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A postgraduate in VR should be on your to-do list this year

SOURCE: Josep LAGO / AFP
AR and VR technology is rapidly growing.


By U2B Staff 

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Management consulting company McKinsey said estimates by Goldman Sachs notes that AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) technologies are expected to grow into a whopping US$95 billion market by 2025.

They add that the strongest demand for the technologies currently comes from industries in the creative economy, such as in gaming, live events, video entertainment, and retail, but adds that VR will find wider applications in industries as diverse as healthcare, education, the military and real estate over time.

Its use can already be seen all around us.

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For instance, VR helps lessons come alive in higher education. La Trobe University in Australia has used AR and VR to help their health and science students better understand the intricacies of human anatomy.

Meanwhile, companies such as Osso VR are evolving surgical training and assessment by using the technology to train aspiring surgeons and surgeons to practice operations.

In the field of real estate, agents can help their clients visualise how an unfurnished room could look like without dumping in cash on furniture or breaking down walls, or even help clients tour a property without actually going anywhere.

Indubitably, it can have a huge impact on our personal and professional lives, which spells opportunity for professionals and graduates in computer science, software engineering, or a related field who are keen to venture into the field.

According to reports, VR revenues are projected to reach US$14.8 billion by 2023.

There is a skyrocketing demand for AR/VR jobs. So unsurprisingly, there are many universities in the world that offering postgraduate courses in these fields.

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The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics notes that employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 16 % from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Computer scientists are poised to enjoy excellent job prospects as many companies report difficulties in finding highly skilled workers.

Hired notes that there has been a 1,400% growth in interview demand for AR/VR engineers in the past year. Its 2020 State of Software Engineers report notes: “We see the growth in AR/VR demand as a direct reflection of the technology itself coming of age for a broader swathe of business outside of gaming. From beauty companies like Sephora to furniture retailers like Wayfair, many different types of companies are embracing the capabilities of this world-building and enhancing technologies.”

The job can also be financially rewarding. AR/VR engineers can command up to US$160,000 per year, notes  Hired. Despite that, many companies report difficulties in finding highly skilled workers, making it an opportune time to develop a niche in the field. 

There are many universities in the world that are offering postgraduate courses in VR, including the University of Oulu in Finland and Goldsmiths, University of London and University College London in the UK, to name a few. Prospective graduate students will want to enrol in an institution that works closely with the industry to ensure they meet industry demands upon graduating.

Swansea University is also offering an MSc in VR programme that provides graduates the knowledge and skills to not only apply modern VT technology but enables them to carry out entrepreneurial and innovative thinking and to effectively utilise idea generation and problem-solving techniques.