This ensures the best learning environment while creating an efficient workflow. There will be some extra training offered by both the studios and HQ.
As for what you’ll be working on… well, it’ll be a bit of everything! Each course will provide different opportunities to learn about the industry and make your mark on the future of games. The project you work on will depend on the studio you are placed in, and Bataille tells us that you will undergo as many challenges as possible during those two years to make sure you get the most out of the program. Check out the career paths below to see what duties you might take on.
What Will You Be Doing?
You might be surprised by how few people actually know what a Project Manager or a Producer do in their day-to-day. These are the team leaders. It will be your job to step into a management role and supervise various projects. It comes down to the Producer to keep communication flowing between departments so everyone is on the same page. You will need to show the business and consumer know-how to succeed, as well as an ability to manage a project’s resources and schedule. Your duties might include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Participate in the monitoring of project deliverables and risks to ensure the respect of deadlines, budget and quality
Participate in the implementation and the follow-up of the decision-making process
Provide relevant reporting to the game development team
Contribute to a smooth and efficient communication between all project stakeholders
Deliver ad-hoc analysis (benchmark, post-mortem) and handle ad-hoc assignments such as consumer playtests
Master’s degree in business administration, economics, project management, engineering, or equivalent with less than one year of experience (excluding internships)
Expected Qualities in a Candidate
- Leadership abilities
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Agile, proactive and consumer-oriented
Analytical and problem-solving skills
Fluent in English
Interest in videogames and/or entertainment industry
What Will You Be Doing?
Where some may see the job of a Producer as something shrouded in mystery, most people have a good idea of what a Programmer does. These are the guys and gals who make and maintain the games while perfecting the player experience. It’s their job to make sure that at the end of the day the players are going to have a good time with their title. On the Programming career path, your jobs will include:
- Participate in the creation of new online services related to a game
Develop, integrate and maintain global online platform services such as Matchmaking, Leaderboards, etc.
Participate in determining systems’ behavior under normal or simulated peak load conditions to optimize performance
Make optimization in function of bandwidth constraints: reducing the amount of information transmitted, decrease latency, etc.
Identify and solve down issues
Implement and use predetermined replication systems
- Master’s degree in Engineering, Computer Science, or equivalent with less than 1 year of experience (excluding internships)
Good understanding of Software Development principles: analysis, implementation, optimization, debugging
Excellent C++ programming skills
Knowledge of server programming and database programming (MySQL, Redis)
Understanding of scalability issues and replication concepts
Understanding of other programming languages such as Python or Java is a plus
Knowledge of distributed systems and online services (i.e. guilds, trade etc) is a plus
Expected Qualities in a Candidate
- Proactive with strong problem-solving skills
Good level of English
Ability to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team
Interest in videogames and online gaming
For more details on the Graduate Program, check out the brochure:
Ubisoft Graduate Program Brochure (takes a minute to load, so please be patient)
To apply for the Producer/Project Manager path, go here:
To apply for the Programmer path, go here:
Hai I am from India. I have finished my school. I always wanted to join and work in Ubisoft.
So what degree do I need ? What choices do i have
hey, i live in vienna, austria (german speaking country) and i'm almost finished with my masters degree. is it possible to apply anyway, if i'm willing to move to düsseldorf, germany on my own expenses?
hay, im 15 right now looking for sixth forms and universities because i am dead set in becoming a games developer and my dream company is ubisoft (obviously) i would just like to know would i still be able to apply after university with a degree in 'Computer Games(Software Development)'. Please get back to me. If you want contact me via mail; email@example.com
Hello, I just graduated last september and Im very exited to apply for the program, I live in Mexico in the border the US, do you if the Mexico business office qualifies for the 2015 program? I hope it does I really really wanna be part of this industry
I saw an update in the Ubisoft career website that this program is re-initiated. Does the rule stating that one must be the resident of the same country as the participating studio still apply ? I am interested in applying for the application process beginning in December 2014, and I am from Thailand. Is it possible that I can apply for the production studio in Singapore ?
I really want to become a Ubisoft Programmer when I start and finish college hopefully with my HONS degree in computer science in maybe 5 years time, I don't understand how you can have Excellent C++ programming skills if you haven't worked with a company or do you learn it in college ?
sorry for double posting but i havent got a reply for a long time
could u please gimme advice Im in 9th grade right now / 14 yrs and programmer in ubi is my dream job,could u please gimme advice as to what i can learn now and what degrees i should pursue after i finish school
iam from india and is curently studying bachelor degree in computer science can i join this graduation programe after this degree i hope for an answer soon
UGH I am in Australia!! Dreams come true only to be crushed again, hopefully this is successful and branches out by the time my degree is over! I would be really interested in the project management side more than the other and I love what ubisoft does so that would just be a dream come true.
Here's to hoping!
hi i am in 3 high school
Study and interests me something related to video games,
That race was wondering I have to take to work in a future ubisoft...
Anne could u please gimme advice
Im in 9th grade right now / 14 yrs and programmer in ubi is my dream job,could u please gimme advice as to what i can learn now and what degrees i should pursue after i finish school
Will UBISOFT GRADUATE PROGRAM continue even after 5yrs?????
Because now i am in class 11,then in class 12 then in iit or niit....will i be able to apply for ubisoft graduate program
I'm a little confused. Can everybody be a member of Ubisoft, or is it like top student? I hope to have a place in Ubisoft in the future, and I want to know how I can start now.
when it says in requirements in the two given positions do you need a masters degree in engineering do you need to study a certain area of engineering or just any engineering subject
Hi, I'm 12 years old and it is my ambition to work as a programmer at Ubisoft. I've been designing games in my imagination since I was very young and I'm now trying different software. Is there any advice you can give about getting work experience or being able to practice more for when I am older? My IT teacher has given me extra HTML programming to do but I want to get the right experience for after school education. I'm in the UK. Any help would be great and I love your gaming ideas. Thank you
Hi, is there any program to help self learner become a pro, I been making 3D clothes but there is not school in my country to learn Game Art as professional. If there is any program for it I will be really glad to get a chance and expand my skills.
hey Anne ! I am not a graduate yet but will be doing computer science from a college in India. I wanted to ask will this graduation program will continue after four years( i.e when I finish my graduation) and what all things can I learn during so that I can make my application stronger ?
I'm completing B-Tech in Computer Science the year 2015.And I want to be a part of my heroes-'Sam Fisher,Edward Kenway,and of course the ancestors...I've a little knowledge about AI Programming but I think I've enough knowledge about C,C++,Python,Java...Please I want to be a part of UBISOFT team.Can I ?
hi,I am aman from india and i want to be a part of ubisoft groups.can you suggest me a better option so that i could have a nice fut in ubisoft groups
I am finishing up my Masters degree in HRM from Rutgers University. Do you feel that would be applicable to this program if and when it opens back up?
Hello there, this is a beautiful oppurtunity!! I just cant wait..anyway i have a doubt, Do Architecture graduates have the chance of entering this industry with the help of this graduate program? Please keep updating this site, hoping for more options..This is a dream job!!!
Well I am 17 years old so just give me few years and I can guarantee you that I will be in a ubisoft. it's my dream and I will achieve it no matter what happen. I have already made minigames just have to study to learn more. thank you for your article cause it inspires me. from firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is heart breaking! I've just graduated in Australia with First Class honours in a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) degree, Bachelor of Arts (International Studies - Japanese), and Diploma of Engineering Practice.
This would have been my dream job! haha. Towards the end my six-year combined degree I couldn't help but think that I wanted to change to a degree in game design, software engineering, or programming, but decided to stick it out so that I at least I would have a degree I could use in the meantime.
Then this graduate program came along, with the potential for all types of engineering applicants to apply for a project manager/producer role, and I can't apply because the program isn't running in Australia! I felt like all the other criteria were made just for me! haha.
And to top it off, even IF the program is run in Australia next year, I won't be eligible because I will have been working for over a year.
I must admit I appreciate the crushing irony, but that doesn't stop me from crying intensely inside.
Best of luck to all applicants!
I am so sad I just found out about this program today. I'm just feeling like I missed a really good chance to get my dreamed job one day. Will you be giving this program next year too ? Any chance you may accept late applications ?
Dear Ubisoft Nordic,
I am writing to you since I have recently applied for my dream job, namely to fill the role as project manager / producer in the graduate program.
Instantly I became convinced that Ubisoft and myself are a perfect match for each other. Thus, I applied.
However, after applying I have discovered a technical detail which may prevent me from being considered as a relevant candidate. In the Ubiblog here (and only in the Ubiblog) it is stated as follows:
"Unfortunately, if you are not from one of the countries that are involved in the Graduate Program you will not be able to apply."
In my case, it is my hope that it is clear to the recruitment team that me living in Copenhagen, Denmark only means that I am 35min. away from Massive Entertainment in Malmö, Sweden. In contrast, a person from within Sweden could be at least 4 hours away if from the North.
I am very worried since the country variable had to be filled in in a survey manner, meaning that my application will automatically be filtered away.
Could I ask you the huge favor of notifying the recruitment responsible about a meaningful exemption from this technicality?
You would in that case receive a highly passionate, qualified not to forget grateful employee in return!
Frederik Rubens Mortensen
PS. The reasoning behind the country rule is not one of culture, language, qualification, etc. As I have understood it revolves around being able to relocate quickly enough - which I would not have to.
I am from India and I have completed my Graduation in Software Engineering .. can i apply for this or not ??
will there be a producing graduate program in Germany? I just want to make sure there is no misunderstanding.
The selection process will end in April. When will there be a firm offer, if application was positive?
Thanks in regard
I saw on the website that the location for the Project Management stream only shows "Europe". I live in Canada, but am very very interested in the program and, if accepted, would be willing to relocate. Is it still worth it for me to apply?
What about graduates who graduated during the years of the economic downturn and despite trying desperately to get into a closed shop industry still have to talent and work ethic to make it happen.
It states that you have to live in a certain country to be able to work there, but I want to ask in regards to this, since I am in a bit of a grey area. I live in Denmark, but only 1 hour of travel away from the Swedish studio. As a European I am allowed to move and work all around Europe including Sweden due to the open borders of our countries. Would I be rejected even though I work on the same terms as Swedish natives?
Thanks in advance
Hi Anne, could you clarify what "if you are not from one of the countries that are involved in the Graduate Program you will not be able to apply" means?
I am French and currently working as a QA lead in the US, does that mean my application will be considered for the French locations? Thanks!
Hi, I applied for the program and entered all my information the best I could (Added a link to my LinkedIn profile and all). I also added a reference to my website where I am now reviewing games and game studios. But I want to know what else is there to be done to increase my chances?
So do I understand correctly that an American MBA student would not be able to apply to the production-program management track? I thought RedStorm was participating, but it seems that may not be the case?
Thank you for your time and help in this matter.
hey, I am definately going to apply, What kind of assessments will one face in the interview process when going for the PM path?
James, I'm pretty young as well, how are you designing games already? You think you can help me out?
Sorry about the double post. I received an error message after the first, so re-commented, then both came up!
Hi Susan, I'm not sure which path will be available in the German studio, but you can go ahead and apply anyway! They will start reaching out to the accepted applicants at the end of April.
Hi Troels, I'm not entirely sure how European residency/citizenship laws work, but if this is something you're passionate about, I recommend applying anyway. Make a strong case for yourself and see what happens.
If you are currently a resident of the United States, you could probably try applying for the US studio. You may have better chances if you are a citizen of the country you apply too, though.
I noticed that the US studio is not participating in the project management (after reading the comment above). But if I am willing to relocate from the first year would that work? I could simply head to Canada or anywhere really :) I really want to do this.
Hi Kim, unfortunately the studio in the US is not participating in the Project Management path during the pilot year.
I guess ubisoft probably does not discriminate and since most people have to deal with multiple studios and management a job would be awarded on talent and not the area you live in talent can be moved. Within the EU you can work anywhere in the EU without the requirement of a work permit.
I would apply and include a covering letter stating your willingness to relocate and why you feel you far exceed other candidates.
I am guessing UBI does not want applications where people would not have the right to accept the role. Furthermore in certain countries you can't employ anyone if you can find a local applicant.
You will never know If you don't apply.
Go for it.
Correct. The US is not participating in the Project Management path this year. You must be a resident of the country you are applying in.