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July 29, 2021
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Which is the Best VR Course for Developer Certification to Take Online?


Dejan Gajsek

Certification in virtual and augmented reality development demonstrates to employers that you know what you’re doing with Unity. When it comes to getting your certification to become a VR/AR developer, there are many courses to choose from. We’ve reviewed your best offline choices, but what about online courses? Here’s the breakdown of how Coursera, Udacity, and other online options compare to help you determine the best VR course for you.

vr/ar course matrix

Virtual Reality at Coursera

Coursera offers courses in a variety of topics, including virtual reality. The site differentiates its listings by courses and specializations — specializations earning you a professional certificate from academic institutions.

Each course or specialization are offered as a subscription. Each month you pay for access to class materials. If you learn faster, then you pay less. All courses are offered 100% online through videos and tutorials. There’s no real-time interaction with instructors, and zero feedback on your projects. They offer two specializations, and we compared Coursera's course with Circuit Stream's virtual reality development course here.

Unity XR: How to Build AR and VR Apps Specialization

Unity XR Certification | Three months P/T | Minimum $230 USD

Offered through Unity themselves, this specialization includes three courses that cover mixed reality foundations, VR mobile app development, and AR mobile app development.

Virtual Reality Specialization

Virtual Reality Specialization Certificate | Six months P/T | Minimum $285 USD

Offered through the University of London, students gain access to five courses covering an introduction to VR, building 3D models, and designing 3D interactions, culminating in a virtual reality game.

Unity Programming Nanodegrees through Udacity

Udacity offers online learning for artificial intelligence, data science, programming, autonomous systems, and business. Professional certificates awarded through them are called nanodegrees, but students are welcome to take individual courses as well. Within the school of programming are specialized virtual reality courses on developing in Unity.

When you apply for a nanodegree, students gain access to the related courses that you can complete on your own time. Rather than paying per month for access like in Coursera and other MOOCs, Udacity’s nanodegrees are a one-time purchase for all course materials. The downside to this, and other video-based courses, is that technology like virtual reality is updating and improving faster than the videos can be produced. Most video-based courses, including those at Udacity, are outdated as a result.

Students work at their own pace through videos and tutorials. Depending on the course, there may be feedback given on projects and assignments, but otherwise the student is completely independent and on their own.

You can see how Udacity's VR courses compare directly with Circuit Stream here.

There is an introductory nanodegree that is offered as a prerequisite to two more advanced nanodegrees:

VR Foundations

VR Foundations Nanodegree | Three months P/T | $599 USD inclusive

This prerequisite program teaches students the principles of VR technology, building VR scenes and objects in Unity, and basic programming scripts for methods, loops, events, and more. Overall the program is more of an introduction to Unity, preparing students to specialized in VR app development or 360 production in the more advanced courses.

VR High-Immersion

VR High-Immersion Nanodegree | Four months P/T | $999 USD inclusive

Once a student has taken the prerequisite program VR Foundations, this nanodegree program goes more in depth about programming with C#, developing apps for hardware devices - VR headsets like HTC Vive and Oculus, how to publish apps across platforms, and finishes with a completed VR project. While some students can skip the foundational course, most end up taking both VR Foundations and High-Immersion, meaning the cost and course length are increased.

VR Mobile 360

VR Mobile 360 Nanodegree | Four months P/T | $999 USD inclusive

After students have finished VR Foundations, they can specialize in learning VR Mobile 360 development. Courses include VR design, optimizing mobile app performance, pre and post 360 media production, and a final 360 project. If students already have an understanding of Unity, this nanodegree is a good program to specialized in 360 media, including immersive films, video editing, audio capture, and more.

Udemy, Lynda, and YouTube Tutorials

While they do not offer official certification beyond a Certificate of Completion, Udemy, Lynda, and even YouTube provide online courses and lessons that can help students solve problems and overcome roadblocks.

Udemy Virtual Reality Courses

Certificate of Completion | 1-25 hours | Approx $10 USD per course

Udemy courses are self-paced, solely online, but are very accessible in price. Content varies, however, so make sure to read reviews before purchasing.

We compared Udemy's limited VR courses with Circuit Stream here.

Lynda Virtual Reality Courses

Certificate of Completion | 1-25 hours | $25 USD per month

Similar to Coursera, Lynda works on a monthly subscription basis. The basic membership is $25 USD, with premium membership offered at $37.50 USD per month. The premium membership may be worth it, however, as it gains students access to extra study material and course exercises in addition to the standard online tutorials.

YouTube Tutorials

No certification | 5-30 minutes | Free

While no Unity or developer certification is offered through YouTube tutorials, they can be a great resource to overcome programming roadblocks and gain first VR experience. Many Lynda and Udemy course instructors also have YouTube channels where students can vet their expertise before purchasing courses.

Circuit Stream

XR Development with Unity Certificate | 10 weeks P/T | $3,950 USD inclusive

Now that we’ve laid out the competition, lets share why augmented/virtual reality course Circuit Stream might be a better option for you. The instructors in the Coursera, Udacity, and edX courses are university professors; Circuit Stream’s instructors are industry professionals using their experience to guide practical solutions and best practices in class. The course materials are frequently revised to be up-to-date with the technology and software. This fact alone makes Circuit Stream one of the best VR courses available, and heads above the pre-recorded video tutorial based courses mentioned above.

Secondly, the XR Development with Unity has been the longest-learning program because of its friendly structure that is meant for beginners but also has the ingrained 1-on-1 mentorship that adapts to the learner.

Since June 2021, we introduced Circuit Stream XR certifications based on Open Badges 2.0 framework. With this certification, your skills will be industry-recognized by employers. The badges are also a great way to embellish your LinkedIn social media profile and show off your acquired skills to potential employers.

virtual reality certification

Whether you're learning to build simple VR or AR experiences, VR games, training simulations, or business-oriented VR applications, you will learn the fundamentals through group lectures and polish new skills knowledge in one-on-one sessions.

Instructors teach live online so students have ongoing support at every step of the course. Each week, students have one-on-one sessions with instructors dedicated to development on their class projects. Students’ final projects inform what instructors cover, whether for virtual reality or augmented reality; a mobile app or headset. In other words, students learn exactly what they need to build their apps. And any problems or hurdles are tackled immediately without the student feeling lost or confused when searching for the solution on their own.

We believe the combination of face-to-face mentorship with instructors and small class sizes produces the best virtual reality course for developers, creatives, and businesses. Circuit Stream streamlines your learning to be efficient, practical and specific to your projects so your idea can become a prototype in 10 weeks. You are also provided a virtual reality course certificate upon completion.

In 2021, we've added a virtual reality design course. Designers and UX/UI professionals (or anyone interested in the XR design career) can take 10-week Interaction Design and Prototyping for XR course and learn rules and best practices of crafting experiences inside augmented, virtual and mixed realities.

Students can pick from three different programs or if they only need support on a particular case, choose dedicated 1-on-1 support from the domain-expert instructor

  1. C# Scripting Fundamentals in Unity — Learn the basics of C# for developing XR in Unity game engine (duration: 4 weeks)
  2. XR Development with Unity — Acquire fundamentals of XR development in Unity (duration: 10 weeks)
    1. You'll receive an open badge augmented/virtual reality development certificate
  3. Interaction Design and Prototyping for XR — Learn how to prototype, present and build effective UX for XR (duration: 10 weeks)
    1. You'll also receive an open badge augmented/virtual reality design certificate
  4. Private Team Training — Custom tailored training for company departments and enterprises (varied duration)
  5. Dedicated 1-on-1 support — For everyone who is stuck on a problem or would benefit from a professional mentorship on a particular case (varied duration). Our instructors offer immersive learning even with Unreal Engine.

The 10-week courses can also be bundled up with a hardware device. The Starter Plus bundle comes with C# course, and 10 hours of dedicated 1-on-1 support for developing personal projects.

However, for complete beginners who want to obtain the skills and start crafting augmented or virtual reality experiences from scratch on their own, we recommend starting with XR Development with Unity course. The course will put you on the path of becoming a job-ready AR and VR developer.

Download Syllabus

Download the XR Development with Unity Syllabus

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