- The metaverse is a new, speculative concept but companies are already hiring for it.
- Major brands such as Facebook, Nike, Gucci, and Microsoft are all seeking metaverse candidates.
- Experts predict the metaverse could create demand for new kinds of jobs too.
If tech companies have their way, the next iteration of the internet will involve heavy use of augmented and virtual reality for gaming, entertaining, socializing, and working.
Experts aren’t necessarily convinced by the hype around the metaverse but Meta, currently an $819 billion company, is effectively betting its future on the idea. Grayscale, a cryptocurrency asset manager, estimates the metaverse could make $1 trillion annual revenue opportunity across ads, digital assets, and events.
And where there’s revenue potential, there are jobs for those with a sufficiently high risk appetite.
Meta in October announced plans to hire 10,000 people to help build the metaverse in technical fields such as engineering, design, and product management. At the time of writing, Facebook has 25 postings that explicitly mention the metaverse — including for a hardware products boss to help create new devices like AR smart glasses and other wearable technologies, and a technical program management director to “drive development” of metaverse worlds, content, and avatars.
Andy Wilkinson, Facebook’s Europe, the Middle East, and Africa recruiting director, previously told Insider the firm was thinking of the metaverse as “the next version of the internet”, and gave us his tips on acing an interview.
Elsewhere, Microsoft currently has a job opening for a senior program manager for its Mesh virtual reality platform. The job ad reads: “Our tech moves beyond screens and pixels, creating a new reality aimed at bringing us closer together — whether that’s scientists “meeting” on the surface of a virtual Mars or some yet undreamed-of possibility.”
Roblox, the wildly popular game-building and virtual worlds platform, is even more all-in on the metaverse, adding to term to all 258 of the open roles on its site, which span everything from engineering to talent recruitment. Insider previously reported that top-tier Roblox employees are paid above $400,000 in base salary, and chief technology officer Daniel Sturman said all roles are “geared towards enabling the metaverse experiences.”
While most of the roles above focus on creating each company’s version of the metaverse, experts think new jobs could arise from the metaverse itself.
“Applications that we are seeing now that have a gamified component, or are part of entertainment, they have a clear value,” said UCL associate professor Jean-Philippe Vergne. “So online gaming clearly, or fashion shows, or entertainment events, virtual concerts, 3D concerts, live music, things like that, there’s a clear value to that.”
Nike has US-based job openings geared to the metaverse, including a virtual material designer to create the futuristic, virtual Nike products, and a senior 3D game designer/metaverse engineer. Insider’s Matthew Kish has reported in detail on Nike’s metaverse plans as revealed through its patent filings.
As fashion brands embrace the metaverse, other future jobs include metaverse event directors, head of immersive, and virtual product managers, according to Pringle.
“You’re going to need people to understand the nuance and sophistication of balancing both those portfolios of the virtual and the real,” he said. So we’ll see growth in that space.”
Nick Pringle, creative director at agency R/GA, predicts “massive entrepreneurialism in the space.” He pointed to the rise of speculative assets like NFTs and the idea that gamers may be able to earn cryptocurrencies or tokens as they play.
Pringle predicts that interest in digital assets will create demand for 3D artists and digital fashion designers, NFT gallerists and perhaps even tour guides. There aren’t “enough” people to fulfill these roles right now, so being skilled in that area may become more desirable.