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While many decided to dive in and educate themselves about the technology, there are still a lot of people that have almost no clue what is behind blockchain.
According to the latest study conducted by LinkedIn Learning, blockchain is the most in-demand hard skills that companies are looking in 2020. This is the first time blockchain has topped the list, with the rest of the list including cloud computing, analytical reasoning, artificial intelligence, UX design, and business analytics.
Students are realizing the huge potential behind the blockchain industry. Only in 2018, there was a double-fold increase in student interest in blockchain. As a matter of fact, there are more than 70 student-run blockchain organizations in 16 countries across the globe. These organizations are brainstorming their own projects and some even provide consulting services for local businesses.
Following on this, the industry trends are indicating that the companies in a need of blockchain enthusiasts, with the average US salary for a blockchain developer standing at $130,000.
The growing demand for blockchain skills calls for better education in this area. Yet, not many countries have followed this trend so far. Students all over the globe are looking for opportunities to learn about blockchain, as they are turning to online guides and e-books put together by the industry experts. Nevertheless, the education and adoption levels of blockchain are still low.
It would take a big leap for countries and a fundamental change in the educational system to be able to satisfy the needs of the market. With so many gaps to be filled, 2020 is the year when the public and governments should embrace blockchain education on a much wider level.
The experience shows that the public education system has been historically slow when it came to the adoption of new technologies. When a new technology emerges and the time comes to introduce it to the students, the programs that have been designed for this purpose are already outdated.
Yet, this is not the case with all the universities – and some of them are being proactive to introduce modern technology to their students. The speed comes with a cost, as universities need to have enough resources to develop the programs. Aside from the cost standpoint, the initiative to introduce technologies to students also requires sufficient expertise.
Some of the modern universities have been successful in pushing forward some of the blockchain-centered projects in the past years.
For instance, in 2019, the University of California launched an initiative that aimed at supporting student blockchain innovation. Following on this, thanks to a similar project, now students are able to obtain an online Business Blockchain Certificate from the Portland State. Another project comes from IBM, where the organization has joined forces with Columbia University to work on two blockchain accelerators.
Besides these great developments, there are some universities that already offer various blockchain programs on their campuses.
One of the most innovative universities in the US, Cornell University has launched the Cornell Blockchain, which is a project that is supported by Cornell's Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3).
The project makes education, certification, and application of blockchain technology available for students and corporate clients.
Georgetown's McDonough School of Business is committing to its tradition of innovation by supporting various blockchain initiatives, including the annual international Blockchain Summit. Its Center for Financial Markets and Policy is also regularly publishing analysis and white papers that are related to blockchain’s influence on global finance.
NYU's Stern School of Business is one of the most notable organizations when it comes to embracing the blockchain technology. It is regularly ranked in the top 20 business schools across the US, and for a good reason. Its Fintech MBA program has included blockchain technology as an integral part of the process.
While more and more universities are accepting the importance of blockchain technology, a big number of promising initiatives are being pushed from within the industry.
For instance, back in 2019, 13 cryptocurrency companies worked together to launch the Blockchain Education Alliance. This project aims to provide university students with the necessary knowledge and network to be able to land a job in the blockchain industry.
According to the industry experts, in the current year, we can expect blockchain education projects reaching the underserved areas and emerging markets. At the moment, there are very few education-focused initiatives in these places, as most of the available resources are concentrated in major cities and developed countries. Nevertheless, emerging markets and underserved areas can greatly benefit from the blockchain applications in various industries, including agriculture, energy, and mobile, along with many others.
Despite having limited resources, a number of emerging countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia, and India are putting increased efforts into facilitating the adoption of blockchain technology across their markets.
Indonesia is one of the countries that are very active in relation to promoting and developing blockchain technology. Thanks to its wide population, Indonesian authorities also have a lot of potential and opportunities to expand the blockchain application level throughout the country. As part of their efforts to build a blockchain-friendly foundation in the country, the Indonesian government introduced the Making Indonesia 4.0 Roadmap. This project is aiming to prepare the country for Industry 4.0.
As a matter of fact, blockchain in Indonesia is not only being promoted by the government, but also by its growing startup community. One of the blockchain companies, Tokoin, came forward with its Campus Meeting Event series to introduce the blockchain technology with the students across the country.
The Tokoin team is aiming to educate students about the specifics of blockchain technology and about its use cases. The ultimate goal of the series is to increase the blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption rates among the young generation. As a part of its Campus Meeting Events, Tokoin is visiting a number of universities across Indonesia and is planning to continue its efforts in 2020.
Many cryptocurrency experts believe that in the current year, the world is going to see a huge increase in the government-led projects that are aimed at blockchain education. We might see some accredited courses, as well as some more focused degrees. What’s more, we can expect to see increased collaboration with the blockchain industry in entrepreneurial and research organizations.