Availability of Jobs on Crypto, US Universities Turn to Blockchain Education

As blockchain-focused jobs increase, universities offer blockchain courses that can help students find job opportunities this year.

Blockchain, a term once familiar only to Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts, is becoming one of the most in-demand business skills for 2022. According to a recent LinkedIn blog post, blockchain technology is the most sought-after hard skill this year. The post noted: “A small supply of professionals possessing these skills is in high demand.”

Moreover, while the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact on the United States’ unemployment rate – causing 22 million people to file for unemployment since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency four weeks ago – blockchain-related jobs have been on the rise.

In turn, blockchain courses offered at universities are becoming more common, as the need for skills increases. A key finding from Coinbase’s second annual report on higher education shows that 56% of the world’s top 50 universities offer at least one course on cryptocurrency or blockchain technology – a 42% increase from 2018.

Kristi Yuthas, an accounting professor at Portland State University, told Media Authority that the need for individuals skilled in blockchain technology is the result of traditional companies being impacted by the technology: “Blockchain companies are innovating at lightning speed. Leaders with the acumen to create business value from these innovations are now in high demand. ”

University blockchain programs help students find job opportunities

American universities such as Portland State, MIT, Stanford, University of California Santa Barbara and many others are now offering blockchain-focused courses to meet the increasing demand for jobs, and students who take them have the opportunity to quickly find job opportunities this year.

For example, Portland State University recently completed its “Blockchain in Business Lab” course. According to Yuthas and his colleague Stanton Heister, the university is working with the NULS Foundation, an open-source enterprise blockchain platform, to educate students about the business elements of blockchain development. Together, NULS and PSU designed and conducted two hands-on courses completed by 21 students under the supervision of Yuthas and Heister.

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According to Yuthas, PSU’s blockchain program is meant to provide an in-depth analysis of blockchain companies and innovations. He explained that the lab-style course allows students to gain real-world experience to build a working blockchain and to perform actual transactions.

The first blockchain at PSU’s Business Lab was carried out in February this year and offers a step-by-step guide on how to build a blockchain using the NULS Chain Factory, which is a blockchain development kit. Kathy Norman, NULS blockchain developer and co-organizer of the PSU program, told Media Authority that Chain Factory is being used by students to drive blockchain education and to test products as educational vehicles, adding:

“Our commitment is to provide our technology and technical expertise, to provide students with hands-on experience of blockchain from the perspective of users/customers, developers and entrepreneurs.”

PSU’s second lab focuses on blockchain user and developer activity. Included in this course is a guide to practical blockchain applications and a teaching session on decentralized applications and smart contract development. America Tirado, a student who completed PSU blockchain courses, noted that the classes helped reduce her fears around blockchain:

“I had heard of Bitcoin before and was asked to invest in it in the early 2000s. I hesitated, because I didn’t understand it. Through these courses, I learned about technology, what it can do, how it functions, and how to use it properly. “

Norman further pointed out that students who have completed the PSU blockchain course are invited to join the NULS community to offer their knowledge to help build the platform: “All students are invited to join our NULS community, and if they wish, offer their expertise to NULS. We are not officially inviting PSU students this semester, but may certainly consider this for next time. ”

UC Santa Barbara and The University of California Los Angeles also offer blockchain courses. Both universities are part of the Blockchain Acceleration Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to accelerating blockchain education. Cryptocurrency analytics firm CipherTrace partnered with BAF to train students on how to use the company’s products to investigate cryptocurrency-related fraud.

John Jefferies, CipherTrace’s chief financial analyst, told Media Authority in a previous article that the company will train and certify students to use its financial investigation software, which is implemented to detect money laundering, law enforcement investigations and to enable regulatory oversight.

While Jefferies noted that student training was not intended as a recruitment tool for companies, BAF president Cameron Dennis mentioned that helping students find internships this year was a big focus, telling Media Authority that the “apprentice pipeline is in the early stages of development.” Dennis also explains that BAF blockchain courses are offered for undergraduate and graduate students who wish to expand their blockchain knowledge:

“A professor in the UCSB department of computer science and a professor in the economics department agreed to host a cross-disciplinary and graduate-level blockchain seminar for Spring 2022 (this quarter). Also, we are currently running a computer science blockchain course at UCLA’s College of Engineering and are preparing an Intro to Blockchain undergraduate program at the University of California Davis for Fall 2022.”

Ben Fisch, co-founder of Findora, a blockchain company for financial applications, and renowned cryptography professor, Dan Boneh, both teach blockchain and cryptocurrency courses at Stanford University.

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Fisch told Media Authority that engineers taking blockchain courses tend to have a big advantage when applying to large companies interested in piloting blockchain technology. He also noted that many early-stage startups with blockchain-related business ideas also need technical team members with an accurate understanding of how blockchain operates. According to Fisch, the blockchain course at Stanford provides a comprehensive technical overview of blockchain technology, as it focuses more on blockchain concepts than technical aspects, adding:

“It covers core concepts as well as examples of niche topics within this field. Smart students leave this course with a holistic understanding of how blockchains work and their fundamental applications, or even with sufficient knowledge to participate in blockchain research and innovation. Our guest lecture also gives students some exposure to how blockchain is being used in today’s world. Our guests this year include Olaf Carlson-Wee of Polychain Capital and Chris Dixon of A16Z. “

As a hiring manager at Findora, Fisch explains that the candidates he seeks to join are not that different from the engineers that other software development companies would look for and that they don’t need to be very experienced in blockchain technology:

“However, having a background in blockchain concepts, such as that provided by our Stanford course, does help. This increases the attractiveness of an already strong would-be engineer, and it may reduce boarding time for new hires. ”

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