Metaverse beats NFTs as career path in Web3, report says

Web3 enthusiasts are more likely to look for a job in the metaverse sector rather than NFTs, but over a half of active professionals are happy with what they have, KuCoin report found.

Man working with multiple screens

A survey commissioned by crypto exchange KuCoin on the Web3 job market revealed that despite the ongoing stagnation of crypto markets, Web3 remains attractive as a career path. “The majority believes that Web3 leads to a decentralized new world and defines the future of the internet, going beyond crypto adoption,” KuCoin said.

The survey was conducted among 3,608 Web3 professionals and enthusiasts on Twitter and LinkedIn. Only 16% of respondents admitted they have worked in the sector, which for the survey’s purposes was defined as any business dealing with cryptocurrency, metaverse, NFTs, DAO, DeFi, and DApp development. Of those 16%, 59% were under 30 years old.

Bullish on metaverse, bearish on full-time jobs

The majority of surveyed Web3 professionals said they worked part-time, as freelancers, or entrepreneurs, indicating that the industry was moving away from traditional forms of employment. An overwhelming majority of those who already had a job in Web3 were happy, with just 5% saying they were “not very happy” or “not happy at all.”

Satisfaction with working in Web3-related industries
Satisfaction with working in Web3-related industries. Source: Journey Into Web3. A Global Study on the Future of Work report, KuCoin

Of those who are not currently working for any Web3 company, 54% said they were “somewhat” or “very” eager to try, citing work location and schedule flexibility, space for personal growth, and innovation. Asked if they would prefer an NFT, cryptocurrency, or metaverse job, most pointed to the latter, confirming that the community remains optimistic about metaverse development.

When it comes to gender gap, “bro” culture is the culprit

KuCoin’s survey revealed that the Web3 gender gap continues to impact the sector, with female Web3 enthusiasts less likely to invest in Web3 compared to their male counterparts. While the rates of active female and male developers were found to be the same, sitting at 33% of surveyed professionals, only 22% of aspiring women Web3 enthusiasts have expressed interest in those positions. The results suggest that gender parity among builders is yet to come.

Those who started a Web3 project or business were predominantly male, the survey found. More worryingly, women Web3 professionals looking to make their mark on the sector reported a number of challenges impeding their growth, including “bro” culture, lack of educational resources and women-led communities, and insufficient support for female investors.

Web3 remains a risky industry to nearly one in three

Despite the prevailing interest in the Web3 sector, there’s still room for improvement, the KuCoin survey found. Three out of ten respondents identified themselves as Web3 skeptics who have never worked in Web3-related industries and aren’t sure they want to start. Of those, 58% were above the age of 40 and only 4% said they were “very familiar” with the knowledge and trends in the sector.

Both Web3 professionals and enthusiasts reported challenges Web3 as a career path entails, with active Web3 sector workers coming across as more concerned than those who have not yet landed a job in Web3. The report also revealed that for women, those challenges were generally more concerning than they were for men.

Challenges of working in Web3 chart, split by gender
Challenges of working in Web3. Source: Journey Into Web3. A Global Study of the Future of Work study, KuCoin

“The challenge of keeping up with the new knowledge and skills needed” was reported as a difficulty by 37% of professionals and 32% of enthusiasts. Furthermore, 24% professionals complained about excessive work hours and poor work-life balance, something only 14% of enthusiasts considered a challenge.

Interestingly, almost equal portions of professionals and enthusiasts, 32% and 31% without factoring in gender, said Web3 was an “unstable / risky industry subject to drastic changes of markets and policies.” On the whole, the report shows that Web3 is not immune to the issues the broader crypto sector is facing, after all.