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College and careers

warownslifewarownslife Posts: 45
Brain Burst
edited February 2016 in Off-Topic
I literally have only a few minutes. I am considering a career as an optical scientist and am hoping that one day i could work on either the oculus or on virtual reality systems. I don't mind going to college for 8 years but i wanted to know your guys thoughts, what are some college majors or careers to look into if you wanted to be a part of the virtual reality in say 10-15 years? I know there a lot of area's but i'm hoping for more than "depends".

Comments

  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    There are tons of different jobs that go into making successful VR. From software developers and hardware engineers, to web developers, project managers and producers, executives, artists and designers, community and customer support, and more.

    It really depends on what career you want, and what you want to do with your life. And that's not something anyone else is going to be able to tell you (certainly not random people on a forum). You'll have to decide for yourself.

    One piece of advice I will give is that you should do something you enjoy. Don't worry about making money, the money won't matter if you're at a job you don't like. And if you don't have a passion for your work, you probably won't be successful anyhow. So think about the things that make you excited or hobbies that you enjoy and see where that leads.
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  • VizionVRVizionVR Posts: 3,022
    Wintermute
    Careers based around video game development are extremely important for VR, even for those who have no intention of making a game.
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  • It's been a lot of years since I was in college, so I don't know how drastically the fields of study have changed, but I would think a degree in Computer Science would get you a long way.
  • obzenobzen Posts: 713
    Nexus 6
    Is there such a thing as a degree in optics? There are engineering degrees (computer science, electronics, mechanical engineering), there's the Hardcore science stuff (maths, physics, chemistry).

    The direct path to working in VR would be the engineering path, either hardware (electronics, robotics), or the software side (computer science), or both. The line tends to blur a little these days.

    You can probably do a PhD in physics, and land yourself there too, but engineering seems the obvious choice. Look where universities and schools have computer, vr, robotics, and electronics labs, and how to get there.

    Abrash, Carmack, Luckey strike me as typical engineers. So there. And I'm sure they also have quite a few Physics PhD's as well. PhD's are of course, a lot more difficult and abstract in general. You can also land yourself doing higher level stuff like that after engineering, say after a Masters degree.
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  • TicTicTokTicTicTok Posts: 5
    NerveGear
    Since you're thinking about optics, you might find vision science interesting. Vision science is the study of the human visual system and how it works, i.e. how do we see, how do our brains process visual signals, how do our eyes work, how do we see depth, how can we model the optics of the eye, why do we move our eyes the way we do, how do we make color judgements, etc.

    Vision science is very neat, and trying to figure out how to "hack" the human visual system is great fun. Optical illusions are beautiful examples of human visual system "hacks". There's still lots to be done to figure out VR and human visual perception, as there are still many things we don't know about how our eyes and brains "see".

    Vision science tends to be research focused, and its a fairly specialized field so its not really something you'd study exclusively in an undergrad. If interested, you could do a computer science undergrad with a cross over in perceptual psychology / psychophysics and then a PhD in a sub-domain in vision science (kinda the path I followed).
  • I literally have only a few minutes. I am considering a career as an optical scientist and am hoping that one day i could work on either the oculus or on virtual reality systems. I don't mind going to college for 8 years but i wanted to know your guys thoughts, what are some college majors or careers to look into if you wanted to be a part of the virtual reality in say 10-15 years? I know there a lot of area's but i'm hoping for more than "depends".

    I would definitely echo what a lot of people are saying. Look into degrees of computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, or electrical engineering. You could take some physics classes along the way to learn more about waves and optics (physics III at my university). The other upside to hose degrees: they pay well, they are difficult to automate so you won't get replaced by machines as easily as others, and they also give you other options in life just in case something like VR or Oculus just completely disappear in the next 10 years. Don't forget other extra-curricular activities and to build your social networks. Those can really come in handy as well. Go to career fairs and talk to people there, especially if it some gaming company or something you are interested in. I was talking to my employer when I was a sophomore in college and they were only looking for people who were graduating within the year. It paid off in the end for me. Good luck with your choices!
  • rlabellerlabelle Posts: 215
    Art3mis
    I can give a personal account from the other end of the spectrum, and it is the same message I give to my kids now. I graduated high school with a 4.3 GPA and a full ride scholarship to any school. I attended the University of Florida majoring in electrical engineering and I wanted to get into robotics and AI programming. Coming from a poor family I had to work full time while going to school even though my tuition was free, food, gas, and rent is not. It was getting very difficult, and if I lost my scholarships I could not afford to go to school. I changed majors my second year with a 3.8 GPA. I switched Business Management and Accounting as all my Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry would transfer as electives and I could still graduate on time.

    I now work in retail management, though I make very good money and am grateful for everything I have, it is not an exciting career by any means. As hobbies in my spare time I work on Virtual Reality mods, home automation, and recently started making youtube videos featuring the family as the kids were dying to be famous on youtube (sigh). I have tried getting tech jobs, and yes I have self taught experience and can do the jobs, but my degree does not reflect it and it has been very difficult for me to get my foot in the door. I have looked into going back to school but would almost have to start over, and since I would have to pay for it this time around, would put the family in debt $30k-$40k which I am not willing to do.

    Point is if it is what you want now, it is what you will want 15 years from now. Right now you have no responsibilities, kids, mortgages, etc. You can take the risk now, go ahead and do it. It is incredible how much weight that piece of paper can have on your life once you graduate. And you may not end up in "Optics" per se, but having an Engineering Degree opens you to the industries you are interested in, and your own work ethic and skills will gauge the direction you will go. Best of Luck to you, but with how exciting all the new tech is, and the demand for jobs, I have no doubt you will be successful.
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  • warownslifewarownslife Posts: 45
    Brain Burst
    Hello everyone. I am bringing this back after a year and am still undecided but not for a lack of want, a lack of information is my problem. Simply put, I love research and learning but also digitally building (creating a video game, while a pipe dream, was a fun endeavor) I'd like to work for oculus one day (the pay and benefits play a part into choosing that virtual company specifically) and I'd like to be part of a team either working on haptics or creating the games themselves. I'm gathering scholarships and looking into colleges but I don't know what major will give me this opportunity. their's computer engineering and like 30 specialties for that, digital learning, computer science (unfortunately, in my experience, this is far heavier into programming than I'd enjoy.)

    What recommendations do you guys have for majors? I know what i want, more or less, but not what can put me there.

    EDIT: I just thought of a better way to phrase this, I'm into research and development for Virtual reality. What majors will put be in that field? I'm searching and asking all around for answers.
  • obzenobzen Posts: 713
    Nexus 6
    EDIT: I just thought of a better way to phrase this, I'm into research and development for Virtual reality. What majors will put be in that field? I'm searching and asking all around for answers.

    Software Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical & Mechanical Engineering. Basically. Depends what you want to do exactly. Can be a psychology / social aspect as well, and art (games, video, design), ect...

    I wouldn't focus on VR particularly, but the fields around VR. Robotics, electronics, software engineering, if that's the kind of stuff you want to do. Robotics will probably be close to VR anyway, regarding visualization, simulation, haptic devices, ect... But the start would a solid engineering degree, software, or hardware, or both, Elec+Mech engineering will always contain a software component. That's the foundation behind all the technology. Then you can specialize later on into room-scale VR, haptics, robotics, automation, A.I. if that's your bag, games even, once you're comfortable with all that stuff.

    Optics, ... well, that would also be a specialization for later. You need engineering, understanding the materials, the physics, the chemistry, the maths, do the dirty work first. Maybe continue to more hardcore physics stuff with a PhD (quantum mechanics, material research, whatever those cats are up to).
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  • flynnbillsonflynnbillson Posts: 1
    NerveGear
    edited June 23
    If you want to work in a profession, then, of course, you should get an honors degree. I graduated from the journalism department and now I work as a remote writer, I like my job, I love helping students. I can give you good advice, you can do your assignment at www.uk.papersowl.com, I used his services very often when I was in college, I think it will be useful for you too.
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