New skills report: Visualizing the Future

Demand for 3D Graphics and Real-time 3D Across the Economy (US)

Demand for 3D technology skills is growing quickly in the job market–so quickly, in fact, that demand for these skills is outpacing the growth of the labour market overall. 3D skills, best-known for rendering immersive experiences virtually indistinguishable from real life, have now become essential in industries as diverse as architecture, manufacturing, health care, media, and entertainment.

To quantify the increased demand for these skills and to investigate factors impacting the use and adoption of 3D graphics and real-time 3D skills in the workforce, Epic Games, creators of the gaming phenomenon Fortnite, partnered with Burning Glass Technologies on a joint report, Visualizing the Future: Demand for 3D Graphics and Real-Time 3D Across the Economy. Some key findings include:

  • Demand for cutting-edge real-time 3D skills is growing quickly. Demand for 3D graphics overall has grown 42% faster than the market overall. Demand for real-time 3D skills, which are at the technological frontier of 3D graphics, has grown 601% faster than the market overall and now accounts for 10% of all openings calling for 3D graphics, up from 4% in 2013.
  • Proficiency with 3D graphics is a foundational skill for engineers and is valued in a variety of fields. Nearly half (48%) of all demand for 3D graphics is in engineering, and 1 in 5 job openings in engineering requests at least one CAD skill. In information technology and design and media, 3D graphics and real-time 3D are being used to create immersive experiences.
  • Real-time 3D skills are undersupplied, and that is unlikely to change any time soon. Demand for deal-time 3D skills is growing rapidly, take longer than average to fill, and is associated with a large salary premium. These jobs pay 57% above the average advertised salary and 18% above the average advertised salary for jobs requesting 3D graphics skills in general.
  • Mastering 3D graphics or real-time 3D skills can provide a boost to early-career professionals. Nearly a quarter (23%) of job openings for 3D graphics skills and a fifth (19%) of job openings calling for real-time 3D skills are entry-level positions. Mastering 3D graphics skills can lead to a salary premium of 24% over other entry-level jobs — and mastering real-time 3D can lead to a salary premium of 45% above other entry-level jobs.
  • Real-time 3D is creating “hybrid jobs.” Because real-time 3D is demanded in a range of jobs that formerly did not require sophisticated graphics skills, it is starting to change the nature of jobs in construction, IT, and design.