How To Become A Metaverse Expert
Lately, many people have been dropping significant amounts of money in digital assets in anticipation of the metaverse (aka Web 3.0, and hashtag #web3). You might have heard people touting the metaverse as the frontier of real estate and the future of the internet. A new way to interact, play, work and live, and run a thriving business. Naturally, seeing so much opportunity and what others in your industry are doing in the metaverse, you are curious and want to learn more about it.
If that’s your case, and you want to become an expert on the metaverse, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the space and cover the most important bases on going from zero to hero in record time so you can make the most of the opportunities this emerging field offers.
What is The Metaverse?
Before becoming an expert in the metaverse, you first need to know what it is.
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a slightly different answer, but in general, the metaverse is a conceptual 3-dimensional world that runs on the internet. People can access it from anywhere worldwide as long as they have an internet connection and the proper equipment, like a VR headset or any other type of VR gear.
In this virtual world, using blockchain technology, users can own digital assets like virtual land, houses, and pretty much anything else they could own in the real world. Since blockchain technology secures these digital assets, their ownership can easily be verified, transferred, and it’s impossible to duplicate, making them extremely valuable.
Some Background Knowledge About the Metaverse
Now that you know what the metaverse is, it is also essential to have some background knowledge about the different concepts and technologies surrounding it. This will not only help you have a firmer grasp of the opportunities it can offer, but it will also give you a better view of what you need to learn to become an expert.
The main idea behind cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin, and digital assets is decentralization. In decentralization, the task of securing an asset is distributed to different entities instead of being handled by a single, centralized organization. It thus makes the entire system less centralized and more immune to manipulation.
Blockchain technology is the underlying infrastructure that powers cryptocurrencies and many popular metaverse platforms. In essence, it’s a digital ledger where groups of transactions are registered in blocks and independently verified by a decentralized network or of computers. Every time one of these computers successfully verifies that a block of transactions is legit, the block is added or concatenated to the previous block of verified transactions, making a chain of blocks, i.e., the blockchain.
The blockchain is what allowed cryptocurrencies and digital assets to develop. Using it means no company, government, or centralized institution is needed to secure each transaction, and users no longer need to trust them to facilitate trades. This technology allowed for a completely trustless system that users could use to manage digital assets.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Because the blockchain can secure digital assets as well as transactions in the system, it allows the creation of cryptocurrencies as a tool to facilitate financial transactions. This application of blockchain technology in finance is called Decentralized Finance, or DeFi for short.
DeFi services are what make it possible for us to spend crypto directly from our digital wallets at any commerce through a crypto debit card.
Decentralized Finance is at the core of the metaverse. All blockchain-based metaverse platforms rely on cryptos and native tokens to power their virtual economy, allowing users to buy and sell all sorts of digital items.
Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs are a more recent variation of the primary function of blockchain technology. As the name suggests, they are unique, indestructible, and irreplaceable digital tokens. They’re backed by smart contracts recorded and executed in the blockchain and, because they’re unique, they’re used to represent ownership of digital assets like in-platform items, digital art, and even virtual real estate.
You can think of an NFT as a lot title or the slips to your car. Without NFTs, we wouldn’t be able to claim ownership over virtual items, and they would therefore have no value since anyone can easily make an exact copy of a digital image or another asset with the click of a button.
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO)
Since the blockchain can issue NFTs and facilitate trades, it can also issue tokens akin to shares in a traditional company. These tokens are proof of ownership for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and can be used to vote on which policies the organization should implement.
Business Opportunities in the Metaverse
As mentioned earlier, the metaverse is an emerging field of technology and has a lot of potential just waiting to be discovered. Here are some current applications of the technology that enthusiasts and early investors are exploring.
The most prominent application of the metaverse is in the gaming industry because of the excitement surrounding virtual reality. Game developers can profit from royalty sales on NFTs on top of the initial game sales.
Another application that companies are exploring for the application of the metaverse is social media. In fact, after Facebook rebranded to Meta Platforms, many now consider the metaverse as the evolution of social media, allowing for a more authentic interaction than through messages on a wall.
In the metaverse as in the current Web 2.0, social media is about more than making friends and having fun. It’s also a multimillion-dollar industry that many companies big and small rely on for their online marketing efforts. Similarly, marketing in the metaverse is set to be even bigger than current social media marketing.
The most significant shift in consumer behavior in the 21st century is the emergence of online shopping, and the next one is almost sure to be immersive shopping. Developers can create a metaverse where retailers can rent digital space, or retailers can commission developers to create one for them. This allows users to access their stores in VR, experimenting with their products in the metaverse before deciding to buy the real thing.
Another metaverse application that companies are exploring is hosting virtual events. This application has benefitted many entertainment companies that were struggling because of the lockdown measure imposed by the pandemic.
By using the metaverse, immersive learning eliminates the communication constraints in remote learning. Schools and other learning institutions can commission developers to design learning experiences in the metaverse to make learning more effective and fun.
Skills You’ll Need to Become a Metaverse Expert
So, if you want to be an expert in the metaverse and take advantage of its opportunities, here are some useful skills that can give you a solid foundation in the field.
Software Development and Smart Contract Programming
A solid grasp of one or more programming languages can help you understand the technology behind the metaverse. It could tell you what is possible, what is not, and what could be possible when developing a metaverse.
Suppose you currently have no software development or programming knowledge. In that case, Solidity is an excellent language to learn, especially since it is designed to be used on smart contracts, which is a crucial element when developing a metaverse.
Graphics and Animation
Another background skill that can help you become a metaverse expert is knowledge of graphics and animation. Since the metaverse will use virtual reality, graphics and animation will play a big part in its development which can make or break the project.
For this reason, a metaverse expert with a background in graphics and animation will be a valuable part of the developer’s team. They will be responsible for most of the things that the users can see and will decide what the users will look like, how their movements will look, and how their interaction with the environment will look.
3D Modeling and Background Design
This skill is closely related to graphics and animation but serves a different purpose. Since one of the main appeals of the metaverse is its immersive user experience, experts with a background in 3D modeling and background design will also play a big part in its development.
A background in these fields can let you dictate what the environment will look like and how the users will feel when using the metaverse.
In addition to being in charge of the space’s ambiance, experts in this field also need to consider the different technical aspects of 3D modeling, like the number of polygons, edges, faces, lighting, etc., to ensure that the users’ hardware can run the metaverse properly.
Hardware/Software Engineering (AR and VR)
Another critical aspect of the metaverse is its virtual and augmented reality capabilities, which is why a background in software or hardware engineering, like microcontroller programming, will be valuable if you want to become an expert in the industry.
People with a background in these fields will be in charge of developing devices to help users interact with the metaverse. They would ensure that all the inputs and outputs from the player will be properly translated digitally.
UI / UX Design
One negative feedback that current users of digital assets have about the space is that it is not user-friendly and is confusing to use, especially for beginners and non-gammers in general. For this reason, a background in UI/UX design is also an important skill for metaverse development.
Experts with this background would be in charge of making the metaverse easy for users and making the overall user experience unforgettable.
How to Become a Metaverse Expert in 5 Steps
Now that you know what the metaverse is, what opportunities it offers, and what skills are beneficial for the platform, you are ready to become a metaverse expert. So, without further ado, here are the five steps you need to be an expert in the field.
Step #1. Decide what part of the metaverse you want to become an expert in
Remember the list of skills we mentioned earlier? You don’t need to have all of those. Having only one of those is enough. However, if you don’t have those skills, we suggest you choose one and specialize in it immediately.
Remember that metaverse development is a team effort, and you can never do everything alone. So, if you want to be an expert in the metaverse, specializing in one aspect of the industry and learning how to communicate and work with others effectively and harmoniously will make you an invaluable asset for any metaverse team.
Step #2. Find free online resources related to the field you like to decide if it’s really for you
If you’ve already decided what part of the metaverse you’d like to specialize in, the next step is to find free online resources on it. This step aims to ensure that this skill is really something you’re interested in and want to specialize in and not just blindly jumping into it.
Nothing is worse than spending a thousand dollars on a blockchain programming course only to discover that you hate programming. At least if you didn’t spend anything on a course and suddenly realized that the skill is not for you, only your time is wasted.
Step #3. Define your budget
Though you’ve already got the free online resources in the previous step, it is only useful to give you a brief background on the skill you want to specialize in. But to become a real expert, you’ll need a well-structured course that covers all the bases and ideally provides industry experience. These courses are not likely to be free.
Not only are paid courses useful and usually more informative, but most also offer certificates to add to your resume. These certificates can prove that you are a true expert in the field and can make a big difference later down the line.
So, you’ll need to set your budget to determine how much you’re willing and able to invest in your future as a metaverse expert. That doesn’t only include money but also time.
Step #4. Find the right course
Now that you’ve set your budget, you can start looking for a course that fits it. Ideally, the course you’re looking for is from a reputable entity that companies trust and that offers professional certification recognized by different agencies.
If you don’t know where to find courses, here are some websites that offer high-quality courses that can help you become a metaverse expert:
Udemy is an online learning and teaching platform where you can learn about anything (as long as a course is available). Many courses on this site are vouched for by reputable companies and cost $24.99 (with discounts) to $139.99. Some metaverse-related courses from this platform that may interest you are:
- Ethereum and Solidity: The Complete Developer’s Guide.
- VR Development Fundamentals With Oculus Quest 2 And Unity.
- Master Digital Product Design: UX Research & UI Design.
Linkedin Learning is an online learning platform from the recognized social media LinkedIn. It offers different courses taught by leading field experts. They offer professional certificates to students who finish their course, costing $29.99 per month. Here are some courses from this platform that may interest you:
- Blockchain: Learning Solidity.
- Understanding Augmented and Virtual Reality: An Introduction.
- Getting Started in User Experience.
Coursera is another online learning platform where users can take online courses from reputable universities worldwide. The courses they offer come with a professional certificate and cost $49 per month. Some courses that may interest you are:
- Smart Contracts.
- Developing AR/VR/MR/XR Apps with WebXR, Unity & Unreal.
- Google UX Design Professional Certificate.
Step #5. Organize your time and get started
This is what it comes down to in the end, action! You’ve done all your planning, potentially tried out different options until you found a part of the industry you like more than the others, and did your homework looking for the right course. Now, it’s time to enroll and get started.
You don’t have to limit yourself to a single course. You could take several related or even unrelated courses that cover different aspects of the metaverse. For example, you could be learning 3D design while at the same time starting a course on tokenomics, something completely different yet paramount to a metaverse platform’s long-term financial success.
The Bottom Line
There you have it. This is all you need to become an expert in the metaverse. Yes, it can feel overwhelming at times, and it requires a lot of effort to become one, but the results will be worth it. Not only will you acquire a future-proof skillset that will all but ensure you a job in any industry in the coming years, but it may also empower you to start your own metaverse.
By becoming an expert in this field, you can be one of the first to take advantage of its opportunities and make the most out of it.
Fortune favors the bold. So, if you are willing to take the risk and invest the necessary time, resources, and effort to become a metaverse expert, you can become one and enjoy all the benefits it can bring when it becomes mainstream.
Here is Part Two of this 2-part series – How To Start Your Own Metaverse
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