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How to Start a Virtual Reality Career

virtual reality career

Reverse Tide believes virtual reality will eventually equal the PC/Internet in terms of impact. We know how many jobs were born from that technology shift. Now it’s time to focus on the virtual reality career and how to get involved in its early days. If there was one industry that we would align ourselves with, this would be it. We predict that fortunes will be made and it will change the world. And gaining experience now (while it’s just on its first release) sets you up for a generation of success if these predictions come to fruition.

But how can you do it? What skills and jobs would you target it? Here are a few ideas…

1 – You could learn programming and be the one that develops games, simulations, and worlds within VR.

These people will make millions and even billions if done successfully (just like the people that developed Google, Facebook, Oracle, etc did). Get started by learning programming with Reverse Tide’s Programming Learning Path. Doing this would be equivalent to becoming a developer in the mid 1990s. If those developers worked on the right projects or for the right companies, they likely did quite well. This is the advisable way to start a virtual reality career. But it’s far from the only way…

2 – You could take an existing business or service and become a dominant player on VR.

Hire developers to figure out how. This is no different than setting up a website on the Internet. Every business had to do that. At the moment, VR is a low ROI proposition because it’s just getting introduced to the market. There are still technical hurdles, minimal software applications, and a small user base. But that will change rapidly in the coming years. While you likely won’t make money by moving to VR this year or next, it’s likely to be a great long-term play.

3 – First mover advantage for VR startups.

The companies that were first movers when the internet became popular often developed a huge advantage within their industry. Some weren’t even the best companies but by moving first, they had a marketing advantage. It gave them good social proof, referrals, and a head start to be at the top of Google’s search rankings. The same will be true of virtual reality. The first major gaming experiences. And the first social media company. The first virtual reality marketing agency. The first travel experiences. No matter what business type you choose, being the first VR company in that space has a lot of advantages. So use your unique skill-set to start a company, even if it’s something small.

4 – You could work a support job for a VR startup.

Remember those stories about how the first secretary at Microsoft made millions off stock grants. Perhaps that’s you for VR’s Microsoft- equivalent. But you can do more than secretary work. Every VR company will need people in finance, accounting, sales, marketing, HR, tech support, customer service, and any other support function. Getting involved via a support skill-set and then moving internally within a company is an interesting option. There aren’t many options today but more are emerging in the startup world.

5 – Services to VR companies.

Thousands of virtual reality companies will be born over the coming years. One option is to help them in some unique way. Are you helpful in development? Testing? Marketing new businesses? Helping finance emerging companies? Content creations? Graphic design? All these services will have big demand over the next decade so it’s useful to establish credentials relative to VR now.

6 – Existing VR companies.

The obvious way to start a virtual reality career are the existing players. There aren’t too many involved yet. We always compare this to the mid 90s. At that time, you had mostly big companies like Apple, Microsoft, Netscape, and America Online. Now there are millions of internet companies. We see a similar progression for VR. Right now, Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, HTC, and others are the big players. They are primarily focusing on hardware and operating systems. But they will surely expand organically and through acquisition. So if you can get a job in one of these existing companies, that’s a great way to build VR qualifications and start your career early.

7 – Education.

Because we expect virtual reality to transform the world, people will need help learning the skills to thrive in this space. Being able to teach people all the skills necessary in this industry will become big business. Programming is an obvious choice. However, what about cinematography? Or maybe a WordPress like tool to bring VR creation to the non-developer? What about the many business applications? Or user interface? 3D design? A lot of skills will change. Learn one of the core skills well enough to be an educator, and you might do quite well with that.

There are plenty more. Be creative. It will be different for every industry. However, we’d suggest starting with the basics right now. The benefits of a virtual reality career stand to be quite substantial!