The $100bn opportunity of augmented & virtual reality

Here's how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) recruitment will prove valuable in the near future

The global extended reality (XR) market, which includes augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) is predicted to exceed $100bn by 2026.

VR’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to rise by 28 per cent each year, with oil, gas, and manufacturing industries driving growth. Meanwhile, AR is forecasting an impressive CAGR of 51 per cent by 2030, the future of XR has the potential to transform our daily lives.

Biggest benefits of immersive technology for businessesImmersive technology, whether it’s the metaverse or augmented reality overlaid onto our physical world, will make remote operation of machinery a reality and transform how we communicate.

Transforming teamwork

The global Covid-19 pandemic saw the accelerated adoption of augmented reality and revolutionised the way we work. Many companies had to pivot and adapt their workforces digitally to continue operating during lockdowns. In a post-pandemic 2023, the benefits are evident with companies using AR reporting average productivity improvements of 32 per cent and a reduction of 46 per cent in task times.

AR has the unique ability to unite remote teams, enabling real-time collaboration and connection via videoconferencing and file sharing. Colleagues can immerse themselves in virtual meeting rooms, which gives the user the experience of co-working regardless of their location.

The flexibility and benefits that AR empowers are appealing to both employees and organisations too. Over 56 per cent of US companies are using some form of AR and VR in the workplace with that statistic set to rise as the technology progresses, remote and hybrid working may be here to stay.

Future of healthcare

Virtual reality has the potential to be implemented across a vast number of sectors, in particular the healthcare industry. The healthcare market for AR/VR is expected to be worth just under $20bn by 2030 providing huge potential for skilled software developers to continue innovating new technologies.

VR offers innovative ways to improve patient care across many areas from physiotherapy to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment and even stroke rehabilitation.

Remarkably, VR has also been successfully used in the area of pain management by distracting patients with immersive experiences, reducing their reliance on pain medication.

The power of VR technology is also playing a key role in medical training by simulating operating theatres to create an immersive, training experience for healthcare professionals.

A study published by Harvard Business Review showed VR training improved participants’ overall surgical performance by 230 per cent compared with traditional training methods.

What metaverse infrastructure can bring to hospitalsDigital, cloud and advisory service provider Avanade is exploring how the metaverse can help healthcare providers reimagine hospital operations.

Transformative tech

The summer of 2023 saw both Apple and Meta unveil their VR headsets to the world. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg beat Apple’s Tim Cook with a surprise launch of the Meta Quest 3 VR headset last month. Apple countered with their mixed reality offering the Apple Vision Pro scheduled for an early 2024 release.

As the tech advances, augmented and virtual reality look set to add benefits to many areas of work, and across all industries, transforming how we do business, learn and experience the world. In tandem, the demand for skilled talent increases too, making it a safe bet for any worker looking, not only to future proof their career, but to position themselves at the forefront of this exciting and ever-evolving tech frontier.

Below is just a sample of what’s currently on offer and you can find many more roles on the Information Age Jobs Board.

Software engineering manager, AR Glasses Platform, Meta, London, UK

Meta’s mission is to build community and bring the world closer together. With over three billion people using its products globally, Meta is on the hunt for a world-class creative and experienced engineer. Based in the company’s London office, you will support a team of engineers building in-headset tooling for developers and creators to debug and edit 2D/3D applications for current and future MR/AR devices. If you’re a strong leader with experience building tooling, this could be the perfect role for you. Coding skills in one of the following languages: C++, Java, Kotlin, a plus.

Game designer, Electronic Arts, Playdemic Division, Manchester, UK

Playdemic is one of the UK and Europe’s leading mobile games companies, acquired by EA in 2021 for over £1bn. The company is home to the top 10 grossing, BAFTA-winning mobile smash – Golf Clash franchise. It is on a mission to recruit a talented game designer to join the Golf Clash division in its award-winning studio located in Manchester. There you will collaborate on the ideation of new game features and systems. Experience working on live games in a game development studio is essential for this position. Further information and a full job description can be viewed here.

Senior UX visual designer, Device Design Group, Futures Design Amazon Dev Centre, London, UK

Futures Design is the advanced concept design and incubation team within Amazon’s Devices and Services Design Group. The team is responsible for exploring and defining opportunities globally and locally to improve customer experiences. An opportunity has opened for a senior UX visual designer to develop world-class visual design systems for future Amazon devices. The successful candidate will work cross-collaboratively between visual, motion, UX, product, and engineering partners to develop scalable visual frameworks within the Device Design Group team. Six-plus years’ of design experience as a visual UI designer, interaction designer, or similar role is required for eligibility for all applications.

If you’re looking to advance within the industry, visit the Information Age Jobs Board today for up-to-the-minute opportunities from top companies looking for talent

Sarah Kiely Lavelle is an award-winning entrepreneur and freelance journalist from Dublin. She is passionate about startups and has a particular interest in scaling companies within the FMCG industry.


Highest-earning software salaries rankedA deep dive into the highest-earning salaries that are being offered across the software market.