Metaverse is the word of the moment – referring to online, persistent virtual environments that many, including the likes of Facebook and Microsoft – believe represent the next evolution of the internet.
Exactly what it will entail is far from certain right now – but what’s clear is that people are increasingly spending more of their time online and are constantly looking for more immersive and experiential ways to do it.
Metaverse platforms like Decentraland and Sandbox are attracting big names from the world of business and entertainment, with the price of virtual land going through the roof – in 2021, sales topped $500 million. This means that there are increasing opportunities for skilled metaverse engineers, architects, visionaries, and marketers. These will be the people responsible for building whatever it will eventually become!
Learning the skills needed for the metaverse is easier than ever as there are plenty of resources available online to show you how to get started, often at little or even no cost. So, if you like the idea of becoming an architect of the brave new digital universe, then here are some courses you might like:
Starting off with a general-purpose class to learn the basics, this class from the leading online course platform Udemy promises to teach “everything about the metaverse” for a low cost. As always, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t find the content helpful.
The course covers the technical infrastructure elements of the metaverse, including blockchain, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies and how to invest in them, as well as virtual and augmented reality, and how to buy and sell land in the metaverse. It’s designed as a grounder in the fundamental technologies that are used to create and maintain virtual worlds, and at three hours in duration is more bite-sized than in-depth. This means it’s most likely to serve as a jumping-off point for you to discover which elements are most interesting to you before you seek out more comprehensive sources of information.
Virtual reality (VR) will be the window through which much of the metaverse is experienced. This course (available for free with financial aid) teaches about the hardware and software involved in creating immersive 3D worlds that can be explored in much the same way as we experience the real world, thanks to headsets and a growing number of other devices, including gloves and haptic suits. It also teaches the basics of 3D graphic design and leads on to developing your own game or project within the VR environment.
Another course offered through Udemy, focusing on developing business ideas from scratch to ride the metaverse wave. It covers both establishing yourself as a provider of VR and augmented reality (AR) skills on a freelance or agency basis, as well as outsourcing those skills to develop your own ideas into marketable businesses.
As it sounds, this 20-hour course is primarily aimed at those who want to learn to build video games using the popular Unity engine. However, the principles that it covers are also directly relevant to creating the type of 3D environments that are becoming popular for VR/ metaverse projects. In fact, Unity is the most popular engine overall for developers involved in creating VR environments. Combining a course such as this one with a course focused on the business aspects of metaverse development could be a good way to develop a thorough understanding of all aspects of the process of metaverse building.
If you don’t want to go down the route of learning to create metaverse worlds and environments from scratch, then learning one of the most popular platforms that comes with its own editing tools might be for you. You might think of Roblox as a kid’s game, but in fact, it is one of the most popular metaverse platforms, with brands including Forever 21, Nike, and Nascar all using it to deliver unique digital marketing experiences. The platform itself includes several courses and tutorials that will be enough to get you started. Just be prepared to compete with some very skilled and very young creatives if you choose to make this platform your metaverse tool of choice!
Intuitive and frictionless user experience (UX) is core to the concept of metaverse design, which is strongly focused on providing immersive experiences. Learning the basics of UX design with a course like this one will help anyone to understand some of the fundamental principles which are involved when it comes to building high-quality virtual environments and worlds. This is a short course that covers wireframing, prototyping, and testing, which are all vital skills you will need in order to communicate your metaverse vision to others.
To stay on top of the latest on the metaverse and wider business and tech trends, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter and have a look at my new book, Extended Reality in Practice: 100+ Amazing Ways Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Are Changing Business and Society.