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Understanding Virtual reality, Augmented reality, and career options in them

Cutting edge technology and its continuous advancements have gripped all our lives; today, allowing people to explore and experiment with the environment to make discoveries. The dawn of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies have become accessible and very real rising above laboratory concepts.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality have begun to shape the world we live in, have an impact on our routine thereby creating demand for new skills that empower decision making. Today there is no shortage of companies who seek employees with the knowledge and skills to fill positions that integrate these new technologies. Whether it is healthcare, manufacturing or education the scope for technology is endless. Virtual and Augmented reality are different from each other, but more often than not they end up in the same discussion called extended reality. Let us try and understand them first.

What is VR/AR?

AR and VR are technologies that attempt to replace or alter a user’s perception of the real-world environment around them.  While AR overlays digitally-created content into digital depictions of the real world; VR works on placing the user in a completely immersive virtual environment. Augmented reality or AR adds some digital objects to the present experience. It does not create a virtual world but overlays the real one with computer graphics such as 3D models and objects, textual data, videos. It takes our current reality and adds something to it, augmenting our current state of presence, often with clear visors. With VR the experience is more immersive, while AR provides more freedom for users, particularly the marketers because as it does not need to be a head-mounted display. 

 These technologies today are poised to reshape marketing in domains ranging from real estate and automotive to consumer goods and retail.

While Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are certainly highly technical, there is an imminent need for creative talent in this space. AR is already popular due to its deployment in filters, alterations that are much in demand in photo-sharing apps such as Snapchat, etc. If you have creative and imaginative skills and are piqued by the prospect of recreating reality and providing immersive experiences, now is the time.

With the presence of limited experts in this domain, the gap between demand and supply is expected to continue, as access to expert knowledge and experience is a challenge with legacy educational institutions.

Let us now look at the five careers that will have a bright future under the sky of VR and AR-

Software Designers

Designers work on the design of the software hand in hand with the developer and 3D artists. A bachelor’s degree in software engineering or computer science that focusses on design and program software as a part of the curriculum is the major contributing factor.Further knowledge of web platforms also is preferred.

Software Developers.

There is never a shortage in demand for software developers; particularly, you have a creative bent of mind. There is a bright future in store. Developers usually begin their careers armed with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Post which a specialized certification course in a particular domain can be pursued.Hands-on experience in implementation is essential in this career, and hence a small project can be taken up at the beginning of the career to get started with.

Design Architects.

This is a role that warrants interaction with the client to work on both the exterior and interior devices used for AR and VR. The helmet or the goggles used to experience the extended reality requires the skills of a designer and will be a massive advantage if you pursue a career in design architecture. A bachelor’s degree in arts will need to be supplemented by a course in the architect school. Again a master’s in architecture will be an added advantage.

3D Artists.

The 3D artist is an emerging career and most in-demand in this domain.  Along with constant upskilling, creativity is also equally important. A bachelor’s degree in arts or computer graphics is required to pursue a career as a 3D artist- either a full-time course or a certification program. An understanding of color, texture, and light and how they work together and accordingly, one can choose from 3D animation, game development, and new media development as a specialization.

System Validation Engineers.

System validation engineers will be required to solve issues that arise during development and coordinate with developers to make sure the application is bug-free. For a career as a system validation engineer, a bachelor’s degree in engineering and some years of experience is a mandate. Preferred Btech specializations being electrical, mechanical, or computer science that should include maths, statistics, and material science as well. Living in the extended reality is fun, but to be able to pursue a career in it can be lucrative and extremely fulfilling.

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