I am an experienced programmer who has recently been laid off. I can no longer get a job in the game industry because I have not been employed by a company that uses the Unreal Engine and all surviving companies now demand Unreal Engine experience. Does Epic offer an Unreal Engine certification program? No legitimate (i.e. one who’s checks don’t bounce) developer will accept anything less than a published Unreal Engine title on my resume otherwise. Offering an certification program would be a natural way to break the Catch-22 of not being able to gain industry-acceptable experience without already having said experience in the first place.
There is no such program as i know.
My personal tip for you issue from my own experience. “experience” does not mean past employment, experience can be proofed by many different ways and most common non-corporate way to do so is to create port-folio showing your personal work by creating for example site showing that work, note that in art positions this is practically mandatory and daily bread. To produce “work” good idea can be try to participate in game jams or other competitions to have some extra motivation. You could try go freelance, there even forum section dedicated for that:
There is paid work, but even unpaid work is worth something as any entry in your portfolio is worth something, the more you got to show and the more good stuff is that you show the more you can show you skill the better.
Also don’t think too big, you got more friendly small companies and in indie boom era there not that hard to enter this market by yourself if you got skill and determination, try blending in to community and who knows maybe you make buddies which start making offers to you or who knows you could form your own indie team one day and start company by your own.
I come from LittleBigPlanet community (it’s indirectly reason why i’m ended up here :p) lot of best creators there end up in to game industry one way or another by showing there LBP levels and community participation (some fan site makers end up in PR postions), some got hiered by Sony to work on LittleBigPlanet and LBP3 to design Story Mode level few from that group working right now on MM’s Dreams, so you see employment is not only way to show your skill and experience