Pokemon GO was sweeping the world in 2016, and many believed that the world was on the verge of an Augmented Reality revolution.
Obviously, this has not occurred.
Today, the world is having a very similar conversation about Facebook/Meta investing like crazy to create a Metaverse — a fully immersive digital world for us all to live in.
This level of investment from so many players has a tendency to create a self-fulfilling prophecy: whether people like it or not, there’s a good chance we’ll soon have a functional Metaverse simply because our Tech Overlords will it.
So what job opportunities does this metaverse world offer?
Metaverse Research Scientist
AR and VR research scientists are already in high demand at top universities and major tech firms. However, as the Metaverse (or whatever you want to call the seamless merging of the physical and digital worlds) becomes more widely accepted, we’ll need a lot more brainpower.
The job of Metaverse Research Scientist will entail more than just creating a few basic digital models of the real world into which corporations can bring customers and partners. This is already in place. The possibilities for the future are vast. Much larger. Researchers will need to create something akin to the theory of everything, in which the entire world is visible and actionable digitally.
This architecture will serve as the foundation for all other use cases, such as games, advertisements, quality control in factories, connected health, DeFi, and so on.
This is an insanely difficult task. Candidates must be able to build and then scale prototypes based on technology at the intersection of computer vision algorithms for 3D computational photography, neural rendering, scene reconstruction, computational imaging, visual-inertial odometry, state estimation, sensor fusion, mapping, and localization… and those prototypes must grow over time.
To become a Metaverse Research Scientist, follow these steps: Study deep learning, computer vision, computer graphics, or computational imaging for a PhD. You must also be familiar with C++.
Ideas are inexpensive. Execution is costly. Once people have a functioning Metaverse, most businesses will require the ability to plan and implement all aspects of functionality into a fully virtual world. As will deciding what to do with(in) this expanding digital world.
This is where the Metaverse Planner enters the picture. The Planner will need to drive a strategic portfolio of opportunities from proof-of-concept to pilot to deployment as CEOs set a vision and strategy for the creation and growth of their company’s metaverse revenues. This includes identifying market opportunities, developing business cases, influencing engineering roadmaps, and creating key metrics.
It may not appear appealing, but how would you decide whether a car company should focus on developing virtual driving tests or implementing a digital twin business to predict breakdowns? I’m not sure, but I’m sure a Planner can figure it out.
To become a Metaverse Planner, follow these steps: Years of management experience, understanding of HW/SW/SaaS/PaaS marketing and business models, and a strong entrepreneurial mindset are required.
The Metaverse will not appear by itself, owing to The Zuck’s will. It will necessitate the creation of an entire ecosystem. Sensors, CPUs, GPUs, KYC processes, data lakes, green energy generation, edge computing, laws, regulations… The world is complex, and further digitalizing it (beyond what it is now) will be difficult. People can compare that difficulty to the current transition of the automobile industry to electric vehicles. The products are available, but the most significant barrier to their widespread adoption is the lack of widespread charging stations alongside streets and roads, as well as the constant evolution of battery capacities. Similarly, people could have the software and hardware for a Metaverse but still be short.
The Ecosystem Developer would be in charge of coordinating with partners and governments to ensure that the various functionalities created are feasible on a large scale. They will lobby for government infrastructure investments and mobilize large communities of actors.
One key focus will be interoperability, which will ensure that a Metaverse Customer can use their virtual items across multiple experiences. After all, what’s the point of obtaining a cool skin in a mini-game if you can’t wear it in public? Other lobbying efforts will target financial institutions, which will be required to support distributed ledger technologies and smart contracts in order for goods and services to be traded on the platform.
What it takes to become an Ecosystem Developer: Years of government/lobbying experience, as well as a thorough understanding of the burgeoning XR industry.
Metaverse Safety Manager
Is the internet a completely safe place? Very few would agree. Anyone who claims the Metaverse will be any better is delusory. Sure, there are numerous opportunities for it to become a safe, welcoming environment, but this will not happen by itself.
Privacy. ID verification in-world. Protective headgear. Adequate sensors – the metaverse will require people to guide and oversee all of this during the design, validation, and mass production stages, ensuring that our digital world is safe and meets or exceeds applicable regulatory safety requirements – all without sacrificing cutting-edge functionality or design. This individual will be the Metaverse Safety Manager.
It will not be an easy task. They must accurately predict how Metaverse functionalities will be used and potentially abused, as well as identify safety-critical components, systems, and manufacturing steps associated with those predictions. Just thinking about the sheer complexity and number of moving parts in a new digital world makes my head spin.
To become an XR Safety Manager, follow these steps: Have a degree in engineering and experience in consumer electronics/manufacturing.
Metaverse Hardware Builder
The Metaverse will not be built solely on code. It will also include sensors, cameras, and headsets. Sensors that can detect the slightest online movement, cameras that detect when a meta user is in a bad mood, and headsets that simulate the sun and project a summer day in the digital world. Other tasks include the inertial measurement units, visual light cameras, and depth cameras to aid in tracking, mapping, and localization.
All of the hardware required to create a fully digital world that interacts with the physical world is costly and complex.
As the Metaverse grows in complexity, a Metaverse Hardware Builder will be required to assemble and adapt it.
The best sensors are currently being developed for industrial operations and the automotive industry. These are massively capital-intensive industries. As an added challenge, whoever builds the Metaverse’s hardware must ensure that it can be built cheaply and safely so that the metaverse does not become the exclusive playground of the wealthy.
To become a Sensor Builder, you must first establish a factory capable of producing complex consumer electronics.
As the experience economy and the concept of gamification continue to gain traction, it is only natural to expect great storylines from our extended reality experiences. We’d like to laugh. People are generally eager to learn. In the digital world, people want to see slightly wacky things. This is where the Metaverse Storyteller enters the picture.
This person will be in charge of creating immersive quests for users to explore the metaverse, military training scenarios, hard-to-find marketing opportunities in the form of narratives for corporations, psychology sessions, and so on.
They will not be well compensated, unless you count exposure as compensation, which you do not. But at the very least, they’ll be selling narrative arcs that millions of people will follow in order to escape the monotony of their daily lives. Isn’t that the ideal situation?
What it takes to become a Metaverse Storyteller: Start your career at a gaming company as a Literature Major with a Marketing Minor, then switch to Tech.
Companies still need to build entire worlds after they have built their architecture, hardware, and storylines. This is related to imagining them.
Many of the same skills required of video game designers will be required for this role, albeit with a potentially entirely different set of rules. World Builders will need to be forward-thinking and forward-looking because much of what they will dream of will not yet exist as a technology or a product solution.
Companies will also have to think about rules and ethics. Is it okay to kill someone in the digital world when it feels real? Have you committed war crimes? People have already begun to ask themselves these questions, but these are far from finished.
To become a World Builder, follow these steps: Be half a poet and half a graphic designer. It wouldn’t hurt to be good at Minecraft.
Companies like Meta make money by selling ads. The Metaverse will probably be run in a very similar way.
And it is also likely that the ads would be as targeted – if not more, as they do now for social media platforms.
Similar to the AdBlock Plus model, companies are likely to develop plug-ins that prevent advertisements from appearing.
How to Become an Ad-Blocking Professional: Have some basic coding knowledge… as well as access to the Metaverse’s source code
The metaverse is an ideal target for cyber-attacks and fraud: hacked avatars, NFT theft, biometric/physiological data leaks (brainwave patterns, anyone? ), hacked headsets… the possibilities are nearly limitless.
This is why Metaverse Cyber-Security Experts will be required. People who will stop attacks in real time and ensure that laws and protocols are reconsidered, amended, and possibly invented to account for all of the risks of the Metaverse.
How to Become a Cybersecurity Expert in the Metaverse: Have a background in traditional cyber-security and/or a law degree with a tech bent.