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Hackernoon logoTips to Develop a Lucrative Career in Virtual Reality Industry by@christa-elrod

Tips to Develop a Lucrative Career in Virtual Reality Industry

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@christa-elrodChrista Elrod

Creative graphic and web designer at Proglobalbusinesssolutions.

We are witnessing a situation in which most businesses are looking to find ways to survive amidst the corona pandemic. However, the current scenario has opened up new opportunities for tech companies that are operating in the Virtual Reality (VR) field. For instance, tourism and property businesses are looking to leverage the potential of the VR technology to sustain their growth during the ongoing challenging times.

No wonder why animation studios specializing in VR are witnessing a steady growth in their businesses.  Even organizations across the world are using this technology to facilitate smoother execution of global conferences. We are witnessing a significant rise in the consumption of VR content and 360 degree videos over the past few days. As work-from-home becomes a leading pattern, VR communication and training are emerging as the leading norms of the present time.

What is more fascinating is that these changes are here to stay for a long term even after the current scenario goes through a drastic transformation in the near future.

So what is the potential for career growth, which you may expect this field to offer to you? Interestingly, the growth of VR is most likely to be harnessed by companies delivering 3D modeling services. So you may consider looking out for opportunities in those companies. 

This article would highlight the VR career options that you may consider exploring if you are really passionate about VR and want to evolve as a leading professional in the domain.

Here’s where we should start this discussion:

If you are looking to explore the software part of the VR domain, you should ideally have the knowledge and experience of working with 3D design software, programming languages such as C and C++, and integrated development environments. You may also consider building your skills at graphics designing and game development.

If you are interested to explore the hardware aspects of the VR field, you may consider developing your knowledge in hardware engineering and modern electronics. This area of specialization involves the creation of VR headsets, platforms, and devices.

Apart from these, you should have basic knowledge of information technology in order to be able to make a smooth progress through your career in VR. Notably, there are several VR and augmented reality (AR) platforms that deliver connectivity and networking services. You may consider developing your experience in cybersecurity and data handling in order to explore opportunities in the niche field of AR and VR data security.

If you are looking to pursue a career in AR, mobile software and application development may prove to be a new career option for you.

So what should your portfolio typically include?

Your portfolio should demonstrate your skills and experience in the most comprehensive and appealing manner. You should highlight your work experience and projects in a detailed manner. You should even highlight the ‘works-in-progress’ in order to showcase the continuity of your career journey. Avoid including any example that you are not entirely confident about or an example that does not actually portray your skills properly. The VR field basically consists of two different types of employment opportunities- one as a VR developer and the other as a 3D artist.

If you are looking to enhance your career as a VR developer, you should include the following details in your portfolio:

  • A showreel of your VR works that you created in a game engine
  • Content details
  • UE4 Blueprint samples or example code in C# or C++
  • A download link for the game or experience that you created.

If you are interested to be a 3D artist, your portfolio should feature:

  • A showreel of game assets
  • Wireframes
  • Turntables
  • Assets that you created in engines such as UE4, Marmoset, or Unity.

The Roles that You Can Consider Exploring in the VR Domain

Interestingly, VR and conventional 3D game development have a lot if similarities. Notably, a professional is most likely to use AutoDesk Maya or 3DS Max to create 3D  models and animation effects, Mudbox or Zbrush to create sculpting or texturing , and Unity and Unreal engine to compile the separate outcomes and bring everything together. After this, the content would be delivered for Playstation VR, HTC Vive, etc.

Interestingly, certain roles in software development are the same as the roles in VR and the common roles/ designations include:

  • 3D modelers or VFX artist
  • Software Engineer
  • Writer
  • Project Manager 
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • UI and UX designer

Ultimate Takeaways

  • Are you keeping yourself updated about the latest VR trends and technology? Keep a close watch on the latest developments by referring to content on social media, conferences, and webinars.
  • Keep your mind open to learn new things. What you should note is that game studios are not the sole users of immersive tools in the present times. These skills can be applied in other industries such as marketing, automobile, and film.
  • Focus on developing your skills further if you have limited experience and knowledge. Practise your skills more and more during leisure times to make your future works stand out in a crowd.
  • Build contacts and rapport. Seek advice from people who have established a proven track record of success. Join professional networks and connect with other VR professionals to exchange ideas and to gain an in-depth understanding of the latest developments in the industry.
  • While you focus on developing your key strengths, you should focus on the holistic appeal of the entire process. As a matter of fact, a programmer who has an understanding about art or an artist who knows programming to a certain extent is more likely to get more employment opportunities than those who have skills only in their own areas of specialization.

Even though VR is still an emerging field that is yet to undergo manifold dynamic transitions, it has already assumed a competitive makeover with more and more people looking to build a promising career in the field. So you should ideally do your best to upgrade your skills or to gain new knowledge in order to be able to create a stronghold in the industry and to build a flourishing career in a reputed 3D design company that has strong AR and VR capabilities. We wish you all the best!

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