Insights EDU

How to start a developer career in Virtual & Augmented Reality?

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Artur Meyster | CTO | CareerKarma

12 Jun 2020 | 3 min read

Understanding AR & VR

Before getting started, we must be able to understand the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. Most people tend to confuse both terms and use them as interchangeably, but they’re very different from each other. A VR developer creates completely new digital environments that people can see through a device such as the Oculus headset, while an AR developer creates a layer of digital experience in our reality through the use of mobile apps, such as Pokemon Go, a game that utilizes this technology.

As we have commented above, video games are not the only industry that’s taking advantage of AR/VR technology. Museums are also using this technology to create new experiences for visitors. One of the most common uses of AR is to give information about the art pieces when users scan them with their camera. Other museums are using it to show users how those pieces or architecture buildings looked like in the past. With VR, on the other hand, we could see it to “attend” online medical training classes. This way, students have a realistic approach to surgeries and medical treatments without having to be physically present in a classroom.


Since there’s no VR or AR bachelor’s degree. People usually go for alternative education like coding bootcamps. They just need to know how to program software that drives AR/VR experiences. Having a bachelor’s degree in computer science is a plus when it comes to making a career as a VR and AR developer.

Requirements to become a AR/VR developer 

To become an AR/VR developer, you must be able to work with video game engines such as Unity or Unreal. These are two platforms that allow you to recreate environments in 3D. Besides, AR/VR developers must be able to understand programming languages such as C++, C#, JavaScript, or Swift. Some of the responsibilities you’ll have as a VR or AR engineer are to develop, maintain, and upgrade the software. When you get more experienced, you’ll be able to monitor what other developers are delivering.

Don’t forget about your soft skills

When working in a tech job, people usually focus only on their ability to code and develop software. One must remember that this is still a people-oriented job. Cultivating your soft skills will also help you land a job as a VR or AR engineer. Keep in mind that companies are usually looking for someone who is a problem solver, has logical thinking, and someone who is able to communicate well with other members of the team.

Industries that hire AR and VR engineers


Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies can benefit a lot from having a VR developer. They can practice in advance a difficult surgery, train students, and study new diseases by using VR-driven tools.


Students usually learn more from practice rather than theory, so VR could be an excellent tech tool that allows them to virtually learn how to act in certain situations. VR is particularly good for practices and for remote learning.

Travel and hospitality

Google Maps’ live view is one of the most common ways of AR tools in the travel sector. People can follow routes more accurately and easily. Besides, AR also provides a different level of experience for museums, hotels, or restaurants. On the other hand, VR can also help travel agencies give their clients a brief experience of what the experience would be in different destinations. 

Where to learn AR/VR development

There are great schools that can teach you AR or VR skills and help you kickstart your career. You could always try taking the path of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but it won’t be as specialized as coding bootcamps. One of the best schools to learn this skill is one of our academy partner’s XR Bootcamp. It will prepare you with everything you need to know about 3D software development and how to create proficient VR or AR products.

Want to find out about other careers in XR? We got you covered! Click here to take a look at XR careers profiles.

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