Virtual reality (VR) is in its renaissance, growing at an enormous clip among business users and consumers alike. Immersive technology is getting so big that now you can even get a college degree in VR.
On Tuesday, London College of Communication, UAL announced that it would be launching a Master of Arts degree in VR for the 2018-19 academic year in October. It is the school's first VR degree, according to a press release, and it will be launching a bachelor's degree in VR next year.
As part of the program, dedicated VR classrooms will be rolled out with specific hardware and software for the students to work with. To start, tools will include tethered Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE Pro headsets, mobile VR equipment, Unity Engine software on each PC, motion capture suits, and an infinity cove green screen, the release said.
SEE: Virtual and augmented reality policy (Tech Pro Research)
The college is known for its focus on creative endeavors, and its VR program will focus on digital storytelling, the release noted. In the program, students will work on filming, sculpting, and animating.
"By treating VR as a discipline rather than a tool, students will learn to create immersive visual narratives - a skill which can be used to aid the understanding of events, campaigns or individual experiences across industries such as film & media, charity & non-profit, education & training, and advertising & marketing," the release said.
Using the course, London College of Communication hopes to lower the barrier to entry for VR study and make it easier for more people to get into the field, the release said.
MA Virtual Reality course leader Ana-Despina Tudor said in the press release that more film and media firms are using VR content, and the school's leaders are seeing a stronger demand for professionals with those skills.
"In just a few years, these graduates will gain the skills and understanding to incorporate this emerging technology across various industries, including in technical careers and roles that are entirely new," Tudor said in the release. "Furthermore, we want to support arts students to express themselves creatively in VR and learn the new visual language of this immersive environment."
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- London College of Communication, UAL is launching a Master of Arts in VR degree for the 2018-19 academic year.
- The demand for VR professionals is growing in the film and media industries, where these technologies are being used most frequently.
- Executive's guide to the business value of VR and AR (free ebook) (TechRepublic)
- Memory aid: Virtual Reality may soon help you cram for a test (ZDNet)
- Microsoft HoloLens: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- It's time to break up with VR (CNET)
- 5 strategies for navigating VR in the enterprise (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.