In this guide, we are looking at the metaverse and, specifically, which career opportunities exist for anyone wishing to join it. We will delve into the general considerations for those seeking to work within the metaverse and how to start your journey to working in this new digital space. Additionally, we will highlight some leading metaverse jobs already in existence, and some that we think could materialize in the near-to-long-term future.
What is the Metaverse?
The word metaverse is an amalgamation of the words ‘Meta’ and ‘Universe.’ Meta refers to something that is beyond a point of reference, while the term universe means a “sphere of activity or experience,”
Thus, the term Metaverse can be understood to mean an alternate world, in this case existing in the digital realm. So far, several metaverses exist, all of which are disparate and offer unique experiences to their users.
The term metaverse has become more prominent in the recent past following the October 2021 announcement by giant social media company Facebook to rebrand the identity of its parent company to Meta (NASDAQ: FB). In essence, Meta is seeking to create an alternate digital universe through which its users can interact in a social environment as they do on Facebook.
The attempts by Facebook to create a social media-inspired Metaverse should not be confused with Metaverses are social media platforms. Far from it. The reality is that the Metaverse is far more advanced and can offer a lot more than a social experience.
The Metaverse can be used to achieve educational, economic, entertainment, governance, and social goals. In this article, we are focusing on the economic aspect where the Metaverse is currently creating a host of career opportunities for individuals who wish to experiment, learn and be part of history in the making.
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What are Metaverse Jobs?
Metaverse jobs are regular career opportunities within the metaverse. The metaverse is, however, a nascent concept that is slowly gaining traction, which means that a bulk of the jobs within that space are yet to be discovered.
So far, a majority of the participants within the already existing Metaverses are dabbling in their roles performing functions outside their qualifications of assigned roles. This is mainly due to the fact that as the space is new, most employers are not even sure of what kind of talent they require within their workforce.
For the few that do end up hiring the right people for various roles, they are faced with the challenge of having to constantly educate and train their workforce to keep up with the highly dynamic Metaverse.
It is important to know, as an employer, for which roles you will be looking to hire that are currently urgent and which you might need to train your people on. Additionally, for those looking to offer services within the Metaverse, it is important to know what opportunities exist and assess their talents to better align themselves with the various roles that they can train for in schools or through self-study.
Below is a list of some of the most common Metaverse jobs currently available in the marketplace and some that will more likely be highly sought after in the not-so-distant future:
- Metaverse Planners;
- Blockchain developers;
- Software engineers;
- Product managers;
- User interface/experience (UI/UX) designers;
- Metaverse game designers;
- Graphic designers;
- Event organizers;
- Hardware engineers and developers;
- 3D Architects;
- Cyber-Security personnel;
- Metaverse marketing specialists;
- Metaverse researchers.
It is easy to notice from the list provided above that some of the roles mentioned are already existing within the current conventional companies, both online and offline. However, even though the roles may seem alike, the application is vastly different, and the role players may require to adapt their skills to be more applicable within the Metaverse.
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General Requirements for Metaverse Jobs
Before we delve deeper into details and the specific requirements for the Metaverse job categories listed in the previous section, it is worth highlighting the general characteristics of the people who work within the metaverse.
There are some desirable qualities that make it easier for someone to assimilate within the Metaverse easily, and these include:
- Embrace technology – not everyone enjoys technological progress. Some are genuine critics, while others are detractors or aptly referred to as ‘tech luddites.’ To succeed within the Metaverse, it is crucial for one to embrace new technology and aim to become not just an enthusiast but, if possible, an expert. There are so many technologies that have converged to enable the Metaverse, including the blockchain and augmented and virtual realities (AR/VR), among others. It might be necessary to work in fields that use these technologies to advance virtual spaces;
- Have good communication skills – most job opportunities require people with good communication skills, and Metaverse jobs are no exception. Within the Metaverse, team members often have to collaborate remotely, and therefore, it is especially important for those seeking jobs within this space to get comfortable using various communication channels, including email, video chat, social media sites, collaboration platforms, and forums among others;
- Be curious – the majority of the skills needed within the Metaverse are currently not being taught in schools, and given the speed at which the blockchain scene is changing, every participant needs to cultivate a culture of self-study and research to remain relevant within their chosen fields of specialization. Otherwise, they risk possessing obsolete skills within a very short period;
- Problem solver/critical thinkers – given that the Metaverse is based on several emerging technologies, people within the various spaces are always called upon to solve new and unique challenges on a regular basis. Being a critical thinker and problem solver is a highly sought-after skill that is often lacking in most individuals.
Top 5 Metaverse Jobs (Already Existing)
Now that you have a rough idea of what it takes to be part of the Metaverse builders, let’s see some of the leading career paths so far and what requirements these Metaverse jobs demand.
1. Metaverse Planner
A good Metaveres plan, well executed, can lead to good experiences, but a bad plan will not result in a desirable outcome. It is essential to create good plans for the creation of immersive and engaging virtual spaces whose intentions are well-defined and achievable.
Typically, Metaverses take after the real world, and just like there are city planners that define the outlook of an economic center, the Metaverse also requires planners. These are tasked with envisioning the user experience, whether it’s gaming, entertainment, or achieving social goals, among several other purposes.
Different Metaverses will require different kinds of planners. A real-estate-based virtual universe such as Decentraland will typically have different needs to a gaming Metaverse such as Axie Infinity, the same way a school and a shopping mall will require varying planning needs and priorities.
To become an effective Metaverse planner, you will need to acquire various skills, key among them being:
- Be knowledgeable on the various technologies that are instrumental in building a Metaverse, such as AR, VR, XR (extended reality), and blockchain, among others;
- Be a great team player;
- Have adequate experience in management and coordination roles;
- Being a visionary leader with critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
2. Software Engineer
Software engineers are often tasked with creating computer programs that perform certain functions. Within the Metaverse, these roles can be assigned to those in charge of creating the underlying software infrastructure, such as
- Smart contracts – which are programs designed to self-execute upon the realization of specific conditions;
- Drivers – these are programs that enable communication between various hardware components;
- Web apps – these are applications that are hosted on an online server and accessed remotely;
- Wallets – software applications that can be used to store digital assets such as NFTs, and cryptocurrencies, among others.
Software engineers play an extremely important role in executing plans created by the Metaverse planners. Blockchain developers fall under this broad category, and they are also tasked with creating these virtual environments.
To qualify as a software engineer, you need to:
- Become a computer scientist by self-study or enrolling in a course;
- Familiarize oneself with UI/UX concepts that will be essential in product development and experience designs.
3. Hardware engineer
The Metaverse may largely be considered a software environment, but with its expanding usage, there is a growing need to connect virtual spaces with the actual world using hardware interfaces. Some devices that are currently being developed include cameras, sensors, and headsets, among others.
Hardware engineers are needed to create these devices. It is with the help of the hardware components that will aid the realization of a fully immersive Metaverse experience that some projects are shooting for. For that reason, there is a growing need for individuals with a background in hardware engineering to design and create these essential tools.
Some of the qualifications for the hardware engineering role include:
- Having working knowledge in electronics, mechanical, and software engineering helps;
- Having an eye for product design;
- Inculcate good communication skills and teamwork effort, as building multi-variate components will typically require collaboration amongst several individuals.
4. Product Manager
Product managers perform the important task of identifying customer needs and envisioning a solution in the form of a product. Therefore, they assemble a team of developers and designers to create this solution.
Within the Metaverse, product managers are in charge of creating the Metaverses or constituent components that make up the virtual universes, such as gaming arcades, virtual theme parks, shopping malls, etc. They can also be tasked with creating the hardware used to interact with the Metaverse.
To qualify as a Metaverse product manager, one has to fulfill a long list of requirements, including
- Getting familiar with the leading computer programming languages used for software development within the Metaverse;
- Having adequate management experience, being an effective team leader and player;
- Exhibit an entrepreneurial mindset of critically thinking, risk-taking, and problem-solving;
- Be comfortable in unfamiliar territory and be willing to learn new concepts.
5. Metaverse Marketing Specialist
The Metaverse is growing in popularity, and with that, it is expected to attract a sizable audience whose attention any brand would be interested in getting. This creates a need for individuals well-versed in marketing within the Metaverse.
The marketing specialists will be responsible for using the Metaverse to create awareness around brands interested in advertising within this new medium. They will be tasked with creating creative and elaborate campaigns to achieve various goals.
With the Metaverse, it is now possible for potential customers to experience products and services before they can commit to purchasing them. For example, car buyers will be able to test drive the cars they may be interested in, something that was previously impossible in the web2 digital space.
Likewise, students and their parents will be able to take tours of academic institutions that will have created a replica of their premises within the Metaverse. These tours can serve as an introduction and a way to showcase what the school has to offer to its students.
These are just examples of how various brands can leverage the Metaverse to interact with customers. It is the responsibility of the Metaverse marketing specialist to think through the customer journey and merge it with the unique features of the Metaverse to better guide them to the eventual realization of a goal.
To qualify as a Metaverse marketing specialist, start with developing the following skills:
- Internet marketing;
- Leadership and management skills;
- Familiarity with the Metaverse architecture;
- Get comfortable with the various technologies used to build the Metaverse, such as AR, VR, XR, and the Blockchain, among others;
- Have good communication skills;
- Critical thinking as well as problem-solving.
As the Metaverse grows, it brings along a host of opportunities not just for the users and the entire ecosystem but also for the builders. Those looking for a new challenge and frontier to offer their valuable skills may find that the Metaverse offers more than enough jobs to keep them busy.
As outlined in this article, there is almost everything for everyone, from planning and design jobs to engineering and product development jobs. Whichever skill one has, it could be adapted to become useful within the Metaverse, provided that one possesses the core general requirements of all workers within this virtual space.
Frequently Asked Questions on Metaverse Jobs
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a digital platform that offers an alternate experience to the physical world and allows users to achieve various goals, including entertainment, social networking, education, and work, among several others.
What are Metaverse Jobs?
Metaverse Jobs are simply career opportunities within the Metaverse, and they include engineering, management, planning, design, and research roles, among several others.
How much does the Metaverse pay?
Various Metaverse jobs will have varying compensations for those who perform these roles depending on several factors, including experience, role seniority, the popularity of the Metaverse in which the role is being dispensed, and how critical the role is in achieving the success of the virtual space.
What are some of the common Metaverse jobs available?
Most of the current Metaverse jobs are focused in the design and development space, including software and hardware developers, Metaverse designers and planners, researchers, and marketing experts. However, as the Metaverse becomes more popular, there is an expected expansion in the jobs portfolio.