From Pokemon Go to the Ikea app, Snapchat filters to connecting with replicas of loved ones after death, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are gaining traction in the mainstream. As the technology gains steam, demand for employees with the skills to create these types of additive, immersive experiences is surging.
Demand For AR/VR Engineers Skyrockets
Popular job site Hired released its report, 2020 State of Software Engineers, and the results are clear – this is the year of AR/VR. Demand-growth for AR/VR engineers tops the chart of engineering specializations at a whopping 1,400%, nearly ten times that of the second most popular category – gaming engineers – at 146%.
Hired also shares salary figures for this in-demand field. AR/VR engineers in major U.S. cities, such as San Francisco, New York, Seattle, LA, and Boston, can expect a salary in the $140k–$160k range.
However, demand is quickly outpacing supply, and we may see bigger companies offering sizable incentives to highly-skilled candidates. But first, they’ll need to pass through an array of coding exams, behavioral interviews, and whiteboarding sessions to compete for the most desirable positions.
The growth in demand for AR/VR engineers has quickly outpaced the high demand for blockchain engineers in the previous year as many smaller blockchain startups struggle to gain mainstream traction.
On the other hand, 74% of engineers in the survey expected to see the full impact of AR and VR within the next five years, and nearly half named the tech to be among the top three skills they desire to learn in 2020.
What’s Driving The Demand For AR/VR Engineers?
According to IDC, global spend on extended reality (XR) technology, which includes AR and VR, is expected to increase by 78.5% in 2020. Major technology players, such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, are working to further develop the technology as well as integrate it into our everyday lives.
Forbes recently released the following information regarding the top five trends in AR and VR for 2020, all of which may contribute to increased demand for engineers in the field:
- Industrial usage of AR and VR exceeds that of consumer applications. It’s used in training, to simulate dangerous working conditions or working with expensive tools, as well as to convey necessary information to staff who would otherwise need to stop working while they consult manuals.
- Use of AR and VR in healthcare has become more mainstream for purposes such as therapy, diagnostics, and training.
- Smaller, more mobile headsets with greater power offer more untethered experiences that users crave at reasonable price points.
- 5G opens unprecedented possibilities for VR streaming.
- Education uses VR to offer remote classrooms, instructional overlays, and flexible training environments.
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