Prepare Yourself for the Next VR Jobs Gold rush
You can prepare yourself for future demand in VR skills by retooling your skills and undertaking courses that will make your expertise more marketable. Make the right connections in the VR industry and make sure you understand the market. The best job might just be with a hot startup in your local town and not the big players such as Google , Facebook and Samsung.
The virtual reality industry is expected to see immense growth in the next few years thanks to the rapid pace of developments in this area. Practical areas of application will go beyond just virtual reality gaming or virtual reality entertainment to almost all spheres of life. That means the industry is going to grow into a multibillion dollar tech sector and the next generation of highly skilled tech jobs will be created here.
What Skills Will be Required in the Virtual Reality Industry?
To position yourself for the next tech boom, it is important to equip yourself with the right skills that will be required for the virtual reality environment. Object oriented programming skills in C++ and Java give you a good starting point but you will have to immerse yourself deeper in order to be useful in this industry.
Virtual reality is not just about the hard coding world. There is also a creative aspect to so you will need to have skills in the Adobe toolset such as Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects etc. You can also master a few of the Foundry tools like CaraVR and NukeX which will be in high demand by many employers.
The software skills such as software development and 3D modelling will simply need a degree or advanced degree in software engineering. However, there is also a hardware component to virtual reality such as in the design and development of the virtual reality headsets.
Who are the leading employers in the virtual reality space?
Due to the expected exponential growth in this space over the next decade, there will be hundreds of companies being set up to cater for all spheres of virtuality. It is estimated that currently, there are more than 200 well established virtual reality companies already active in the space with more being set every few months. Some of the leading industry employers include:-
- Oculus VR
- General Dynamics
- Apple Inc
Career Opportunities in the VR Industry
While objected-oriented programming skills and creative skills such as virtual modelling will put you in a pole position for the best tech jobs, careers in the VR industry are quite diverse. Some of the positions that are available in the industry include the following:-
UX/UI Designers: The work of a UX/UI designer is to create a roadmap showing the flow and the design of the app. They are able to map out the look and the feel with a focus on the app’s user-friendliness.
Unity Developers: If you have skills in Unity 3D software, then your skills will be in high demand in the VR industry. The work of Unity developers in a VR development environment is to help in building the foundation of a VR experience. It is an indispensable skill in VR.
Project Manager: Of course every major tech development project always requires a project management aspect. However, to be an effective project manager in VR development projects, you must also have a passion for the subject and be deeply immersed in VR so as to understand the technical requirements of these projects. Project managers will be charged with various responsibilities such as managing and communicating project deadlines, managing the project budget, managing requirements and scope of project, navigating challenges and liaising with clients on behalf of the VR development team.
3D Modelers: 3D Modelers will be in high demand in the virtual reality industry and are an integral part of VR development. They help in creating three dimensional life-like digital imagery. The 3D artists can also double up as animators in a VR project if they are cross-trained in both disciplines. If you are a 3D artist, it is advisable to also acquire animation skills in order to boost your marketability.
Animators: Animators are an integral part of the virtual reality development and experience. They transform the 3D models into life like digital images.
Videographers: Highly skilled videographers with advanced skills are always required in a VR project to capture and edit useful clips that can be used for promotions, marketing and entertainment purposes.
Computer Vision Managers: This is considered the hottest job currently in the VR spaces with many companies in the industry hiring for this position.
The Current Trends in the VR Job Market
Currently, VR jobs are moving away from the traditional gaming applications to new areas of user experience such as VR marketing, VR advertising etc. VR companies are on a recruiting spree and are looking for skills in all areas of tech ranging from the traditional software development to visual arts. A new trend by many VR startups is the leveraging of the technology for business applications.
Where are Recruiters Hiring?
If you are looking for top VR jobs, you better have a robust profile on LinkedIn touting your VR credentials. According to the San Francisco staffing platform SmartRecruiters, 47% of VR job positions were recruited via LinkedIn. Being on a LinkedIn gives you an almost 50% chance of being discovered by many of the leading VR companies across the world. You can also create a profile on Indeed.com. Some 17% of positions were discovered via this platform according to SmartRecruiters.
On Indeed.com, the number of VR job postings has increased 800% over the past 2 years from 2 per 1 million postings to 18 per 1 million postings. Among those looking for VR jobs, the number of searches has increased 1800%. While the number is still tiny, the super fast growth in VR skills demand is quite encouraging. If the trends continue over the next few years, there will be thousands of positions to be filled.
There are other emerging dedicated VR portals that will soon launch in the market such as the JobHubVR.com, a platform that will be wholly dedicated to VR jobs and recruiting in the industry. It will make it easier for applicants looking for jobs in the industry to spot and apply for the right opportunities early on.