Interest in jobs related to the metaverse has surged more than ten-fold in the past six months, showing that the once barely-known concept is now very much in the radar of the workforce and companies, a new study from Bankless Times showed.
The 938 per cent spike in searches, as shown on Google Trends, reinforces the growing career opportunities and the efforts being made by companies, both of whom are in a race to position themselves in what is seen to be a key component of the next iteration of the World Wide Web, the Canada-based media company said.
Major industry news have contributed to the rise in interest. The first noticeable surge happened in October when Facebook announced it was rebranding itself into Meta platforms, triggering metaverse job searches to rise to almost 60 on Google's popularity scale.
It went full throttle in January after Microsoft announced it was acquiring video game studio Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, resulting in the maximum 100 popularity score.
“We are already seeing an entire industry develop around the idea of the metaverse, with everyone from big brands to indie gaming studios trying to secure their spot or building their own,” Hugo Feiler, chief executive and co-founder at blockchain network Minima, said in the study.
“We will see the creation of new jobs we haven’t even envisioned yet.”
The metaverse is the emerging digital space in which people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional likenesses, can interact in virtual worlds. It is part of Web3, the next evolution of the web, with blockchain, decentralisation, openness and greater user utility among its core components.
The global metaverse industry was valued at $47.69bn in 2020 and is projected to hit $828.95bn in 2028, growing at a compound annual rate of 43.3 per cent, according to Emergen Research.
Earlier this year, global consultancy McKinsey said in a report that 23 per cent of the jobs that will be made available on the market in 2022 will be new to us.
The Bankless Times report showed the most searches originated from the US, followed by the UK and Canada. India and Turkey were next, countries with high interest in cryptocurrencies, another vital component of Web3, it added.
Younger generations – who are more immersed with newer technologies – are more likely to lean towards metaverse jobs, it said, quoting a recent Microsoft study.
About half of Generation Z, those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, and millennials, those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, see themselves partly working in the metaverse in the near future, the survey of more than 31,000 people showed.
Only about 40 per cent of Generation X and a third of baby boomers, those born between the 1940s and 1980s, showed interest, it added.
Bankless Times said future jobs will have two broad areas – the new ones to be created for the design, building and maintenance of the metaverse, and those for existing jobs – such as marketers, legal personnel, customer service agents and retailers – who will begin incorporating the technology into their organisations and working lives.
Indeed, metaverse jobs are being listed for familiar roles, but will entail a different dynamic and strategy. On TheMetaverseJobs.com, a site listing vacancies for the sector, companies are looking for candidates to fill in roles for anything from marketing, sales, operations and engineering to work in related technologies, including cryptocurrencies, blockchain, avatars and virtual worlds.
Mr Feiler is bullish on the metaverse job market’s overall potential, albeit he argues there is still a long way to go before society fully understands the concept.
“The metaverse can span the digital and real world in beneficial ways … it has the potential to empower individuals to curate their own experiences, a lot more than we can in digital worlds today,” he said.