It often feels like the whole world of crypto is going to hell in a hand-basket. Perhaps we should take refuge in the knowledge that blockchain courses at universities are as popular as ever.
Supply and Demand
According to a recent study, 9 percent of US undergraduates at universities throughout the globe polled had already taken a blockchain related class, and 26 percent intended to. The courses are there, but institutions struggle to keep up with the current demand for them.
Universities such as UPenn, Berkley and Cornell offer courses on Cryptography, ‘Blockchain and CryptoEconomics’, and ‘Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Distributed Ledger Technology’. Last year, one professor had 100 students vying for just 25 places in a blockchain class she co-taught.
Vocation, Vocation, Vocation
The main driver for this surge of interest is the job market. Over the last three years, the number of Bitcoin-related job postings on LinkedIn has increased massively. There has been a nine times increase in financial services jobs, and a four times increase in software positions.
Outside of the financial services and cryptocurrency industries, blockchain is also increasing in popularity. According to a 2018 survey by PwC, 84 percent of companies are “actively involved” in developing blockchain technology.
Blockchain is Not an Island
Educators are quick to point out that focussing entirely on blockchain would be a folly. To specialize in one area before a career has even started would be less useful than gaining a broader overview of computer science and engineering.
Furthermore, “tomorrow’s blockchains will look nothing like today’s,” says Emin Gün Sirer, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University. “We are not teaching people how to use today’s blockchains.”
Oh, and There was that Bitcoin Thing
Naturally, last year’s Bitcoin 00 mania also raised the profile of cryptocurrency outside of the classroom. Cornell, UPenn, and Berkeley all have active blockchain clubs that have seen a boost in interest from across the student spectrum during 2017.
It is positive that these future leaders of industry are at worst uncomfortable. At best, they are savvy to blockchain tech. It will certainly precipitate a refreshing shift from the progress-despising dinosaurs that the crypto community often deals with.
What are your thoughts on the increasing number of university crypto-class attendees? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!