Augmented reality and virtual reality jobs are becoming very real forces in the job market. In the first nine months of 2017 there have already been roughly 10,000 postings requesting AR/VR job skills in the U.S. That’s a relative increase of 256% compared to 2010.
Considering the buzz around these technologies – which includes Facebook’s purchase of Oculus and Google’s post-Glass decision to invest $542 million into Magic Leap’s wearable hardware solution – it’s clear that skilled people are going to be needed to continue the momentum.
VR and AR both provide stereo 3D high-definition video and audio via headsets – some big and clunky, others less so – but there are big differences. In essence, virtual reality is closed and immersive. Augmented reality could be called partly immersive. VR wants to encase you in virtual worlds; AR tries to put virtual things into our real worlds.
And it all continues to evolve. This is such a new field that none of the top five employers in 2017 requested AR or VR skills before 2013.
How does this coolness translate to the job market?
Our research shows that the information and manufacturing industries that create this technology continue to seek AR and VR skills. On the consumer side, the retail industry has shown increasingly higher demand since 2015. Another high-growth sector is professional, scientific and technical services.
Among employers, the highest demand is coming from Facebook. In fact Facebook’s hiring demand equals the next three employers combined. Also stepping up its hiring for AR and VR is Accenture. The consulting firm’s hiring for AR and VR is up more than 300 percent in the past two years.
By far, the top role involving AR and VR is software developer/engineer, followed by mobile applications developer, computer systems engineers/architects and other roles.
In other words, there’s nothing virtual about the jobs in this field. They’re here and now and very real.
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