Looking to Enter the VR Industry? Here Are the Top Skills You’ll Need
It’s an exciting time for professionals working in the virtual reality (VR) industry. Although there’s been a lot of noise about VR technology for years, researchers have yet to make a big breakthrough to continue advancement and innovation in the industry. Why is that good news? Because it means that history is still waiting for the researchers who will break the field wide open and change the entire VR game. If you’re thinking that researcher could be you, then you’ll need to have the right skills, a lot of determination, and a little luck.
Obviously, you’ll need to learn how to work with the existing technology and break into the field of VR before you can innovate and change the game. Here are some of the top skills you’ll need to be successful in the industry.
1. Building a Foundation to Work With VR Technology
If you’re completely new to the world of VR, you will need to start with a strong foundation of computer science skills. While you could go back to school to get a degree, there are also lots of other good options for learning the necessary computer science skills. Udemy computer science courses, for example, can help you learn the basics of coding. You’ll be able to find out whether you enjoy programming or not and build the foundational skills you need to eventually master VR technology.
2. Building Digital Worlds
The whole concept of VR is based on an immersive experience. We see the world in 3-D and when building a digital world for VR, you can’t rely on 2-D visuals. 3-D modeling is used in different forms for both entertainment and industrial purposes, and it’s crucial for VR. Many video game designers make the leap to VR because they are comfortable using 3-D modeling software and building digital worlds. Since one of the main uses of VR to this point has been for enhanced gaming experiences, this is an essential skill in the industry.
3. Creating Immersion With Sound
Though sound is used in movies and video games to enhance the experience, it takes on an even more important role in VR—immersion. If something is happening behind you in a VR experience, you need to hear it behind you. It’s about more than just making the sound work—it has to integrate with the rest of the VR world.
If you want to work in the VR industry, then you need to embrace and develop sound design skills. This is another skill that is often transferred from the video game industry, but can be a bit of a leap for people from other backgrounds.
4. User Interface (UX) Design
When you’re creating something, you know exactly how to make it work and where all the controls are located. But when you’re creating an immersive experience that someone else will be using, you have to be able to make the user interface as seamless and intuitive as possible. That’s where knowing the principles of user interface (UX) design becomes essential. Unlike on the web, VR doesn’t have UX expectations that users are familiar with. That’s why it’s so important for those working in the industry to keep up with trends and focus on making the UX as simple and effective as possible.
5. Networking IRL for a Career in VR
Virtual reality isn’t just about technology. It’s also about the people behind the science. If you want to break into the industry and make waves, you’re going to have to work with others throughout your career. Networking online is essential, but you’ll also want to make sure you do it in person as well. A dual networking approach is key to finding a job and for future innovations. You can’t go it alone—you need support and friendships that will help you get through any obstacles in your path.
Are You Considering a Career Change?
If you’re considering a career change, you’re definitely not alone. Many Millennials are dissatisfied with their careers and are looking for more fulfilling careers that will be sustainable in the future as tech-savvy generations grow up and wield more buying power. Getting into VR could be just what you need to be happy in your career.
While learning the necessary skills to thrive in VR may seem daunting, breaking into the industry is absolutely possible and could change your entire outlook on work. Just take it one step at a time. Start by taking an easily accessible online course and see where it takes you. Who knows? The future of VR could one day be positively influenced by your work.