Almost half of the leading universities in the world has actively begun to educate the new generation of specialists in the blockchain field. For example, in South Korea, the Ministry of Science and Technology invests $90 million (100 billion won) in the course "Blockchain technology development strategy". 42 participants have been selected by series of applications and interviews so the guaranteed job is awaiting of them by the end of the course. The best universities of the world form the knowledge basis for blockchain specialists, but where are the guarantees that academic education will not become obsolete under conditions of the rapidly developing blockchain technology? What to choose: private blockchain courses on flexible educational platform or solid higher education? How to determine the competence of the training staff and where the future blockchain specialists will be in demand? The answers to all these questions read on in the review of Bitnewstoday.ru with comments from leading industry experts.
A lot of programs, but few specialists
In 2017, the bitcoin developers came in the Top 20 of the most sought-after specialists among the freelancers, and the demand for blockchain professionals increased 35 times in the United States. The specialized service for freelance programmers reports that the demand for them increased by 700% from January 2017 to January 2018. In Linkedin, the number of offers to work in the blockchain sector increased 3 times over the same year.
Jev VAINSTEINS, CBDO of blockchain business platform believes that the professionals who create the technologies of the future must have been grown today. In an exclusive interview for Bitnewstoday.com he shared his vision of the problem: "The rapid growth of the industry is superimposed on the acute shortage of staff qualified. Thus here are the critical errors that lead to the serious losses: the vulnerability of a smart contract can cost the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Where is blockchain to study?
The best universities around the whole world are actively engaged to solve this problem. However, due to the slowness of the academic education system, courses become obsolete while technology makes a new leap. For example, back in 2014, NYU Stern first launched a course on cryptocurrency, but now the school has fallen to the ninth place in the list of universities. Maybe the problem is it offers only two courses: cryptocurrency and blockchain, that actually are already banal.
Cornell University provides the Blockchain program for students and businessmen. And at Duke University, the students headed themselves a specialized research center Duke's Blockchain Lab, where the global developments of the blockchain technologies adaptation to the economy are conducted. Georgetown McDonough school of business has also created a significant learning platform, that is standing out among others thanks to significant academic research on blockchain. There are individual blockchain courses in MIT and Princeton University. And Stanford offers its students the completely free courses on bitcoin and cryptocurrency as well as it trains cybersecurity specialists. UNIC University in Cyprus was the first to accept educational fees in bitcoins. Students of this educational institution are probably the most lucky among of all: they receive a full educational course on digital currency technologies, which includes a master's program.
But in India, the educational function was taken over by the private experience blockchain center, where leading experts of the country teach, including ex-Google developer Bibin BABU and President of the Government Blockchain Association Chetan MANIKANTAN.
Bibin BABU in an exclusive commentary for Bitnewstoday.com said that he considers blockchain as a basis of the upcoming economy: “The blockchain technology creates a new type of market infrastructure with a leading place in it as well as it integrates into existing systems and processes. It changes the way of communication and information exchange between firms, regulators, investors and managers quickly and imperceptibly”.
Israel has also launched a training course based on a private training IT-platform for cybersecurity specialists. Ekaterina TIKHONOVA, the CMO of the school said in an interview for Bitnewstoday.ru that their new blockchain training course is focused on the market realities: “All our teachers have hands on experience which is very important for us. One of them is blockchain core developer (Haskell), the second is CTO for white paper smart contracts field. The course price is around $4400 and includes international certificate”.
What do we need to teach blockchain specialists
Blockchain technology has expanded the boundaries of its application so much that it becomes obvious: it is necessary to study several fields of activity at once for future specialists. Bibin BABU recommends blockchain consultants to study the Distributed Ledger Technology. In his opinion this will help them analyze requirement of blockchain in a specific industry and create use cases.
Some experts believe that the future blockchain professionals need to master a lot more of disciplines. Thus, Ilia STECHKIN, the co-founder of inbound marketing agency in Israel in an exclusive interview for Bitnewstoday.com proposed to divide the knowledge fields for studying into 3 parts: finances, technology and communication. "From the point of view of financial literacy, the blockchain community needs such specialists who can transfer expertise that is related to underwriting and other standard procedures of the traditional stock market. The lack of processes for bringing assets to market has led to numerous of disappointments for both funders and investors. The demand for knowledge in the field of traditional exchange mechanisms will only increase through a high probability of a total market transition from utility to the security tokens”.
By the standpoint of communications, according to Ilia STECHKIN, it is necessary to train marketers, PR-specialists and journalists practice a special format, as the new technologies require new content for technical specialists. “The new technical journalism, high tech marketing - all of these are very perspective professions, that are seldom studied systematically. And there is a demand for the relevant competencies. It means that the industry should take care of creating the process of knowledge transfer within itself.”
How to choose a course that will not become obsolete in near future?
Jev VAINSTEINSbelieves that the algorithms and cryptography fundamentals will not change: “Another thing is that now there are hundreds of algorithms types in the world that are being developed. And no one can predict which one of them will enter into everyday life. The main thing is not to dwell with the old technologies and to discover new horizons every day. We need to study the technologies which have the professional teams with extensive experience behind".
Ilia STECHKIN believes that if the course consists of modules with information about the best practices which are inherited by the technology that is now in the spotlight actually, it will remain relevant even when the emphasis shifts. "The “educational aspirin” (as analogy with the “social aspirin’ by Covey) is also needed, but these are just the short intensives that have a short life term. They serve to fill in the gaps quickly which take place due to imperfect, conservative and clumsy higher education system in any country. It is no accident that large corporations create their own educational projects in cooperation with universities that have already mastered the modular construction of training courses”.
Where the blockchain experts are demanded
Ekaterina TIKHONOVA believes that blockchain specialists are already very relevant for the legal sphere and accounting: “Smart contracts have huge potential for all industries using big data and bid documents flow”. In her opinion, the business development pace is in dire need of blockchain developers to modernize all processes.
Ilia STECHKIN sees the use of blockchain talent in an even wider range: “At a recent DLD-conference in Tel Aviv one of the most widely discussed topics was the industry's need of big data and machine learning specialists. These specialties will also be in a great demand in the blockchain ecosystem. But application developers will not lose their jobs too. As well these specialists will have a lot of work: the information security specialists who manage digital assets including tokens, and marketers who are able to position a particular product among a large number of competitors clearly”.
Blockchain experts are welcomed by the latest blockchain startups, ICO-projects, banks and financial companies, and also transport and real estate corporations. They are in a great demand of retail companies and exchanges, and in general - of the entire digital economic community.