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How VR is Quietly Revolutionizing Career Training

dsc01273vr display smallerBlog post by Josh Knutson – September 23, 2020 (see bio below):

When most people think of VR, their thoughts turn to immersive video games, but this powerful technology is also making waves in the workplace as it revolutionizes career training.

How VR Career Training is Revolutionizing the Workplace

VR (short for virtual reality) is an immersive experience that allows users to interact with their environment in a seemingly real way. Using the headset and handheld controls, users can look around virtual environments and manipulate virtual objects.

Flexible Training Options

One of the joys of VR is the ability to visit places virtually. While many users might enjoy the ability to lounge on a beach on their lunch break, VR can also be used to allow employees to conduct virtual on-site visits or attend virtual conferences. This flexibility is key in the age of remote work, as employees may not always be able to safely attend in-person events or meetings.

Improving Recruitment

HR departments, in particular, have been quick to recognize the value of VR in the workplace and embrace this new technology. Instead of relying on the traditional interview format and asking potential hires about their skills, interviewers can now ask candidates to demonstrate their skills. HR professionals are able to present candidates with seemingly real-world scenarios and challenges and ask them to come up with and implement solutions.

This may involve having potential hires solve puzzles that offer insight into their thought process or demonstrate skills they will need on the job.

Hands-On Training Without the Hands

VR offers employers a way to train employees in a no-consequences environment. Whether you are a hospital looking to hire a skilled surgeon, a fire department looking to test the resiliency of your new recruits, or a technology firm looking to see how different employees would approach a hardware problem, the ability to offer hands-on training in a virtual environment is priceless.

The corporate training video has long been reviled as dull and stilted, but imagine how engaged your employees would be if you could offer the same training and information in a fun, interactive environment? While gamification has become a mainstay in corporate training, the ability to incorporate VR takes training to the next level.

Improving Soft-Skills Training

While technical skills are ripe for VR training, soft skills are often be overlooked when it comes to career training. VR allows organizations to test their employees’ soft-skills in high-pressure scenarios (such as dealing with an angry customer) in a safe environment.

Trainers can observe employee interactions in real-time and provide instant feedback. This is critical since progress depends on high-quality feedback delivered in a timely manner. Even practicing a presentation becomes easier, as employees can record themselves practicing and then watch the video after, observing themselves from their audience’s point of view and adjusting their presentation accordingly.

Career Exploration

The entire purpose of our education system is to prepare children for the future. VR allows students of all ages to explore different careers without the limitations, logistics, and potential dangers required for in-person field trips.

Students of all ages can step into someone else’s shoes and explore a variety of careers, from an engineer on a worksite to a nurse in a healthcare setting, without ever leaving the classroom. This is particularly beneficial for students interested in the healthcare field, as HIPAA limits what interactions students can witness and what information they can access.

Finding creative ways to keep students engaged with their learning is more critical now than ever before, and virtual reality allows educators to offer an immersive learning experience that holds student’s attention while providing an opportunity to explore and learn in a zero-consequences environment.

ByteSpeed offers a wide selection of educational VR programs covering a range of topics in for different age groups and interests, including:

  • STEM applications (science, robotics, and math)
  • CTE Applications (agriculture, automotive, arts/entertainment, business/finance, engineering/building trades, fashion/home design, healthcare/nursing, robotics, and welding)
  • Elementary and middle school (general/language arts, social studies, science, math, and art)
  • High school and college (general/language arts, social studies/history, science, math, psychology and sociology, art, physical education/driver’s education, and music).

Case Studies: How Organizations are Incorporating VR

Walmart

Since 2017, Walmart has been incorporating VR into their training regime. With stores open 24-7, training new employees on the floor isn’t possible without inconveniencing customers. As such, much of their employee training has moved off the sales floor and into VR.

VR also allows Walmart employees to practice responding to stressful situations (such as their first Black Friday sale or an angry customer) in a no-stakes environment that allows them to roll back the clock and try again if they don’t succeed the first time around.

Since introducing VR into the classroom, Walmart has seen employee test scores improve across the board between 5% and 10%. Efficiency has also improved dramatically, as training modules that used to take between 30 and 45 minutes to complete in real life can be condensed into 2 to 5 minute long VR training modules.

The United States Air Force

Flight training, particularly for fighter pilots, can be incredibly dangerous, so organizations such as the US Air Force have long relied on training simulators to supplement in-plane training. VR has revolutionized flight simulators, creating more realistic and immersive than traditional flight simulators.

VR Solutions to Suit Your Training Needs

Which VR solution is best for your organization depends on your workplace environment and training needs.

ByteSpeed offers a selection of VR solutions (including stationary and mobile solutions) as well as VR bundles for career pathway training and VR accessories.

How can VR enhance and improve career training at your organization? Contact ByteSpeed’s experienced team to find out. Call 877-553-0777 or email sales@bytespeed.com

About blog author, Josh Knutson:
Josh Knutson is the current Esports and VR Solutions Director at ByteSpeed LLC. Previously, Josh served as the Head Esports Coach at the University of Jamestown (ND) which was one of the first 20 varsity level collegiate programs under the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Knutson was responsible for all major day-to-day operations of the Jimmie Esports team including recruitment, retention, scouting and game planning, individual and team coaching, and scheduling. He has also been a panelist and speaker at regional and national esports coaching clinics. Josh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts from the University of Jamestown.

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