Virtual reality, along with augmented reality, have already taken the technology industry by storm. However, although there’s a new technological frontier in place, a lot of attention surrounding it, and plenty of new and exciting things coming out of the niche, you may be wondering where to start and get your foot in the door, especially if you’re looking to score a career in this up-and-coming industry.
But not to worry! While it may feel like an overwhelming prospect try to grab a hand on this fast-paced sector, this quick guide will show you how to get started in getting into the virtual reality industry. Read on!
“Like many industries, to get into virtual reality, you’ll need to do more than just earn a degree in the field,” says Alana Nash, a recruiter at Paper Fellows and Boom Essays. “You would also need to take advantage of job opportunities and networking once you graduate. Even when you’re pursuing your degree, you can still explore these opportunities.”
One of the best ways to get started is to reach out to prospective companies that you would like to work for. Be sure to ask them questions, like what they look for in the ideal candidate. This allows you to potentially get your foot in the door for opportunities that might come your way. You would most likely have to start at entry-level, and then work your way up the ladder.
While this advice may sound simple, the truth is that the virtual reality industry is still relatively young, and this means that all the cogs in the machine, meaning you, need to be flexible and possibly should have the ability to fulfill many roles. This is because technologies can develop and change so quickly, so being an expert and dedicating yourself to just one area of VR can be extremely limiting to your prospects.
In other words, go into the VR industry on a lower rung, but be prepared to fill whatever shoes need to be filled. You never know what changes are on the horizon and what will and won’t be relevant. If you don’t consider this, you could very well be holding yourself back from new opportunities.
At first glance, the virtual reality industry might be more appealing, since there has been a rise in virtual gaming, with devices like the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, etc. However, VR doesn’t have to be restricted to video games only. In fact, other industries use this technology (or plan to use it), including:
Therefore, your VR portfolio should have all kinds of experiences, environments, and applications that you’ve worked on during internships, entry-level positions, etc. The more experience you can show, the better. It’s amazing to see the companies that are embracing VR technology, and it’s not just tech companies.
This may sound surprising, but every industry from entertainment to healthcare sectors are making use of VR tech. For example, the Immersive Health Group company provides VR services for hospitals and health systems, medical devices, and more than provides all manner of solutions.
There’s VR tech here that allows doctors and surgeons to simulate situations for accurate training purposes. There are upgrades to the overall patient experience when engaging at healthcare facilities, and education platforms to help patients grasp medical concepts that are traditionally difficult to explain. In situations like this, the more interactive an explanation can be, the more effectively the message will be sent.
The same applies to the education sector. For example, the Early Adopter initiative is a VR and AR-based technology that drives forward education in a fun and interactive way that hasn’t been possible before. Using game-based learning, students are far more engaged in their learning process, redefining what education can be.
This short, if you have experience in any of these companies, it’s going to give you a positive footing moving forward. Don’t restrict yourself to the generic career path routes. There are a dozen ways to crack a nut.
As mentioned, AR and VR don’t just have to be about video games. Although you’ll need a basic understanding of UX (user experience) design and working knowledge of related applications and software to get your foot in the door, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a job in VR.
The thing is, many companies who have people that come up with ideas for VR projects don’t have the insight to know everything that goes into the final product. For example, the ideas for a VR application to help people in education with special learning needs could be amazing, but these people won’t think about how to make the application accessible from a user standpoint.
There are definitely opportunities to find roles here, but don’t worry too much. Remember that VR is a very new industry, and the vast majority, including yourself, will be learning so much on the job. Be open to this learning process if you want to succeed.
Possible roles in the industry include:
In the next 3 sections, we’ll go into depth on 3 different roles to consider in the VR industry, as examples of how important they are in today’s world.
As a developer, you’ll be building virtual experiences. In this occupation, you’ll need to work alongside professionals to create environments that are optimized for both AR and VR. You’ll also need to know which software and applications to work with, to create the best virtual experiences for consumers. Once you’ve learned enough from the pros, you’ll be tasked to work on real projects on your own. Those first-time real projects will serve as the meat of your portfolio.
“Creativity is the foundation for things like AR and VR,” says Maya Heath, a business writer at State of writing and Essay Roo. “With technologies like engineering evolving, there will be a need for creatives. Creatives are considered the visionaries that are responsible for brainstorming ways to implement a 3D spatial canvas in today’s fast-growing technologies.”
Continuing with what Maya shares, creatives are often artists who take a digital creation – done with augmented reality – and show it to their audience using devices like smartphones and tablets. They can also take a still image of something, and make it into a video, an animation, or other digital content, to show viewers of their creative processes, or tell them a story more visually.
In short, there are plenty of creative opportunities out there in both the AR and VR industries, and a lot of the best examples will come from those who are able to think outside the box.
Like any other business, VR will also need a “businessperson” to handle sales, marketing, business operations and development, etc. As an AR/VR businessperson, you’ll be selling the idea or concept to potential clients or consumers. You’re basically answering the question: “What will VR do for me?” (Many industries will ask this question a lot – it’s your job to answer it!)
In that case, you’ll need to be familiar with the various AR and VR devices on the market:
In short, you’ll be handling the business and marketing side of the VR industry.
So, don’t wait to get started in a career in VR. Do your homework, earn that degree, learn from the pros, and move forward! Good luck! As a final point, remember that VR is simple a tech tool, just like a calculator, a notepad, or a microwave. You don’t need to understand the complex workings of the tech to get into the industry, just the fact that it exists to help people fulfill a need or complete a goal. Your job will be to make these ideas become a reality, no matter how you go about it.
Elizabeth Hines is a writer at UK Writings and Academized. She is also a contributing writer for PhD Thesis writing. As a content writer, she writes articles about the latest tech and marketing trends, innovations, and strategies.
The Glimpse Group is a Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Platform Company Comprised of Multiple Software & Services Subsidiaries Creating Innovative VR/AR Solutions (products, software, and consulting services)