Starting a career in augmented reality

Maria Stenina

Augmented reality is steadily claiming its spot not only in the digital universe but also in the career field. How can you leverage your existing skills to start a new career in AR? Here are seven smart ways to begin with.

You’ve always wanted to make your own augmented reality app. But the time, money, and coding skills required to build one have kept you from realizing your dream. Or what if you’ve been successfully building AR social filters and now consider turning it into a full time job? There are many ways to level up your career and kick off a promising future as an augmented reality expert. 

Start off as a junior developer, then move into AR

To make the most of your career, you’ll want to start off as a junior developer, then move into augmented reality. 

Some skills you’ll want to develop include: 

  • Programming. The first step on this path is learning how to program in a language that can be used for both AR and mobile app programming. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at some online resources like Udemy or FreeCodeCamp
  • 3D Modeling and Graphic Design. Understanding how 3D models work is essential if you want to create compelling digital objects for users. You should also have an eye for design if you intend on creating user interfaces or other visual elements that are essential parts of any great experience using AR technology. Learning how 3D models work is easy with online courses like those offered by Google’s Udacity program. There are also plenty of free resources available online. 

Level up from game designer to AR game designer

There are many ways to level up your career as a game designer and kick off a promising future as an AR game designer. 

It’s important to understand the difference between AR and traditional video games. Video games that use AR technology allow players to see their surroundings while playing the game on their device or computer screen. In other words, they interact with virtual objects that appear in real-life settings while still seeing through their physical eyes rather than looking at a screen alone. 

This form of gameplay has been used for years by Nintendo’s Pokemon Go and Microsoft’s HoloLens headset but has only recently gained popularity among gamers worldwide. To kick off the transition, dig into Augmented Reality for Everyone course that FreeCodeCamp provides.

– Consider becoming a 3D modeler

It’s a good starting point for anyone looking to get into augmented reality, 3D printing, CAD, VR and animation. Your skill set will most likely already has a lot of crossover with the gaming industry and engineering fields.

– Get creative with your experience in graphic design

Being a graphic designer can be a great entry point into augmented reality. Graphic designers are skilled in visual communication and often have experience with tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, which are used to create 3D models. This can come in handy when designing AR experiences because these apps and games often use 3D models as visuals. 

Graphic designers can also take their skills in designing 2D layouts and apply them to creating the user interface (UI) for an app or game—for example, designing buttons on the screen or menus that users will interact with using gestures on their smartphones or tablets. Keep this in mind when applying for jobs at companies that create AR applications! 

– Work on your design skills to become an industrial designer

If you want to work in augmented reality, there’s no better place to start than with industrial design. As an industrial designer, you’ll be tasked with creating objects that are functional and appealing, but also new ways to use technology that most people haven’t considered before. This requires a great deal of creativity and imagination—but also means that once you’ve got the hang of things as an industrially-trained designer, it will be easier for your ideas to get off the ground. 

If this sounds like something that interests you, consider getting into industrial design. You’ll need some training in engineering first (which is always helpful), but then all it takes is hard work and perseverance on your part. 

As augmented reality continues to grow, there are many different types of jobs that you can do with the technology. Here are some extra ideas to explore:

Business managers are responsible for overseeing an AR company’s overall operations and ensuring it is profitable. They might be tasked with hiring employees or finding new ways to promote the company’s products.

Content developers create software programs or other content for AR applications. This type of work includes writing code, building 3D models for games and apps, creating graphics for game engines like Unity or Unreal Engines, conceptualizing ideas for apps and games through sketches or illustrations, creating user manuals and instruction guides, managing databases used in development projects. 

According to Karl Hughes, there are even more career paths that software developers can take.

Looking to get started? Here are even more resources:

With all of the technology and growth in augmented reality, you can make a career out of it. We hope this article has given you some insight into which skills will help you succeed in the field and how to start building those skills today. Remember that it takes time and effort to build a successful career, but with persistence and passion for what you do (and no matter what age), it is possible!

We’re all about the future of augmented reality, and we want you to be a part of it! 

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