Progressive technologists are carving out a vision for the future of jobs in the metaverse. There are new virtual careers up for grabs.
The loud, colourful scenes of the metaverse are here to stay. As the general public seeks a way to avoid the pains of reality, the virtual worlds being constructed also offer a departure from the usual ways of work.
With the price for parcels of land going through the roof in Decentraland and personalities like Snoop Dogg investing in the virtual world with The Sandbox, it seems like the alternative vision for the future has really started to take shape in the last year.
As we explore the current trends shaping the world of work, the gig economy and the Great Resignation are signals of optimism for a more wholesome, creative approach, with interesting opportunities outside of the traditional roles of work.
This is exactly where the metaverse can play a vital role in providing a world where productivity isn’t only associated with hourly work and hourly wages.
In this new virtual world, cities and scenes can be built around passions. The avatars occupying these spaces will become the first to take advantage of the burgeoning virtual workforce required to operate, sustain and drive this new innovative technology forward.
"The entire concept of a job will change - how a person finds a job, where a person lives, what a person does, how long a person works on a project, and how a person interacts with their peers,” Sathya Peri, founder of Gathertown, said.
“People will only take on a job where incentives and values are clearly aligned".
Building spaces for avatar communities
Besides the obvious requirement for software developers, the real estate being snapped up in the metaverse presents ample opportunities for jobs that help landowners utilise their new virtual spaces.
All kinds of designers, from 3D modelling to graphics and interior design, are needed in the virtual world. In fact, the metaverse itself doesn’t exist without designers.
Different metaverses will offer a unique range of design tools, such as Vixedit in The Sandbox, Builder in Decentraland and Minecraft in UpliftWorld but the commonality among all of them is their requirement for design skills.
Once you have mastered a range of techniques, it is easier to transition from one world to the next, learning about the various design tools.
Another job that will be in high demand is that of an architect. These new forms of architects will be required to imagine buildings, cities and landscapes like never before.
Don't be fooled by the title ‘architect’ when it comes to the metaverse. These virtual worlds deconstruct what it means to build exceptional buildings and landscapes. Virtual architects don't have to factor in longevity and material sensitivity to weather considerations.
Instead the opportunities of scale and creativity are opened up, giving way for new freedoms in design that have never existed previously.
For budding mathematicians, stepping outside the traditional education sector, into the metaverse, gives numbers lovers a new lease of life. From building scenes to roadways to allocating space for luxury NFT assets like yachts in a harbour, metaverse jobs for creative number lovers are ripe for the taking.
Getting playful when it comes to income streams
New, magical lands where gamers are kings and everyone has equal opportunity to play to earn seems like an unimaginable prospect just a few years ago. Instead, with blockchain technology, gaming has been transformed into a viable income stream for many.
Miles Anthony, founder of Decentral Games and ICE Poker Lounge, believes that “there currently are, and will be more, incentives to participate in metaverse play-to-earn economics, which deliver work in the form of play”.
It is now widely acknowledged in the world of blockchain that gamers will play a crucial role in the future of the industry. Gamers, especially in the area of play-to-earn, will be in demand for the vast number of projects currently being built to cater for the blockchain and traditional gaming community.
This could be viewed as one of the most playful job titles in the metaverse but it has a serious side that will lead savvy gamers to many new income streams.
“Since I was a kid, I had always dreamed of having and raising Pokemons and Digimons. Feeding, playing and going on adventures with them,” said Anthony.
“Well, with the metaverse, all industries will be able to leverage the colossal potential of such technology and revolutionise the world economy”.
Founder of Game of Throws, Aiham Shoaib believes gamers are in a unique position as we adopt the play-to-earn model.
“The metaverse will build a whole economy around it. It will revolutionize all industries and create a ton of new opportunities. For example, “Gamer” will be a full time job sooner than we think,” he said.
What jobs will bring the virtual world to life?
Are you a budding writer, struggling to meet the bills? Tell me about it.
Never fear. In the virtual worlds being constructed, there is a tangible place to kickstart your writing ambitions and plenty of room for writers, especially storytellers that have experience crafting unique tales and perspicuous narratives.
In fact, writers with backgrounds in literary studies and philosophy may offer the ideas needed to expand the lands forming within the metaverses today, adding depth to the design and architecture within. What will be required from writers are thoughtful stories with attention to detail in the prose, characters, and scenes.
"There is an incredible amount of innovation happening. All of us in web 3.0 and especially metaverses are building products and platforms where the end-users have no idea what it's for and why they need it. A strong narrative is immensely important if you need communities at scale to adopt your tech," Charu Sethi, CMO of Unique Network, noted.
The role of the "community manager" was brought to life in the world of crypto as more and more projects relied on their followers to build their brand. This is also true for the metaverse and creative enduring communities will be a task within every virtual space.
Peri has seen this happening within Gathertown.
"The community manager role will expand to developing the culture of a community through hosting virtual experiences that foster deep connections," she said.
Sethi also believes creating the community vibe will help to unify community members.
"Since Web 3.0 and the metaverse ecosystems will be community-driven one of the key roles that will be valuable is creating a bond between community members,” she said.
“This skill is beyond managing communities - it's bringing them together, creating a vibe that makes others want to join in - A Vibe Manager or Vibe head".
Transferring skills from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0
Considering the reduction in travel due to the global pandemic and the impact on the environment, it seems like a natural progression towards a virtual travel industry.
This doesn't mean that the industry talent has to go to waste. In fact, the opposite is true and metaverse planners may be calling out for those with travel industry experience. Booking itineraries, product research, negotiating rates, reserving tickets, finding the right venue; minus the hotels, flights, and physical experiences, there is a wide range of transferable skills that can be creatively applied to the needs of the metaverse.
Another must-have skill for avatars wishing to showcase their style will be fashion experts.
Your avatar's sense of style is probably the best way to express the virtual version of your personality at this point in time. This means wearables are going to be big in the future of the metaverse.
With the rise in wearables will come a demand for fashion gurus. In reality, personal shoppers are for the elite, only those who have truly made it or won the lottery will have the luxury of their own personal shopper.
However, this is a new version of reality and the opportunity for every avatar to have their own personal shopper may be attainable in the not-so-distant future.
Managing the metaverse is going to involve a vast number of new, exciting job opportunities.
As the Great Resignation snowballs, where will people be spending their time and how will people remain productive in a world where automation and AI are replacing a large portion of manual positions?
According to a recent study by MIT and Boston University, robots could replace as many as 2 million more workers in manufacturing alone by 2025.
The metaverse offers a solution to this gap in demand for traditional skills by reimagining the idea of work in a post-labour virtual world.
As the cities within the metaverses take shape so too will the workforce of the future.