The 15 Best Online Metaverse Courses
The metaverse is still in its infancy, and it has yet to take its definitive shape. This opens a fantastic opportunity for young and old alike to start a new career in an exciting and emerging industry. Web 2.0 brought on new roles like digital marketers and SEO specialists and made developers and graphic designers take on more important roles than ever in businesses across the globe.
What new jobs will the metaverse, a.k.a. Web 3.0, bring? What skills will new professionals need? And most importantly, where can you learn those skills?
Today’s post is about beating the odds and becoming the professional that every company will need to hire in the near future. You’ll learn what you need to know to become a web 3.0 expert and where to find online metaverse courses so you can get started today to become the expert needed tomorrow.
10 Skills For The Metaverse
The metaverse is still in its early stages, which means that the roles needed to make it thrive are still being defined. However, there are a few skills that we know will be essential for anyone looking to work in the metaverse:
#1. Computer Programming and Software Development
The metaverse will be built on software, meaning that computer programmers and developers will be in high demand. If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve, becoming a full-stack developer or learning a popular programming language like Java or Python would be an excellent start. However, other frameworks like Microsoft’s .NET may also be relevant.
#2. 3D Design and Animation
Another skill that will be in high demand for the metaverse is the ability to create and animate 3D objects. This could be anything from simple avatars to more complex environments and even entire virtual worlds. If you’re not already familiar with 3D design, learning a tool like Autodesk Maya or Blender would be a good place to start.
#3. VR/AR Software and Hardware Development
One of the core technologies most commonly associated with the metaverse is virtual reality. However, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is betting on AR instead. That means that both VR and AR development will likely be in high demand in the coming years. A VR or AR expert can create 3D environments and also knows how to make those environments interactive and accessible through a VR/AR headset.
VR development is an interdisciplinary field combining both of the abovementioned skills. A virtual reality developer will likely need to know their way around 3D design software and understand how they work and how images are rendered. They’ll also need to know about hardware and human/computer interfaces like VR and AR headsets and how they provide an immersive experience for future metaversians.
#4. Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and NFTs
According to many futurists, the metaverse will be built on the blockchain, which means that those with expertise in smart contracts, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be in high demand. Cryptocurrencies are likely to become the fuel of the new virtual economy. Their borderless character and decentralized nature make cryptos the ideal form of global payment for the metaverse. Someone from Australia can easily pay a service provider in the metaverse who can then use a crypto exchange in Singapore or any other country to transform the tokens into local flat currency. NFTs, on the other hand, will be the basis of ownership of digital assets within the metaverse.
If you’re not already familiar with these concepts, now would be a good time to start learning about them to see if it sparks your interest and if you feel like you could see yourself working in this space.
#5. Data Mining and Data Science
The metaverse will be a data-rich environment. The way VR and AR work enables this technology to know what you’re focusing your attention on when you move around inside the virtual space. This data and the insights drawn from it are valuable assets for any business that wants to know its customers.
Those who can spot the next big data trend before it hits will find it as valuable as an oil strike.
Data scientists will be in high demand to help businesses understand user behavior and trends to improve their products and services.
Most people think that data science is only for the mathematically gifted. However, numerous online courses and boot camps can turn you into an accomplished data scientist, even if you don’t have a background in science or engineering.
#6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
As the field of artificial intelligence (AI) advances, so too will the capabilities of the metaverse. AI is currently used to create realistic and lifelike avatars that can naturally interact with humans. It can also power different aspects of the future metaverse functionality like search, recommendation, and personalization. AI experts will be in high demand to help create and power the future metaverse.
#7. User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Design
The user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are critical components of any software application, and the metaverse will be no different. A great UX/UI provides a smooth and intuitive user experience. Even today, skilled UX/UI designers are in high demand because of how crucial good design is to the success of any software application. In the future metaverse, where user experience will be even more critical, UX/UI designers will be in even higher demand.
#8. Game Development
The metaverse currently being developed is shaping to be similar to a giant video game. Most current platforms referred to as metaverses (or protometaverses) are massively multiplayer online gaming platforms (MMOG), like Roblox and Decentraland. They allow users to create their own environments and experiences and share them with other players.
This puts game developers at the heart of the creation of the metaverse, and companies already understand that full well. Most current game developers rely on 3D design and animation software to create virtual worlds full of realistic assets that they then make interactive through game engines like Unity or Unreal.
#9. Cyber Security
As the metaverse grows, so will the need for cybersecurity experts. Hackers and malicious actors have been around since the beginning of the internet. However, as the internet evolves and transitions to the metaverse, there will likely be new more complex vulnerabilities to address as these hackers continue trying to steal personal data and wreak havoc (just like they do in the current iteration of the internet, a.k.a. Web 2.0). We’ll need new, tighter security protocols for the metaverse, and it will be up to cybersecurity experts to develop and implement them.
The metaverse will have its own economy. Whether it evolves as a parallel system to the current global economy based on cryptocurrencies or as an integrated part of it is yet to be determined. Nevertheless, it will be a power to reckon with, and we’ll need the sharpest minds in finance and economics to help businesses navigate this new landscape. These new economists will allow companies to identify new opportunities or develop new profitable business models for the new internet.
In short, the metaverse economy will be different from the current economy in many ways, and we’ll need economists to help us understand how it works and how to take advantage of it.
Where To Learn These Skills Online
So, now that we know what skills will be in demand in the future metaverse, where can we learn them? One option is to start with an undergraduate or graduate-level degree in any of the abovementioned fields. Universities like MIT, Stanford, CalTech in the US, Oxford in the UK, and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, offer some of the world’s best computer science and software development degrees.
However, these universities are not a realistic option for many because they’re too expensive or too far away.
The good news is that there are already many online courses and boot camps teaching these skills. Let’s look at the most popular ones you’ll find.
Computer Programming and Software Development Courses
The number of online boot camps and software development courses is truly astronomical. Here are just a few of our favorites for beginners:
- #1 EdX: edX is a massive open online course provider founded by Harvard University and MIT. It offers a wide variety of computer science courses, including introductory programming courses like Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python, as well as more specialized classes like Secure Software Development, Blockchain Technologies, and Cybersecurity.
- #2 Udacity: Udacity is another primary provider of online courses focusing on computer science and programming. It offers both Nanodegrees (specialized programs that take anywhere from four to six months to complete) and free courses. Udacity’s free courses include an Intro to Computer Science course that is a great starting point for those that don’t have a technical background.
- #3 Coursera: Coursera is an online course provider founded by Stanford University professors that offers courses in a wide range of disciplines, including computer science. Its computer science courses include Introduction to Programming with Python and Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals.
- #4 The Hongkong University of Science and Technology: This university offers a 16-week BootCamp through Coursera that covers everything from front-end UI and software development to backend software development using the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js).
3D Design and Animation Courses
To get into the nitty-gritty of designing and animating 3D worlds, you’ll need to learn how to use 3D design and animation software. These are some of the most popular software packages used by game developers:
- #5 Udemy: Udemy offers a Virtual Reality Specialization program with five independent courses that’ll take you from an intro to VR to developing your own VR game or experience.
- #6 LinkedIn Learning: The famous business networking site LinkedIn has its own online course provider called LinkedIn Learning. It offers several 3D animation courses, including an Introduction to 3ds Max and a Beginner’s Guide to ZBrush.
- #7 Pluralsight: Pluralsight is an online course provider focused on technical skills like programming, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. It also offers 3D & Visual Effects courses that cover 3D design and rendering packages like Maya, Adobe After Effects, Fusion, and more.
VR/AR Software and Game Development Courses
- #8 University of California San Diego: This school offers an online course on designing and implementing interactive VR software apps. It’s an excellent 5-month course that will take you from zero to hero in Unity 3D and WebVR coding.
- #9 Zenva: this platform offers a mini-degree in virtual reality that goes deep into creating virtual reality 3D games.
- #10 Unity Learn: this is the popular Unity 3D game engine website. They offer several free and paid courses on using Unity, including one on creating VR games with Unity. One of these courses is Design, Develop, and Deploy for VR – Oculus + Unity, a popular 23-hour course for intermediate coders. Another example is the Complete Unity Game Development Course, a 20-hour course on the basics of using the Unity 3D game engine for beginners.
Courses on Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrencies, and NFTs
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are two of the hottest topics in the tech world right now. You’ll find many online courses based in different countries around the world. Indian cryptocurrency and blockchain courses are very popular due to their good quality and low cost. Still, many prefer paying premium rates for higher-tier courses with more widely accepted certifications. Some of the many online courses to choose from include:
- #11 Coinbase: Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges and offers a free Crypto Basics course that covers everything from buying crypto to storing it safely.
- #12 Udemy: Udemy offers several blockchain technology and cryptocurrency trading courses. These include a Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Essentials course and an Ethereum Blockchain Developer: Build Projects Using Solidity course.
- #13 Ivy League Schools: Several Ivy League schools, including Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania, offer blockchain-focused courses through online course providers like Coursera and edX.
- #14 Web Educators: The Web Educators platform offers the Web3 Blockchain Bootcamp that covers all the basics of blockchain tech, the Ethereum network, smart contracts, and decentralized apps.
Metaverse Economics Courses
Some of the most prominent business schools in the world offer courses on doing business in the metaverse.
- #15 Penn: Perhaps the most notorious example is the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. The school launched a six-week, six-module metaverse course for business leaders. It starts with the basics of how the metaverse works. Then, it covers topics like use cases, metaverse economics, value creation and capture, metaverse business management, and more.
The Bottom Line
These are just some of the numerous online courses about the metaverse you’ll find on the web. To become a metaverse expert, you must start by choosing how you’ll enter this virtual workforce. Depending on your skills and interests, you may want to pursue a career in software development, 3D design, or business leadership for the metaverse, for example.
Once you’re clear on what you want to do, I advise starting with a short and free introductory course to see if it’s a good fit for your personality and skills. Afterward, you can move on to more advanced courses to help you get ahead in your metaverse career.
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