The metaverse: a growing space for jobseekers and enthusiasts

By November 18, 2022The Sandbox
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In October 2021 Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg introduced the world to the metaverse after changing the company’s name to Meta. (Photo by Dima Solomin on Unsplash)

By Career Communications Group

“Metaverse” is the new buzzword, with many conversations sparked on the virtual universe or network of virtual worlds. People connect socially, purchase or sell various goods and services, accomplish tasks, or do nothing at all—just escape the physical world.

You may have heard of virtual worlds such as Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Somnium Space.

Recently, Facebook announced that it would be diving into the metaverse and even changed its company name to Meta as a sign of its commitment to metaverse development.

The metaverse is in some ways a hypothetical singular digital universe, as the current metaverse, as it is referenced today, consists of many virtual worlds that are separate from each other. There are many ways to earn and spend money, especially digital currency, on the metaverse. Unique pieces of artwork called non fungible tokens (NFTs) are found, traded, and sold on the metaverse. Did you know that virtual real estate is sold and bought on the metaverse? Recently, property in The Sandbox, a virtual world, sold for over $4 million!

On the metaverse, NFTs or non fungible tokens, are traded, found, purchased and sold. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), NFTs “are used mainly for digital artwork.” Last year, a digital collage with a price tag of $68 million was sold. (Photo by Bjorn Pierre on Unsplash)

The metaverse is accessed using a variety of hardware, such as personal computers, cell phones, augmented reality and virtual reality devices, and other virtual world technologies. As varied as the hardware to access it, software to access the metaverse is countless. The ability to link and interweave virtual worlds is a high priority topic among developers.

While Facebook changing its name to Meta and committing to developing the metaverse is a sign of how the hype has reached a fever pitch, big tech companies such as Microsoft, Nvidia, Niantic, and Apple have all begun contributing to the metaverse development. For example, famous for its app Pokémon Go, Niantic has invested $300 million into developing a proprietary dystopian metaverse.

Nvidia is indirectly furthering the development of the metaverse through its Omniverse Enterprise, a hub where digital content creators can collaborate on 3D modeling, design, and simulation.

Global tech company, NVIDIA, is contributing to the metaverse through Omniverse Enterprise, a community for digital artists to collaborate on projects such as simulation and 3D modeling. (Photo by Nvidia on Twitter)

The metaverse is opening a slew of job opportunities for those willing to bet on an emerging entity. Working behind the scenes, infrastructural developers build the blockchain, write code, maintain servers, and do other technical tasks. Suppose you’re planning to start a degree in computer science, information technology, or other related technical majors. In that case, this is a career path that could be open to you while also maintaining broad employability in many areas. AR and VR hardware and software engineers will be critical to metaverse development and innovation.

Applying creative skills within the metaverse itself, content and asset creators such as artists, modelers, dialogue writers, character customizers, and other art-centered positions help bring color, design, and aesthetics to the virtual world. Are you a skilled artist or designer interested in computers and technology? Creating assets in the metaverse may represent a significant opportunity. Other non-technical career paths include influencers, marketers, customer support agents, moderators, mappers, performers, and even monetized participants. If you are a gamer or esports enthusiast interested in a play-to-earn style gaming experience, consider exploring the metaverse.

Focusing on the appropriate majors, skills, and understandings is crucial to future success and employment. Majors in computer science or information technology benefit from learning skills specific to the development and maintenance of the metaverse.

Still, these same skills are vital to all computer science and information technology career paths. In preparing for employment within the metaverse industry, college students and other job seekers should gain expertise and experience with popular programming languages, such as C, C#, C++, JavaScript, Python, etc. Likewise, gain expertise with popular tools like Unreal Engine, Unity, Amazon Sumerian, Autodesk Maya, and the open-source Blender.

Having an eye on user experience design is also valuable because the result of metaverse development should be a user-friendly experience. Another significant role in metaverse development is designing and creating 3D assets, typically a task for 3D game designers. Job applicants and students should seek expertise in designing, prototyping, and constructing immersive 3D experiences that engage players and immerse them in a virtual world like never before.

Gaining a working knowledge of computer animation, 3D modeling, computer illustration, lighting, game interfaces, and creative competency for art and design are crucial to success as a 3D game designer. Basic programming skills and proficiency in gaming software such as Unity, Blender, Maya, and Unreal Engine are core parts of 3D game design.

Are you looking to focus on the hardware side of the metaverse? A hardware systems engineer designs, prototypes, builds, and maintains the hardware interfaces with the metaverse. They design AR/VR wearables and vital computer systems, such as servers, networks, and more. Gaining experience in product development, systems design, physics, and exposure to electrical, computer, mechanical, or optical engineering will all help set you apart from other candidates.

Knowing virtual reality concepts and tools such as computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) will also give you a solid foundational skill set. Mastering the hardware and engineering side of the metaverse requires a lot of skill acquisition, so start with programming languages, data collection, analysis, and robotics—explicitly focusing on sensors, cameras, and user inputs. The metaverse, an emerging and growing virtual network of worlds, changes how people interact and socialize.

Digital real estate and NFTs are bringing in a revenue stream, and monetizing pay-to-earn users adds to this financial landscape. As the metaverse’s popularity and size grow, so will employment opportunities across all industries. Choosing a general career path depending on your skills and interests, then preparing through college programs, internships, and networking with experts is a tried-and-true method for improving employment options and will help job seekers find employment in building the metaverse.

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