Deep cuts have hit hard and fast across the tech industry this year, and these days, few jobs are considered completely insulated from the spectre of layoffs. One sector that might have been considered to be relatively safe though, is that of the metaverse.
Referring to a virtual world where users can interact with each other and digital objects in a shared, immersive environment, the metaverse goes hand in hand with mixed reality technologies. Investment — and interest — has been huge in recent years.
The recent news that Disney is to drop its entire metaverse division — around 50 people — as part of a much larger 7,000 headcount cull across the company, raised eyebrows. The team was working on how Disney could use its existing intellectual property, by incorporating augmented reality in its theme parks, for example.
Microsoft, too, is shuttering its Industrial Metaverse Core Group, a team of around 100 people, as part of a much larger round of layoffs it announced in January. Generative AI is its big bet, having invested $10bn into OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, its third investment into the technology.
But of course, it is Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta that has been in the vanguard of the metaverse over the past few years. The company spent $36bn on the metaverse, but appears to be pulling back as it focuses on its much-vaunted “year of efficiency”.
“Our leading work building the metaverse and shaping the next generation of computing platforms … remains central to defining the future of social connection,” Zuckerberg said in a blog post announcing layoffs.
In real terms, while the metaverse is still important to the company, AI is top dog. “Our single largest investment is in advancing AI and building it into every one of our products. We have the infrastructure to do this at unprecedented scale and I think the experiences it enables will be amazing,” he also said.
Key metaverse jobs
Given all of that, is the future of Web3 in doubt? The term is attributed to the next phase of the internet: decentralised, and blockchain-, AI- and ML-powered, Web3 is an emerging technology landscape that comprises many underlying technologies, meaning a need for new and evolving job roles.
So even as the dream of the metaverse wobbles, there is plenty of scope left in the idea of the third iteration of the internet. Below, discover some Web3 job roles we could see plenty more of in the future. For many more, browse the Information Age Jobs Board.
1. Blockchain developer
Blockchain has huge scope across sectors, including health, finance, education and more. With the rise of decentralised applications (dApps) built on blockchain technology, there will be an increased demand for developers who can create and maintain these applications.
2. Smart contract engineer
Smart contracts, self-executing programmes based on if-then logic, are on the rise, with the smart contracts market expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.5% from 2022 to 2032. As smart contracts become more prevalent in various industries, there will be a need for engineers who can design, develop, and deploy these contracts.
3. Decentralised finance (DeFi) specialist
DeFi is an emerging industry that aims to provide financial services using decentralised technologies like blockchain. As such, there may be a need for professionals who can design, develop, and implement DeFi solutions.
4. Virtual reality (VR) developer
An increase in virtual and augmented reality technologies is expected, which will require developers who can create immersive experiences for users. At Improbable, known as ‘the metaverse technology company’, there is a Senior Build Engineer – Metaverse role available. You’ll architect infrastructure to support customers, and adapt to changing customer requirements.
5. Cybersecurity specialist
With the increased use of blockchain and other decentralised technologies, professionals who can ensure the security of these systems and prevent hacks and cyber attacks are required. Informa Global Support is seeking a Senior Cyber Security Analyst in London. You’ll be responsible for developing and documenting standards, processes, and processes to identify, detect, protect, respond, and recover from cybersecurity threats and attacks.
American Express Global Business Travel is also seeking a Cyber Security Analyst in London, to implement, manage, monitor and upgrade security measures for the protection of corporate data, systems and networks.
Kirstie McDermott works for our job board partner, Jobbio. Based in Dublin, she has been a writer and editor across print and digital platforms for over 15 years.
For more Web3 job roles, visit the Information Age Jobs Board today
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