Extended Reality (XR)

Extended Reality (XR) – an umbrella term for Virtual and Augmented Reality – is a rapidly growing, high-wage field with opportunities in the Seattle area, throughout the country, and internationally. Seattle Colleges' XR micropathway is one of the only programs of its kind in the nation. 

What You'll Get

  • Employable skills from a pathway at Seattle Colleges, co-designed with Unity Technologies and other XR industry partners, including skills in C# programming and debugging, using the Unity editor, code optimization and much more  
  • The opportunity to compete for a paid summer internship with Unity Technologies, the leading XR engine globally
  • Three industry-recognized credentials:
    • Unity Certified User: Programmer
    • Unity Certified User: VR Developer
    • Unity Certified Professional: Game Developer

Program Details

Location: Seattle Central College

Start Date: The first cohort of the XR program will begin in 2022. More information coming soon.

Length: 2 years to AAS-T

Schedule and Modality: Courses will be offered in a hybrid format, with some instruction provided in-person and some provided online. In-person instruction will take place in the evenings so that you can work, take care of your family, or engage other pursuits during the daytime hours. Sign up using the form below to get more detail regarding specific days of the week and times.

Costs and Funding: The total cost of the program for a Washington State resident is $4,756 ($4,230 in tuition and $526 in student fees). Several financial supports are available, including Federal Financial Aid and Workforce Funds. Learn more about funding optionsThe cost for international students will be different. Please contact International Programs for assistance.

Class Size: 15 – 25 students 

Program Prerequisites: English 101 (English Composition) and Math 098 (Intermediate Algebra) are prerequisites for this pathway. Anyone who is a high school graduate or anyone age 18 or older can enroll.

To stay updated: 

Learning Pathway

XR Program

Quarter 1

  • Intro to Software Development and Versioning - 5 credits
  • Intro to Immersive Media A - 5 credits
  • Math in Society - 5 credits

Quarter 2

  • Intro to Immersive Media B - 5 credits
  • Intro to Realtime Interactive Programming - 5 credits
  • English Composition I - 5 credits

Quarter 3

  • Unity Development 1 - 5 credits
  • General Psychology - 5 credits
  • Intercultural Communication - 5 credits

Next Steps

After completing this micropathway you have several options: 

  • Go straight to work as an XR Developer 
  • Continue on to earn an associate and/or an applied bachelor’s degree in Extended Reality (your micropathway credits will count toward these degrees)  
  • Do both at once – continue your education while working.

Job and Salary Prospects

XR jobs are growing at an unprecedented rate. In King County, demand grew by 1400% in 2019. Employers hiring XR Developers include both XR companies and companies in other sectors (retail, transportation, manufacturing etc.) with growing in-house XR teams. Potential employers for graduates of the program include: 

  • Unity Technologies
  • Microsoft HoloLens
  • Oculus
  • Unreal
  • Numerous start-ups

Entry-level jobs in XR (those requiring real-time 3D skills) pay a starting average of $86,533, with an average overall salary of $96,928.

LinkedIn ranks Unity Developer as number 7 on their list of Top 20 Emerging Jobs, and Burning Glass projects a 95% growth rate over the next two years. Burning Glass also has demand for Real-Time 3D skills growing 601% faster than the rest of the market. Between October 2017 and October 2018, there were over 30K job openings for XR developers. 

While there is significant growth among XR Development companies and platforms, there is also growth of XR functions cutting across sectors. Between 2013 and 2018, for example, the Sales industry saw a 105% increase in the share of career area requesting 3D graphic skills. Marketing and public relations saw a 67% increase, and construction and architecture saw a 34% increase. Design and media, engineering, and manufacturing & production are also growing their XR workforce substantially. Additionally, demand for software developers and mobile developers with real-time 3D graphic skills is expected to increase by 27% and 28% respectively over the next 10 years.

For more information, refer to www.burning-glass.com/wp-content/uploads/Visualizing_future_3D_skills.pdf 

If you are interested in this program, complete this online form and we'll contact you with more information and next steps.