Who's Hiring Blockchain Experts?
When you hear about blockchain jobs your initial thoughts may be about cryptocurrency. After all, blockchain first became famous due to its connections with the development of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency iteration ever. Cryptocurrencies provide a cheaper, faster, and more secure way for anyone, anywhere to make cross-border payments with ease at real-time transaction processing speeds.
However, cryptocurrency is just one of the several applications of blockchain technology. Currently, blockchain is being used to streamline and facilitate the following
- Supply chain analysis
- Smart contracts
- Identity management
- Blockchain Internet-of-Things (IoT)
- Insurance: Claims processing
- Asset Management: Trade Processing and Settlement
While we have yet to explore its full potentials, experts say blockchain has an exceptionally broad set of applications, so it’s unsurprising that enterprises and governments are scrambling to implement the technology. Most of the organizations exploring and deploying blockchain projects fall into the following categories:
- Tech companies
- Legal, financial and accounting institutions
Some of the world’s biggest companies are developing and deploying blockchain projects to enhance their operations, solve business problems, and create greater value. Technology companies are at the forefront of most of the innovations around blockchain. The decentralized nature of blockchain threatens the centralized business model of most tech enterprises. As such, they are looking to leverage blockchain before it disrupts their products and services.
Tech giants across the globe including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and IBM are exploring, developing, deploying, and investing in blockchain projects. HyperLedger, R3, and Libra are notable examples of this.
Also, several crypto and blockchain startups have crept up since Bitcoin was first created. These startups are pioneering blockchain-based platforms and exchanges including Ethereum, Qtum, EOS, Binance, Kraken, Bittrex, etc. Some of these startups also provide various services centered around blockchain projects.
Three out of the Big Four Accounting firms have also invested in blockchain alongside major financial institutions like JP Morgan Chase.
While startups typically hire a few blockchain experts and developers, legacy institutions hire teams of blockchain experts (across verticals) to keep up with industry trends, find new ways to leverage blockchain tech, and beat the competition to the punch.
Who’s Being Hired?
Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt business models across the board, irrespective of industry or vertical. According to a 2019 Global Blockchain Survey by Deloitte, 83 percent of senior executives see compelling use cases for blockchain technology while 53 percent say it has become a critical priority.1
As a result, new roles and blockchain jobs are cropping up as more and more companies join their counterparts in leveraging blockchain tech. These jobs cut across several areas but generally fall into two main groups:
This includes software engineers and developers with experience and expertise in various programming languages. Before working in the blockchain space, these professionals need to become technically proficient in the following: Ripple protocol, Go RESTful, CSS, HTML, Solidity, Truffle, Java, C++, APIs, React, NodeJS, etc. Of course, extensive knowledge of the blockchain framework, architecture, and configurations (in addition to a solid background in programming) is required to become a blockchain techie.
While techies are needed to develop blockchain projects and solutions, non-techies are also needed to implement and support the business applications of these solutions. For one, legal consultants and attorneys can assist companies (with blockchain offerings) to navigate the increasing scrutiny of government and various regulatory bodies.
They can help structure ICOs, and develop legal partnerships and contracts between vendors and enterprises. Accountants, PR personnel, digital marketers, UX designers, and others are also needed to handle other business operations that are vital to deriving value from blockchain investments. Nevertheless, applicants for these roles must be blockchain literate and possess at least a high-level understanding of the blockchain framework and the various ways it can be applied to solve business problems.
Whether you have a background as a techie or not, a blockchain career is an exciting opportunity. With the potential of this innovative technology to transform every industry across the globe, now is the time for aspiring professionals to get in early and get trained in blockchain.
Growth Areas for Blockchain
There’s a serious shortage of professionals in the IT/Tech industry, but particularly in the blockchain space. The race to develop and deploy blockchain-based solutions is creating a lot of opportunities, and professionals who are willing to upskill and become blockchain literate will be miles ahead of their counterparts.
While many of the blockchain projects are still in the exploration, development, and testing phases, many enterprises have successfully deployed the technology. Most of the enterprises at the forefront of cutting-edge development of blockchain projects and applications are in the following industries:
However, current trends indicate major advancements in the application and deployment of blockchain solutions in the following areas:
- Legal compliance
- Life sciences
- Trading and sales
Blockchain Jobs: Supply and Demand
According to LinkedIn Learning, blockchain is 2020’s most in-demand hard skill, rivaling artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT verticals.2 An Upwork report also shows that blockchain development is one of the hottest and fastest-growing skills in the freelancing job market.3 As such, thousands of blockchain jobs are up for grabs, both for experienced professionals with previous blockchain experience and newbies looking to cut their teeth with their first blockchain project.
Also, the high demand for blockchain professionals (and relatively low supply of qualified candidates) means that the industry is willing to pay more. Studies show that salaries for blockchain roles are usually higher than other similar positions in other areas of IT expertise.
While blockchain engineers and developers are the most sought after, there are numerous roles for professionals with non-tech backgrounds. About 38 percent of all blockchain jobs are for non-technical professionals, mostly in the following areas:
- Business, Sales and Management
- Web Design
- Content Creation
- Legal Consultant
Many companies are looking to fill the position of blockchain intern, (one of the top future blockchain positions) with newbies looking to get their foot in the door. Also, there’s a high demand for blockchain project managers to translate business requirements into technical documentation for blockchain developers and translate the technicalities back to stakeholders. Essentially, these professionals are in charge of the entire lifecycle of a blockchain project — from planning, supervision to execution, and deployment.
How to Become Blockchain Literate
There will be a corresponding increase in the number of blockchain jobs as enterprise projects continue to mature and new ones are brought online. Students and professionals looking to kick off a career in this space will follow a different pathway from those treaded by professionals in other tech verticals. First, you need to develop your skills and keep up with the latest trends and innovations in the field. The latter is easy…the former, not quite.
The traditional pathway for most tech careers includes going through college and acquiring a degree. While some universities now offer degrees in blockchain, there’s no need to spend years studying to become a blockchain expert.
What’s more, you don’t need to quit your job or move to a different city to acquire a degree in blockchain. Online blockchain courses give you the flexibility to study anywhere at your own pace and acquire the skills and certifications to join the growing number of blockchain experts around the globe.4
Those looking to take advantage of the current demand for blockchain experts may benefit from courses that offer a systematic, hands-on approach to understanding the blockchain framework, its entire architecture, and how it can be deployed. The journey to becoming a blockchain expert can be challenging, but the opportunities and perks that come along with blockchain jobs are exciting and well worth the work.
1. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/se/Documents/risk/DI_2019-global-blockchain-survey.pdf
2. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from learning.linkedin.com/blog/top-skills/the-skills-companies-need-most-in-2020and-how-to-learn-them
3. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from upwork.com/blog/2018/05/fastest-growing-skills-upwork-q1-2018/
4. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from emerginged.com/collections/blockchain