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The future is 3D, the future is immersive (skills)

The fourth industrial revolution is driving change in skills within 3 areas: digital inclusion, general digital skills and more specific and niche skills such as 3D and VR. It brings with it the opportunity for businesses to be innovative and agile, and a need to adapt to a new way of working.

When a skill is in decline, a decision needs to be made to re-educate or re-focus to survive in this modern world. The future job market is of huge importance to make an informed decision on where to invest time and money to retrain. Right now, there’s still substantial and growing demand for a number of jobs. The digital economy will improve job creation and wage equality in the years to come.

According to Accenture, only 13 per cent of businesses have realised the full impact of their digital investments, enabling them to achieve cost savings and create growth – which must be a high priority for all companies right now. Hyper-personalised experiences, products and services driven by innovative business models will result in new sources of revenue.

Only recently, in the UK, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced much needed investment in skills. The pandemic has certainly concentrated attention on the need for companies and individuals to invest in skills. As we begin to emerge and adapt to the challenges associated with the health crisis it is clear to see a new direction unfolding, digital skills are going to be in-demand.

The global economy needs to recover and according to a report by Nesta, by 2030 the job market will look dramatically different. Skills enable people to progress out of low-paid, low-quality work. Previous Nesta research has predicted that about 10 per cent of workers are in occupations that are likely to grow as a share of the workforce and 20 per cent will shrink. As for the remaining jobs, their outlook is more uncertain. Although unsettling, this disruption needn’t be disastrous. There is an opportunity for employees in uncertain occupations to invest in the right skills to future-proof their careers.

According to LinkedIn, the top role in demand in June 2020 is Software Engineer. Software developer and engineering roles often top lists of this sort, as companies across every industry increasingly need tech talent. In a recent LinkedIn survey, 85% of software workers said they can be effective working remotely; this may explain why demand for these roles has not been considerably affected.

The changing landscape means organisations and employees are assessing the way in which they move forward. More now than ever I can see the huge up-skilling potential in the future. Digital skills are a top priority. But more than that, there’s a huge need for specialist skills, particularly in immersive technologies. A report from Immerse UK earlier this year revealed 67 per cent of companies identified a lack of immersive skills as a significant barrier to their individual growth as a business.

The immersive economy is big business: PWC predicts that £1.39 trillion will be added to the global economy through immersive technologies, whilst IDC forecasts that worldwide spending will reach approx. £130 billion in 2023. The report from Immerse UK suggests immersive technologies are expected to add £62.5 billion to the UK economy and enhance over 400,000 jobs by 2030. These are clear indications that the application of immersive technology and 3D skills are here to stay.

Once the preserve of gaming, advanced 3D skills are now essential to understanding and interpreting designs and concepts in so many different industries including health care, architecture, manufacturing, film and animation. In the last few years virtual reality has enabled companies to fully embrace immersive experiences.

Real-time 3D skills and technologies have risen in importance as companies seek to achieve immersive experiences. For example, the automotive industry has embraced real-time 3D to redefine product lifecycle and customer experience.

In today’s new world it’s easy to see how AR/VR can also be used in medicine. The use of 3D visualization in medicine isn’t new, researchers have been using 3D models of internal organs for decades. Reduction in costs, speeding up research, visualising operating rooms, medical instruments all enhance a patient’s experience and care.

I recently heard about an example of Unity technology being used to simulate a new hospital and operating-room designs in interactive 3D spaces. They could fully visualise and interact with their crucial medical instruments, work areas and technologies to ensure optimal layout and ergonomics. This is one example of the how these 3D skills can be used to support medical professionals around the world, enabling them to continue with the fabulous work they do, especially these past few months

With 3D technology becoming firmly set in the world of education, and digital and online technologies become the norm, students are equipping themselves with the skills needed to create new immersive experiences by harnessing the power of real-time 3D.

Universities will play a significant role in equipping students with the latest breakthroughs in technology. Key areas for the education sector to invest in over the coming years include VR, AR, and gaming. Within the workplace, digital skills used in animation, engineering, education and computing are likely to grow in demand. According to, we can expect a 1400% AR/VR job growth in 2020.

At KnowledgePoint we work with a number of software vendors managing their global training networks. As such, I’m lucky to work closely with Unity Technologies and witness the influence they have over furthering a person’s career and how companies can evolve and grow by investing in such skills. It is great to be part of the solution; helping to close the gap for much needed immersive, 3D skills.

This is reaping rewards; Unity powers over 60 per cent of all AR/VR content, and it offers organisations the opportunity to reinvent the way they adopt these technologies. 3D skills and immersive technology are critical for gaming and can be widely applied in other sectors such as engineering, construction and medicine. Mastering 3D graphics or real-time 3D skills, can provide a boost to early-career professionals and can support business productivity.

Software vendors, education and employers need to work together so the skills gap doesn’t widen. Manufacturing, engineering and medicine learn from how real-time 3D is used in gaming. If they do this, the opportunity for growth is within reach.

Please get in touch to find out more about how we work with software vendors to manage their global training networks or for more info about the Unity authorised partner and academic alliance programs.

Tomas Karlsson, Head of Channel Services

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