Everyone has heard that the Metaverse is poised to be a multi-trillion dollar business opportunity – widely seen by many brands and businesses as the next evolution of the internet.
But beyond the fact that it’s a term for the digital, persistent and highly immersive virtual worlds we’ll get used to, what it actually is – or will be – is up for debate!
It’s just because the idea and the concepts are still emerging. Huge companies like Facebook and Microsoft are throwing huge amounts of money into their attempts to build, and therefore define, the metaverse. Basically, if the metaverse is the new internet, then everyone wants to be the new Google – holding the keys to the huge sums of money to be made selling advertising there.
This means that there is undoubtedly a mountain of opportunity for the rest of us as well. Ultimately, the future of the Metaverse will be defined by the people who create it. This means the coders, designers, artists, writers, and trailblazers who do everything from building the fundamental structure to filling it with content that will attract users.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to claim a spot in this new-age gold rush. Although very new, many of the basic skills needed to participate relate to already well-established areas of technology, business or design. These include skills and knowledge that can be learned at colleges and universities around the world. If you are studying (or planning to study) one of these subjects, it is possible that, although the course does not have the word “metaverse” in the title, the course leaders are very aware of the relevance of their subjects.
So here is an overview of some of the courses that will be useful if you are interested in a career involving the metaverse and where you will have the chance to learn them in a formal educational environment.
Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Science
At the most fundamental level, the metaverse will be built by software engineers. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in the subject is always likely to give you the best comprehensive foundation in the skills and tools needed to get involved. A computer science degree will teach you programming, as well as the basics of data and database management, hardware operation, and networking. Today, a computer science degree is also likely to be your best opportunity to learn new technologies related to the metaverse such as blockchain and Web3 decentralized platforms in a formal educational environment as well. There are more glamorous subjects you could study that will be just as likely to lead you to creating the future of the Metaverse, but if you’re technically inclined, this might be the option that will open the most doors for you. . Starting salaries for metaverse roles that require IT skills – such as software engineers, network engineers, or DevOps engineers – are also excellent. A good high school education or equivalent grades in math and science will be helpful in securing a place in one of the best undergraduate or graduate computer science courses, such as those offered by Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. , Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, or the University of Oxford in the UK
Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in UX Design
This is a new field, and the relevant skills are often taught in more general study programs such as design or computer science. However, a few degree programs specifically aimed at people wishing to learn user experience design are beginning to emerge. UX design focuses on creating computer programs that provide a great user experience. Broadly speaking, this involves creating intuitive interfaces that allow users to quickly and easily achieve their goals while reducing friction that can be caused by poor design. It incorporates aspects of traditional disciplines, including design, communication studies, and even psychology. Some college courses you might consider would be the Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction offered by Carnegie Mellon University or the MS in Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington, USA, the degree in Interaction Design at the University of Queensland, Australia, the Postgraduate Diploma in Information and Interface Design at the National Institute of Design, Bangalore, India, or the MSc in Human Computer Interactions at UCL, London, UK.
BSc or MA in Game Design
The concept of the metaverse emerged from the world of computers and video games, which for decades have been creating vast interactive multi-user environments. Game development engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine were first created with the aim of creating virtual worlds where we can participate in sports, puzzles or simply blast ourselves with futuristic weapons. Many emerging metaverse experiences – such as Roblox, Fortnite and The Sandbox – were born out of gaming and gaming-related technology. Gaming is perhaps just one piece of the larger vision of what will eventually become the metaverse. Today, however, it is the realm of creation and business that gives us perhaps the best opportunity to develop experiences that tick all the metaverse boxes – persistent, avatar-driven, experiential, and multi-user. . A game design related degree will likely give you the opportunity to formally study graphic design, environment design, user interface design, mixed reality (MR), web3 elements such as games decentralized and blockchain, and the challenges of creating immersive multi-users. experiences. Some of the college courses considered to be the best in the world include the MFA in Interactive Media from the University of Southern California, USA, BA, BSc, and even Ph.D. courses at Michigan State University, USA or BSc in Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University, UK
License in Virtual / Augmented / Extended Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) – sometimes discussed together as Extended Reality (XR) or combined to create Mixed Reality (MR), are just some of the ways users will experience immersive 3D worlds of the Metaverse. If you’re interested in a formal degree that will teach you how to build these worlds, it’s likely to be an option in many computer science or design degrees. If you’re studying a computer science degree (BS, MS, or Ph.D.) at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, for example, you can take advantage of the opportunity to learn at the UW Reality Lab, which deals with advanced virtual reality. /AR search. Likewise, MIT computer science students can take advantage of the faculties offered by the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality. However, as with other metaverse-aligned fields of study such as user interface design, it is quickly becoming so popular that it is recognized as a discipline in its own right, with dedicated degree courses. The University of the Arts, London’s College of Communication offers a BA (Hons) course in Virtual Reality, while the University of West England offers an MA course in Virtual and Extended Realities.
To stay up to date with the latest trends on the metaverse and broader business and technology trends, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and check out my new book, Extended reality in practicewhich has just won the Business Book of the Year 2022 in the Specialist Book category.
You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedInand Youtube. And don’t forget to check out my website.