6 Tips for Starting a Career in XR Development

August 1, 2022 • April Miller


The following post is sponsored by Circuit Stream.

Extended reality (XR) is expected to be a revolutionary technology. A career in XR development can be full of creativity and innovation and help grow this emerging field. While XR commonly associated with the gaming industry, it has many other real-world applications.

Tips for Building a Career in XR Development

Currently, there are more and more unfilled job roles in the XR industry. This is not to say that young professionals lack passion or interest, but starting a career in XR can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin.

Consider following these six tips to help you start a career in XR development. 

1. Work on the Essential Soft Skills

No matter what field you want to enter, you’ll need to develop some essential soft skills. Soft skills are intangible and subjective, as they are not taught in a classroom or on an online course. These are some examples of soft skills you should work to improve:

  • Communication abilities
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Emotional intelligence and regulation
  • Adaptability and flexibility

These transferable skills will help improve your marketability when looking for an entry-level position within an XR organization. 

2. Keep Up With Industry Trends

Following the latest trends in the XR industry is one of the best first steps if you want to become a professional in XR. Visit industry-related websites and follow well-known XR industry leaders on social media sites.

You can follow XR-related hashtags or connect with XR developers on LinkedIn, which industry professionals are increasingly also using to post job ads targeted at the network’s 722 million members. Stay abreast about what’s happening in the gaming world, which new XR games are performing well and what the modern XR user wants out of their immersive experiences. 

Additionally, make sure to stay up-to-date on developments in the Metaverse, since this space is having a major impact on XR and VR technology. For example, the social aspect of the Metaverse could one day allow remote workers to collaborate virtually through XR.

3. Shadow or Intern With Industry Professionals

Research which XR companies offer shadowing or internship opportunities and decide if you’d be a good fit. Jobs in XR, is the number one job board available online specifically dedicated to XR, though other opportunities can be found on a variety of general job search websites.

Shadowing or interning for an XR startup or even an established tech company can help you build your professional network, discover what specialty you’re passionate about and learn the ins and outs of the XR industry.

4. Practice Building Games With Various Platforms/Languages

You’ll want to build a complete portfolio showcasing your XR interests and capabilities. Now is the time to practice building XR games using various platforms, including Unreal, Unity, Blender or Houdini. Aim to build a game with a straightforward design and an easy-to-navigate interface.

As an XR professional, you should also have experience working with programming languages, including C#, C and C++. Many online courses help you learn these languages at your own pace. Some grant you a certificate at the end, which you could add to beef up your resume.

5. Join Relevant Communities and Discussion Boards

Social media groups and online discussion forums are great places to learn about the XR industry, ask questions and get advice about what it’s like working in this field. 

Participating in these online communities will also help spark your creativity, test out game design ideas and learn about XR game development tools. You could even ask other members of the forums to test out your game prototype and offer suggestions for improvements.

6. Attend Live Classes and Workshops

Universities, such as UBC, UofToronto and Syracuse University, have started to take notice of  emerging XR trends and are partnering with XR course professionals to offer classes for aspiring developers. Hundreds of registrants in these programs can ask questions and express interest in learning XR professionally and changing their careers.

People who become students and apply themselves in the XR space are quick to get jobs at known companies because the industry is still relatively new and there aren’t many XR experts yet. 

For anyone interested in these free, value-first workshops, Circuit Stream hosts free live AR and VR workshops and webinars on all aspects of XR design and development. The platform hosts 1:1 sessions with expert XR instructors, as well as custom team training that has been utilized by renowned companies and universities.

Starting A Career in XR Development

Because XR is still in its early stages, the field requires more qualified candidates to fill positions. Companies are looking to hire educated, hard-working and passionate people eager to learn more about AR, VR and mixed reality (MR). Consider following the tips above to launch your career in XR development.