China’s first metaverse major set up at a Jiangsu university to train more talents in line with the needs of related sectors
Published: Sep 25, 2022 09:38 PM
A visitor interacts with the virtual figure Banzhao at the 2022 World Metaverse Conference. Photo: IC

A visitor interacts with the virtual figure Banzhao at the 2022 World Metaverse Conference. Photo: IC

China's first metaverse major was set up at a university in East China's Jiangsu Province in the hope of training more talents in line with the needs of enterprises in metaverse-related sectors. 

The School of Artificial Intelligence (School of Future Technology) of Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology in Nanjing, Jiangsu, renamed its Information Engineering Department to Metaverse Engineering Department on Friday, becoming the first university department named after the metaverse in China. 

Pan Zhigeng, dean of the School of Artificial Intelligence (School of Future Technology), told the Global Times on Sunday that the renamed department will be integrated with more metaverse-related courses and disciplines to train more talents in line with the needs of enterprises in metaverse-related sectors. 

According to Pan, the metaverse is the integration of a vast range of technologies and applications such as Internet of Things (IoT), block chain, artificial intelligence and smart healthcare. Talents trained at the department can meet the demands of companies in a variety of sectors including smart healthcare, smart education and digital tourism. 

The new department will also cooperate deeply with metaverse-related enterprises to further promote the integration of education and production, Pan said, noting that the department is also planning to jointly train students of master's degrees, PhD holders and postdoctoral fellows with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

The renamed department immediately sparked heated discussions online with many internet users wondering about what courses will be offered and what kind of talents will be trained. 

According to Pan, it is expected that more talents with specific skills needed by metaverse-related sectors will be trained. 

The School of Artificial Intelligence is determined to establish three research teams including the Metaverse Research Institute, the Smart Meteorological Research Institute and the Smart Medical Research Institute. 

Among them, the Metaverse Research Institute co-established with Yalong Intelligent Equipment Group Co this August will be focused on the smart education sector. 

For some scenarios where physical operation cannot be conducted, such as aircraft cockpit, the working environment can be simulated through technology to improve training efficiency. 

Besides, since tombs have become more and more expensive in recent years, people can sweep the tomb in the metaverse in the future, Peng said.

The 2022 report on the talent development of the metaverse industry recently released by shows that the number of jobs related to the metaverse increased by 16.6 percent from the same period of last year between January and July.

The recruitment of talents in the metaverse industry is highly concentrated in the information technology industry, but it's gradually spreading to the sectors of education and training, media and manufacturing. 

It is noteworthy that metaverse-related positions in the manufacturing industry increased by 22.3 percent from last year between January to July, showing a good development trend. 

In terms of salary, statistics from show that the average salary for positions related to the metaverse on its platform was 18,515 yuan ($2,580) per month from January to July this year. 

Among the top 20 metaverse-related positions, average monthly salaries for positions related to deep learning, machine learning, data architecture, mobile application development and machine vision all exceeded 30,000 yuan with positions in deep learning ranked the top at 39,971 yuan. 

In terms of geographical distribution, the demand for metaverse talents is mainly concentrated in first-tier cities and new first-tier cities with Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong Province ranking top three.