The ever-growing digital world is thriving with the development of technology where real and virtual worlds merge. Extended reality technology (XR) is an exciting field that is transforming the entertainment industry and providing users with an unforgettable, immersive experience. XR technology covers virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).
Starting a career in the field is an exciting prospect. This article details how to get a job in virtual reality development, outlines the highest-paying virtual reality jobs, and explores different education paths to acquiring the necessary virtual reality skills.
What Is Virtual Reality Development?
Virtual reality (VR) technology involves using software to create a simulated environment where a user suspends their belief to experience the artificial environment as reality. Through the visual and audio cues of this immersive technology, users can interact with the environment.
VR development is most commonly used in entertainment to create 3D cinema, video games, and social virtual worlds. It can also be used in different forms of education, such as military training software, medical training, and early childhood education training, among others.
Virtual Reality Development Job Outlook
Listed under the same category as software development by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, VR development has a projected job growth of 22 percent, which is above average for all occupations. As digital mediums grow in popularity, this field is expected to offer many high demand jobs and have countless opportunities for career growth.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Virtual Reality Developer?
There are multiple educational paths to launching your career as a VR developer. You can obtain a college degree or an associate degree in computer science, information technology, virtual reality, or other related fields. Alternatively, you can go through coding bootcamp training. These educational programs offer training in basic skills and game development practices.
Can I Get a Virtual Reality Development Job Without a Degree?
Yes, you can get a virtual reality development job without a degree. However, you will still need to get an education to meet the skill requirements. Alternative educational programs include coding bootcamp, online training, or community college. These learning paths will offer you the academic experience and job training required to meet the skill requirements of a VR career.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job in Virtual Reality Development?
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you get a job in virtual reality development. Coding bootcamps are short-term, fast-paced professional development programs that are designed to equip students with the skills required to start a career in technology fields, including virtual reality.
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
With a coding bootcamp, you will gain all the necessary skills through hands-on training, build a portfolio that can be showcased to employers, and get access to career services to help you navigate the job market. They also offer different learning formats to ensure that you learn at your own pace and convenience.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in Virtual Reality Development?
It could take between ten weeks and a year to get a job in virtual reality development. The determining factors are your skill set, work experience, and expertise in the field. As a fresh graduate, you are not likely to have many years of work experience, so it is recommended that you apply for entry-level positions that suit your qualifications and skill set.
Common Virtual Reality Development Education Paths
There are different education paths for you to follow as you start your VR career. They include VR bootcamps, community college, and four-year college degrees.
Virtual Reality Development Bootcamps
Virtual reality bootcamps help students learn the relevant skills needed to pursue a career in the field. The programs are typically immersive, short-term programs that will install the knowledge and skills required to land virtual reality jobs soon after graduation.
The majority of VR bootcamps offer career services to help their graduates stand out and impress in the job market. They are also an excellent way to build a portfolio, which can be showcased to potential employers during the job hunt process.
A community college is a two-year institution that prepares students for careers in their respective fields. They can prepare students for transfer to four-year schools if they want to complete a higher education program. You can attend a community college for an associate degree in virtual reality.
The degree will help you gain the skills required to start a career in VR and allows you to gain transfer credits for an advanced college degree. The programs are typically very flexible, allowing you to complete them through online, in-person, or hybrid formats. They can also be accelerated for faster completion.
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Virtual Reality Development Degrees
The most common way to start a career in any field is by getting a degree. You can begin by applying to college for a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or other IT-related fields. These programs will prepare you for a career in VR while giving you the full college experience.
Those who want to attain higher positions in the field can get a master’s degree in any of the programs mentioned above. This advanced degree helps to open up employment opportunities for higher positions in the field, allowing you to earn even higher salaries while you have a fulfilling career.
Key Virtual Reality Development Skills to List on Your Resume
As a virtual reality expert, there are specific skills that your potential employer will look for on your resume. These can make or break your job hunt process.
3D modeling is the process of creating a 3D digital representation of any object or surface by manipulating polygons, edges, and vertices in the 3D space. 3D design plays a vital role in VR, as it ensures that scenes and environments in the software look realistic, relatable, and immersive. This engages the user and helps them delve into the virtual reality world.
Without 3D modeling, design capacities would be limited and the software would seem plain and less engaging. 3D modeling is an important skill to have for your potential employer to see that you can bring their ideas to life and keep the users engaged and immersed.
As a VR developer, your job is to create software that satisfies users’ needs, similar to that of a software developer. The main difference is that you create virtual reality software. To progress as a VR developer, you need to begin by creating software that is then turned into virtual reality.
CAD stands for computer-aided design, and is used for creating 2D and 3D models before they’re manufactured. It helps to preview the product’s end result to make it easy to share, review, and make changes on.
In VR, CAD is used to create, view, review, and edit projects before being sent out for production. It helps the developer visualize, edit, and compare their designs at a scale. It also makes it easier to spot errors, test a product, and modify it, saving valuable time, effort, and money. CAD proficiency is an essential skill in the VR industry that should be on your resume.
Where to Find Virtual Reality Developer Jobs
There are different ways of finding virtual reality development jobs. You can browse employment opportunities on job boards, online marketplaces, and company websites. VR is a growing field, making it easy to find job openings.
Job boards are platforms that showcase a wide range of jobs by job title, location, and salary, making it easy for interested people to find the position of their choice. They make it easy to apply directly from their platform or get directed to the company website. You can subscribe to get regular notifications for similar job openings.
There are many online marketplaces to search for jobs as a freelancer and connect with recruiters across the world. These are available to skilled professionals in many different fields. Marketplace platforms allow you to set your own rates, and you can choose to work for either one-time or long-term clients.
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Many companies have career pages on their websites where they post current job openings in different departments. This makes it easy for job seekers to simply search for a company they would like to work with and check for job listings in their areas of choice. This is one of the most effective and direct ways to get a job in the field.
How to Prepare for Your Virtual Reality Development Interview
To prepare for your VR development interview, you need to be familiar with industry terms and trends. This is essential because the recruiter will be looking to test your knowledge and experience. Below are some possible questions to expect.
Virtual Reality Development Interview Questions
- What is virtual reality? What are the different types of virtual reality?
- What is the difference between AR, VR, and MR?
- What is VRML and what does it do?
- What are the major trends in the introduction of virtual reality systems?
The Five Highest-Paying Virtual Reality Development Jobs
|Virtual Reality Development Jobs||Average Salary||Projected Growth|
|VR Game Designer||$87,854||22%*|
*The data on projected growth for developers was sourced from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics under software, quality assurance analysts, and testers.
- Salary: $110,140
A software developer designs, builds, installs, tests, and maintains software programs for computers, mobile devices, and websites. They ensure that software applications satisfy the end-user and are regularly updated.
- Salary: $89,590
A VR developer designs, writes code, and builds cutting-edge reality programs. They create VR interaction items and test, debug, maintain, and document the entire development process. They have to ensure that the software is of standard quality by identifying risks and improvement opportunities.
VR Game Designer
- Salary: $87,854
A VR game designer is a professional who designs, creates, installs, and maintains virtual reality games. They prepare the genre, virtual environment, gameplay, characters, and story of VR games by using all the possibilities of 3D tools. They ensure that the end-user gets maximum satisfaction from playing the games.
- Salary: $82,879
A Unity developer is a software developer that works using the Unity platform. They plan, implement, design, and build 2D and 3D game software for mobile phones, computers, and game consoles. They have to design the concepts of the games to ensure that it is user-engaging.
- Salary: $77,675
VR designers create fictional worlds that developers turn into reality. They create engaging, functional, and appealing multi-dimensional environments that can be turned into immersive experiences for users. They use virtual reality to simulate the user’s experience with the virtual reality world.
Virtual Reality Development Career Path
The virtual reality career path typically involves an entry-level career working as an associate or junior developer. You can then progress towards working as a full-time VR developer who handles projects independently and manages a team. The peak of your career might be to work as a senior-level developer who oversees whole projects.
Entry-Level Virtual Reality Development Jobs
- Junior Unity Developer – A junior Unity developer is an entry-level worker who will assist in designing game ideas, building the software, and installing it on the Unity game engine.
- Content Producer – A content producer is a professional who writes and creates a storyline and digital experience that the users of VR software can relate to and engage with. They come up with the challenges, tools, and opportunities that the user experiences.
- VR App Developer – A VR app developer designs, creates, installs, tests, and maintains virtual reality applications.
Mid-Level Virtual Reality Development Jobs
- UX Designer – A UX designer is entrusted with creating the best experience for a user who is interacting with a digital tool. In VR, a UX designer will work to ensure that the users of the VR software have a great virtual experience that satisfies their needs.
- VR Developer – A VR developer designs, builds, and tests virtual or augmented reality software. They are the brain behind cutting-edge game development that offers more sensation than regular video games.
- Software Engineer – A software engineer applies engineering, computer science, and math principles and techniques to write code, design, and build software programs. They also test and maintain systems to ensure that they are functional.
Senior-Level Virtual Reality Development Jobs
- Senior Software Developer – This is a senior-level and managerial role. These professionals are in charge of designing, testing, and maintaining software programs. They will be found supervising software developers to ensure that they are delivering quality work.
- Senior VR Developer – A senior VR developer will oversee the team of VR designers and developers to build high-quality programs that will satisfy user needs.
- Senior VR Game Engineer – These professionals design, build, and test game interfaces, systems, controls, and other interactive aspects of a VR game. They develop character plans and oversee the environment of the entire game.
Virtual Reality Development Certifications
Certifications show evidence of your skills and demonstrate to your employer that you have what it takes to perform your role efficiently. They outline your skill level, expertise, and experience. Below are some highly recognized VR certifications.
Unity VR Developer Certification
This certification is designed to help anyone interested in becoming a Unity VR developer learn the core skills required to pursue a career in the field. It is available to both new students in the field and professionals who seek career advancement. The certification has different difficulty levels from beginner to expert to make the learning process easier.
Professional Certificate in AR/VR Development and 3D Graphics
This program is designed specifically to help professionals who want to go into XR and learn to build software using Unity. It is available for people with a background in computer science or other IT-related fields. The program includes a seven-month course, an exam, a capstone project, and career guidance.
Certified Virtual Reality Developer – Global Tech Council
This certification is offered by Global Tech Council to test the skills of professionals in virtual reality. It will help you master the core concepts of virtual reality and open you to a world of great job opportunities and career growth. The certification is well respected in the industry. It culminates in an online exam, and the certification is valid for a lifetime.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Virtual Reality Development
Getting a job in virtual reality development is achievable if you follow the recommended steps. These include learning the basics of the field, developing your skills, building an impressive portfolio, getting real-life experience, and applying for entry-level roles.
Enroll in a Program
To get started as a virtual reality developer, you should enroll in a training program. This could be a bachelor’s degree program, a bootcamp, or a community college. The choice of educational path depends on your preferred learning style, budget, and academic preferences.
Build Your VR Skills
You will learn the relevant hard and soft skills required to get a job as a VR developer in your training program. However, you will later need to upgrade those skills to suit industry trends and job requirements. These include analytical skills, communication, programming, advanced leadership, video editing, critical thinking, and CAD, among others.
Build Your Portfolio
During your coding bootcamp program, you will likely work on real-life projects that will help you to build a portfolio. You should also supplement this with personal projects. Your portfolio will be showcased to hiring managers to show physical examples of your work and to demonstrate that you are qualified for the job.
Get Real-Life Experience
You can get real-life experience by applying for internship and apprenticeship positions. These positions allow you to learn, earn, and gain relevant hands-on experience. They will help you build your portfolio and boost your resume, giving you a competitive advantage in the labor market.
Apply for Entry-Level Positions
When you have gained relevant real-life experience, it is time for you to apply for entry-level roles that fit your job profile, qualifications, and skills. These roles are a great starting point and are easier to land since employers look for recent graduates with limited work experience.
Should You Get a Job in Virtual Reality Development in 2022?
Yes. You should get a job in virtual reality development in 2022 because this field is one of the fastest-growing technologies in the world. As technology develops, so will the virtual reality industry. This in-demand field will offer even more opportunities for employment and career growth, making this a promising and rewarding career path to follow.
Virtual Reality Developer FAQ
Yes, you can become a virtual reality developer without a degree. You can join a coding bootcamp that specializes in virtual reality and progress.
No, it isn’t hard to get into virtual reality development. You have to get the proper training, build your skills, gain direct experience, and build a strong network.
VR developers are in demand. More and more companies are looking to follow technology trends and invest in the field.
You can become an AR developer by attending college for a degree in computer science or any related field, joining a virtual reality bootcamp, or attending a community college.
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