4 VR Applications for Business Students
Virtual reality is the next greatest breakthrough for tech – and it has been around for more than 50 years. In truth, VR has its roots in multisensory technologies developed in the 1950s and ‘60s, including Morton Heilig’s Sensorama and Ivan Sutherland’s head-mounted display. Yet, thanks to tech innovation leading to smaller, lighter-weight devices with higher-quality graphics and sound, virtual reality is finally picking up steam and could soon revolutionize the way many people experience life.
Because it offers the power to transport users to new environments, VR is particularly applicable to education. However, most posts on the ed applications of VR focus on STEM fields. As a matter of fact, nearly any field of study can benefit from VR – especially including business. Here’s how:
Business Students Can Experiment More Easily with Products and Strategies
It isn’t unusual for students to enroll in online MBA programs already armed and ready with brilliant business ideas. In fact, an MBA program is an excellent destination for would-be entrepreneurs because it already offers a sandbox to try out concepts and strategies nearly risk-free – as opposed to the real world, which is a perilous place for untested business ideas.
However, by adding virtual reality, business school classrooms are even better equipped to help students experiment. In a virtual space, business students can construct and manipulate their products, looking for potential flaws that will turn future users off. In this way, students can learn how to design and develop products free from costly mistakes. Additionally, students can pursue experimental business strategies and experience their successes or failures firsthand. By bringing the physical world to digital life, VR is a business leader’s ultimate tool.
Business Students Can Learn Teamwork, Leadership and Other Interpersonal Skills
Communication is easily among the most important skill for business leaders to cultivate, but it isn’t a skill that is easily mastered – despite what other blogs might say. Many people, business students included, struggle to feel comfortable in social settings, especially professional environments where the stakes of communication are so high. Social anxiety seems to be on the rise, but communication remains a vital skill for hopeful business leaders, so it is imperative that business schools focus on helping students improve their ability to communicate.
Enter: virtual reality. By creating virtual social situations common to business environments, business schools can help students train for the precise types of communication they will utilize in their future careers. Undoubtedly, students must become comfortable working within a team, and those in advanced, administrative degree programs should also master communication necessary for leaders. Interfacing in VR is initially more comfortable than trying to talk to real, living people, so virtual reality can help students begin developing these necessary skills in the classroom.
Business Students Can Connect With Peers and Leaders Around the World
Success in business is all about networking. An estimated 85 percent of jobs are filled through networks as opposed to application processes, so it is vital that business students begin forming their professional networks early – even in their classrooms. The broader a professional’s network, the better – and that’s how VR can help.
VR makes it easier to contact and communicate with people a world away. Thus, students can use VR to cultivate relationships with far-flung peers and professionals from their very homes. Indeed, VR might soon be a critical tool for online business courses, facilitating connections between students and their professors or linking students with guest lecturers on different continents.
Business Students Can Become Comfortable with Emerging Tech
Thanks to technology, the world is no longer so large. In seconds, business professionals can contact peers across the world using teleconferencing technologies. In fact, telepresence is rapidly advancing, allowing professionals to nearly transport themselves into different offices using a complex system of cameras, speakers and robotics. It is indubitable that VR will soon integrate into these technologies.
Thus, it is wise that business students become comfortable using emerging tech like VR during their education. Already, online courses are proving advantageous because they familiarize students with completing work on computers, interacting with software tools and otherwise working alongside tech. Knowledge of VR is merely another advantage that business students could gain over their peers in the coming years.