May 31, 2023
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The metaverse is upon us, disrupting the already-evolving, rapidly changing "future of work." It’s transforming how people interact with the world and unleashing unexpected business and job opportunities. Many companies are working on their own metaverse-related projects and developing limited-feature-set virtual worlds as a precursor to a true all-in-one metaverse.
While there is unprecedented growth in projects related to the metaverse, current labor market data is not accurately reflecting the full picture. It’s critical that business leaders leveraging human capital management (HCM) technologies understand the scope of the metaverse’s impact on workforce planning activities and skills needed to succeed.
At SkyHive, we monitor the activities of the global labor economy in real-time, providing comprehensive data to help people understand the current and future landscape of work, and how they may be impacted, at a granular level. For example:
Now, we’re thrilled to share our world labor economy insight as it pertains to the metaverse and Web3 (download the full report here).
The metaverse, Web3, the digital economy, or as many are calling it, "the future of the internet," is a virtual world where digital goods and services will be exchanged. Given its infancy, the complete chapter has yet to be written on the true depth and breadth of impact the metaverse will have. Although various aspects have been around for two decades with online games and interactive spaces such as Second Life, Fortnite, Roblox and others, the promise of a fully immersive digital world has accelerated greatly with advancements in computing and is now on the near-term horizon.
Amidst any disruption, we must look at the full picture to truly understand its impact on the labor market. In the case of the metaverse, we know new hardware and new software are being developed to facilitate it. We know it will require specialized VR/AR headsets. But using a wider lens, we see so much more—a financial system forming to support payments and keep records of virtual ownership (this thing called NFTs that you keep hearing about), a digital marketing transformation as advertisers begin to place ads in the metaverse, the formation of consulting services companies, the development of new systems for education and more.
The rapidly accelerating pace of metaverse growth is displayed in a Bloomberg study comparing the industries impacted by the metaverse spanning 2020, 2021 and now currently in 2022, alongside predictions through 2024.
Current supply and demand counts demonstrate how unprecedented growth in the metaverse is not being reflected through the labor market. This could be because specific jobs are hidden categorically, obscured behind broader sectors such as gaming or AR/VR. As the metaverse industry expands rapidly, leaders need accurate, real-time labor market data and a greater understanding of future supply and demand.
Given the ambiguity of the metaverse, many will think that only niche, advanced technology companies are building workforce capabilities to engage with the metaverse. The growing list of more traditional and established companies building metaverse capabilities today dispels that myth.
The top industry venturing into the metaverse is Information Technology & Services, followed by Computer Software, Internet, Computer Games and Entertainment. However, many possibly unexpected industries follow closely behind including Marketing & Advertising, Design and Financial Services.
Inside the metaverse, jobs and career pathways are beginning to crystallize. Soft skills, technical proficiencies and communication capabilities provide an entryway to careers in the Metaverse industry outside of traditional skill requirements for computer science and engineering roles.
SkyHive's Quantum Labor Analysis provides a look at jobs and skills emerging in the metaverse, which can be further analyzed from a non-technical versus technical lens. Top non-technical jobs emerging provide a new and fascinating perspective on the full scope of roles emerging. For example, Storytellers will play a key role in bringing various metaverse genres to life while Governance Managers will establish and monitor metaverse policies.
We can take a deeper look at top emerging jobs from a skill-based perspective. Looking at top skills from varying categorical perspectives further demonstrates the diversity of skills needed for metaverse readiness. While technical skills such as augmented reality or software may be more obvious contenders during metaverse-related strategic workforce planning, creative and soft skills will play an increasingly large for companies hoping to gain a competitive edge.
Our full report dives deeper into metaverse future-skills predictions. Future-skills predictions enable individuals, companies and communities to take a deeper look at what’s needed to prepare for the future of work.
It's critical that HCM leaders understand the massive skills gap we'll need to overcome to meet metaverse readiness. Given trillions of dollars in metaverse potential market opportunity, current labor market demand may not be portraying an accurate picture of what's to come.
Several universities have started to incorporate the metaverse, virtual reality and augmented reality into their curriculums. Notable among them is Stanford’s Visions of the Future: Artificial Intelligence, Cryptocurrency, the Metaverse and Beyond. Along with universities there are a few online courses that are emerging, however these don't amount to many, given the technology's potential and proliferation. The following are the few current courses related to Web3 and the Metaverse:
Reskilling for the metaverse can be viewed from two perspectives:
1. Metaverse Readiness: While we are still in the early stages of the Metaverse, the labor market has proven slow to adapt for Metaverse readiness. The number of jobs and variety of skills needed are exceptionally low compared to the market opportunities, paired with an inadequate amount of learning content and courses available to support Metaverse career paths. This poses significant challenges which require careful evaluation and ample support from emerging jobs and skills.
The Metaverse will transform the data security and payments industries. Actual and digital currencies will connect to enable fast and effortless exchange, reputation and identity will differ significantly from their real-world counterparts, new verification methods need to be developed, and data security and privacy will need to evolve substantially. New regulatory policies and security measures will unlock an abundance of security and privacy jobs, and a new breed of skills and competencies must be rapidly developed to tackle these critical security and privacy issues.
2. In the Metaverse: What’s going to happen when the real and digital landscapes converge? While we can predict what’s needed for metaverse readiness, a blank page still exists in the metaverse.
The most substantial challenge may be ensuring users are secure and protected while engaging in trade within the metaverse. This requires metaverse-specific law and jurisdiction related to identity and ownership rights, permeating between real and virtual worlds. As the metaverse continues its rapid expansion, many industries and roles will be significantly disrupted and reimagined—and consequently, so will the global labor market and our approach.
Want to learn more about the emergence of the metaverse and the labor evolution that is accompanying this development?
Download the full report here.
By Sean Hinton, SkyHive Founder and CEO & Mohan Reddy, SkyHive CTO
This article was previously published on LinkedIn