Students from seven high schools use virtual reality in gaming software during the sixth annual Full-Throttle STEM® at Eldora Day in Rossburg, Ohio in 2018. Their STEM-related projects involved modeling and simulation-based work. In this photo, the student competes in a remote-controlled (RC) car race at Eldora Speedway. (U.S. Air Force photo/William Graver)

AR/VR Gains Popularity in Training Students for Careers

Experts say AR and VR STEM training will catch fire across the country⏤very likely all around the world. With the pressure of paying for a major college being considered too much for many families, a wave of students are choosing the STEM system to prepare for their entry into the workforce.

STEM, the acronym for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, has a high demand for hands-on researchers. VR and AR can be used to break down everything from molecules to automotive prototype flaws and so much more. VR allows engineers to deconstruct models and help see products from unimaginable angles and close up views.

United Kingdom-based researchers are generating much of the excitement about VR and AR. Universities across the UK have added virtual reality systems design courses to their curricula, including Staffordshire University, University of London and Solent University, among others.

An article by Mel Lee-Smith in describes a huge need and bright future for VR and AR programmers and technicians. Technologies like AR and VR may seem new, but in fact, they’ve been around for decades. Medical professionals and engineers alike have used VR since at least the 1990s.

Undergraduate degrees in AR and VR are now available at select UK universities, including the University of Portsmouth and Solent University. The University of London also offers a Master’s program in Immersive Technology.

In addition to the U.K., universities around the world are catching on, with the U.S. at the forefront. Dozens of universities from Seattle to Sydney now offer VR design courses, equipping students with the theoretical and practical tools to develop this emerging EdTech to its full potential.