Metaverse Jobs in Future: Do you remember the year 2016? Pokemon GO took the world by storm and many thought we were on the cusp of an augmented reality revolution. Obviously, this has not materialized. Fast-forward to today and we’re back in a very similar conversation regarding Facebook/Meta investing like crazy to create a Metaverse – a fully immersive digital world for all of us to live in.
This kind of investment by so many players tends to create a self-fulfilling prophecy: Like it or not, it’s very likely that we’ll soon end up with a working Metaverse, simply because our Tech Lords want it that way.
And because I’m in the business of planning (not predicting) the future of work, I’ve explored this possibility and asked myself, “What kind of jobs could the Metaverse create?” Here are some preliminary thoughts.
10 Metaverse Jobs in Future
- Virtual Reality (VR): Totally artificial environment; Total immersion in a virtual environment.
- Augmented Reality (AR): Virtual objects overlaid on the real-world environment; the real world is enhanced with digital objects.
- Mixed Reality (MR): Virtual environment combined with the real world; you interact with both the real world and a virtual environment.
- Extended Reality (XR) / Metaverse – A mix of all of the above.
1. Metaverse Investigator
Scientists dedicated to AR and VR research are already a staple of leading universities and technology companies. But as the metaverse (or whatever you want to call it the perfect blend of the physical and digital worlds) slowly becomes a widely accepted idea, we’re going to need a lot more brainpower.
The job of the metaverse research scientist will not simply be to develop a few basic digital models of the real world that companies can bring to their customers and partners. This already exists. What the future holds is bigger. Much larger.
Metaverse research scientists will have to build something akin to the theory of everything, in which the entire world is digitally visible and actionable (think Ready Player One without the fun). This architecture will be the foundation on which all other use cases will be built: games, ads, quality control in factories, connected health, Defi… the list goes on.
This is an incredibly complex undertaking. Candidates will need to be able to build, and then scale, prototypes using technology at the confluence of computer vision algorithms for computational 3D photography, neural rendering, scene reconstruction, computational imaging, visual odometry- inertial, state estimation, sensor fusion, mapping, and localization… and those prototypes would have to grow over time.
How to Become a Metaverse Research Scientist
Earn a Ph.D. in deep learning, computer graphics vision, and or computational imaging. You also need to know C++. Good luck with that.
2. Metaverse Planner
Ideas are cheap. Execution is expensive. Once we have a working Metaverse, the ability to plan and implement all sorts of functionality in a fully virtual world will be absolutely key for most businesses. As is selecting the right things to do with (in) this expanding digital world.
This is where the MVS planner comes into play. While CEOs establish a vision and strategy for building and growing revenue for their company in the metaverse, the planner will need to drive a strategic portfolio of opportunities from proof of concept to pilot to deployment. This means identifying market opportunities, creating business cases, influencing engineering roadmaps, developing key metrics
You know… the fun stuff.
It may not sound appealing, but how would you decide whether a car company should focus on creating virtual test drives or a business of digital twins to predict breakdowns? I don’t know, but surely a Planner could figure it out.
How To Become a Metaverse Planner
Have years of management experience, knowledge of marketing and HW/SW/SaaS/PaaS business models, and a great entrepreneurial mindset.
3. Ecosystem Developer
The metaverse will not arise on its own, by the sheer will of Zuck. It will be necessary to build an entire ecosystem around it. Sensors, CPUs, GPUs, KYC processes, data lakes, green electricity production, edge computing, laws, regulations… the world is complex, and digitizing it even more (more than it already is) will not be an easy task.
We can compare that difficulty with the one that the automobile industry currently has in its transition to electric vehicles.
The products are there, but the biggest obstacle to their adoption is the lack of widespread charging stations on streets and highways and the constant evolution of battery capacities. Similarly, we could have the software and hardware to have a Metaverse, and it would still be missing…everything else.
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The ecosystem developer would be in charge of coordinating partners and governments to ensure that the various functionalities created are possible on a large scale. They will boost government investments in infrastructure and encourage large communities of actors.
A key area they will need to focus on is interoperability, to ensure that a client in the metaverse can use their virtual objects in different experiences. After all, what’s the point of getting cool skin in a minigame if you can’t use it in the mall too?
Other lobbying efforts will target financial institutions, which will have to support distributed ledger technologies and smart contracts for goods and services to be traded on the platform.
How To Become an Ecosystem Developer
Have years of government/lobbying experience and a deep understanding of the burgeoning RX industry.
4. Metaverse Security Manager
Do you know that the Internet is a safe place for everyone? Yes. For me neither. And anyone who claims the Metaverse will be better is kidding themselves. Sure there are plenty of opportunities for it to be a safe and inclusive place, but that’s not going to happen on its own.
Privacy. Identity verification in the world. A head safety kit. The right sensors… We will need people who can guide and oversee all of this during the design, validation, and mass production phases, ensuring that our digital world is secure and meets or exceeds applicable regulatory security requirements. All this without sacrificing functionality or cutting-edge design, or reducing revenue, obviously.
That person will be the Director of Metaverse Security. It will not be an easy job. You’ll need to accurately predict how Metaverse capabilities will be used and how they might be misused, and identify the safety-critical components, systems, and manufacturing steps associated with those predictions. The sheer complexity and number of moving parts in a new digital world are enough to make my head spin just thinking about it.
How to Become an XR Security Manager
Have an engineering degree and experience in consumer electronics/manufacturing.
5. Metaverse Hardware Builder
The Metaverse will not be built (only) with code. It will be built (also) with sensors, cameras, and headphones. Sensors that make you feel touched if someone squeezes your arm… online. Cameras that see if you’re in a bad mood so the AI doesn’t bother you too much.
Headphones that feel the sun around you and project a summer day in the digital world to give more realism. And that’s without getting into the boring stuff like inertial measurement units, visual light cameras, depth cameras to help with tracking, mapping, and locating…
All this hardware, necessary to create a fully digital world that is intertwined with the physical world, is expensive. And complex. And a Metaverse hardware builder will have to assemble it, and adapt it as the Metaverse gets more complex.
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Today, the best sensors are created for industrial operations and the automotive industry. These are industries with large amounts of capital. So, as an added challenge, whoever builds the hardware for the Metaverse will have to make sure that it can be built cheaply and safely so that the metaverse doesn’t become the only plaything for the rich.
How To Become a Sensor Builder
Have a factory capable of creating complex consumer electronics. Hey, I never said it was going to be easy.
6. Metaverse Storytellers
As the experience economy and the concept of gamification continue to gain traction, it stands to reason that we ask our extended reality experience to have great storylines from which one can learn great lessons. We want to laugh. We want to cry. We want to learn. We want to see slightly perverted things in the digital world. This is where the narrator of the metaverse comes in.
This person will be in charge of designing immersive missions for users to explore the metaverse, training scenarios for the military, hard-to-spot marketing opportunities in the form of narratives for corporations, psychology sessions (why kill your inner demons when can you pretend to kill them in the digital world?)… the list goes on.
They won’t be paid well unless exposure is counted as pay, which it isn’t. But at least they will sell story arcs that millions of people will follow to escape the monotony of their everyday lives. And isn’t that the dream?
How To Become a Metaverse Storyteller
Study literature with a marketing major, start your career at a video game company, then switch to tech.
7. World Builder
Once we’ve built our architecture, our hardware, and our storylines, we still have to create entire worlds (think Ellen Page in Inception – or is it, Elliot, though he was using his first name at the time, I’m honestly asking). And I don’t mean to encode them. I mean imagine them.
This role will require many of the same skills required of video game designers, albeit with a potentially totally different set of rules. Worldbuilders will have to think ahead and face the future, as much of what they will dream of will not yet exist as a technology or product solution.
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They will also have to take into account standards and ethics. When the digital world seems real, is it okay to kill someone in it? Commit war crimes? We have already begun to ask ourselves these questions, but we are far from the end of the discussion.
How To Become a World Builder:
Behalf warrior-poet, half graphic designer. You need to be good at Minecraft which wouldn’t hurt either.
8. Ad Blocking Expert
How does Facebook make money…excuse me, Meta? Selling subscriptions to his disinformation factory? Harvesting and selling organs? Taking donations from dictators? Of course not (?). They sell ads. And let me tell you, the Metaverse will probably be handled in a very, very similar way. Call it DNA, I guess.
Do you think Instagram ads are well-targeted and annoying? Wait till you see what they can do with an entire data set, and they are able to LITERALLY FOLLOW YOU AROUND THE WORLD.
Imagine that you are walking through digital space and you are hungry in the real world. Unknowingly, you stare a little longer at the digital cafes and restaurants in your path. And, how could it be otherwise, a minute later you start receiving food ads? It sounds fun at first, but intrusive in the long run.
So, as soon as we get tired of the novelty, we will want ad blockers that will have to be advanced enough to detect embedded ads in reality itself.
Like the AdBlock Plus model, I assume they will develop plugins that prevent ads from appearing. They won’t be paid much, but thanks to donations and access to a lot of data, they may be able to make a living.
How To Become an Ad-Blocking Expert
Have some basic coding knowledge… and access to the Metaverse source code.
9. Metaverse Cybersecurity Expert
The metaverse is the perfect target for cyber-attacks and fraud: hacked avatars, NFT theft, biometric/physiological data leaks (brain wave patterns, anyone?), hacked headsets… the chances of things going wrong are almost innumerable.
That’s why we’ll need cybersecurity experts from the metaverse. People who will block attacks in real-time, and ensure laws and protocols are reconsidered and modified, and perhaps even invented, to include all the risks of the Metaverse.
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I don’t know much about cybersecurity, so I’ll leave this paragraph open with this: It’s only a matter of time before virtual breaches turn into real-world court cases.
How To Become a Metaverse Cybersecurity Expert:
Have a regular cybersecurity background and/or a law degree with a technological leaning.
10. Unpaid Intern
I know. I’m cheating to get to a nice round number. But listen to me. While this role already exists, it’s important to note that it will continue to be critical to the future of the metaverse.
Unpaid interns don’t just drink coffee. They shred the data. They make the appendages of the VC decks. They write the codes of rocks and trees. They are the necessary fodder on which technological empires have been built.
And we should salute their sacrifices.
We should also pay them.
Safety, comfort, an engaging story arc, customizable hairstyles, parental controls, puzzles, add-ons, widgets, notifications, optimizations, ideological coherence, portals of pleasure and punishment, and rumble sensors (beta)… WE HAVE IT ALL IN THE METAVERSE!
But it will not happen all at once. The Metaverse will require countless new technologies, protocols, companies, innovations, and discoveries to function. And, by definition, it will require countless people to put in countless jobs to get closer to its lofty ambitions.
If you’re lucky enough to land one of these jobs in the near future, just remember one thing: the world is pretty bleak. Please don’t take that darkness with you into the Metaverse.
Good luck out there.