Once the subject of futuristic wish lists, virtual reality is indeed becoming a reality.

The idea has always been intriguing. But its applications are beginning to become mainstream. Word broke in 2015 that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had done off-season work at  his alma mater, Stanford University. Amazing sports fans and  techies alike, Luck “practiced” his decision making and play calling against real NFL defensive schemes. The  quarterback was able to play against teams he hadn’t yet seen, opening up the door for virtual reality in the sports world.  Like other technologies in their infancy, virtual reality for the common man is perhaps more of a novelty than a practical tool. But that sentiment is quickly  changing as its potential as a job creator is realized.

Search Clearance Jobs in Virtual Reality

Companies like Samsung have notably added virtual reality  capabilities to cell phones and video games. This is just  the start of what could become a bona fide job creator.

The $2 Billion VR Investment

Virtual reality is no longer a niche fascination; even Mark Zuckerberg is confident in its capabilities. The Facebook founder bought VR startup Oculus  for $2 billion in 2014. Virtual reality is rapidly becoming  the software platform to gain an edge in.

In the first quarter of 2017, more virtual reality jobs were  posted than in all of 2016, according to SmartRecruiters. Almost half of those were  American jobs. There is a growing demand for  those looking to work in virtual reality. But does its  growing popularity mean VR is a surefire investment? One intriguing aspect of the technology is its diversity in  application. Still a relatively new technology, virtual  reality’s limits in are at the mercy of the imagination.

It’s probably unrealistic to think VR won’t expand beyond a video game device or training tool. Virtual reality is too broad and too new not to be a leverage for business applications.  Another key could be in the type of jobs the virtual reality field is currently demanding. Despite its appearance in stores and advertisements, most jobs available  have to do with the technical development of virtual reality. This could be why top companies—Apple, Google,  Facebook, etc.—have yet to launch their own versions of the technology. Virtual reality’s growing popularity  among consumers is telling, especially when its applications are still in beta.

As companies break into the virtual reality field,  expect advances far beyond a phone screen headset, however cool it may be now. Behind the scenes, a market is taking  shape; with it, profit, jobs, and advancement. It’s not easy to predict the direction virtual reality will end up  going, but for techies, investors, and those looking for jobs in the field, its growing popularity make it an  intriguing choice.

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Jack is a finance and economics major at the University of Nebraska and a graduate of Creighton Prep. Husker/Cub guy. Used to throw a decent curveball, but running is his game now.