Blockchain has been hailed as one of, if not, the fastest growing industries. According to Statistics, 0.5% which translates to about 40 million people of the world’s population has adopted blockchain technology and the number is expected to quadruple in the next 5 years. Ten years to come, this figure will have risen to double the world’s population at 80 million adopters of blockchain technology. Presently, the blockchain market was valued at around USD 3 billion and is expected to grow to USD 39.7 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 67.3%.
As a ripple effect, the pursuit of blockchain knowledge and skills through certifications courses and training has been on an equally steady rise. Nowhere other than in Europe and the United States has this scenario been more reflected. Blockchain training in Chicago – mini America – for instance, has gained tremendous traction for the time that blockchain technology has been in existence.
The question of whether blockchain is in high demand or not can best be answered by conducting an objective analysis of its demand.
The scramble for blockchain skills
Blockchain skills will continue to be in demand if Deloitte’s 2020 blockchain survey is anything to go by. According to the survey, 55% of global respondents said that blockchain was now a strategic priority. As institutions and organizations strive to enhance efficiency and transparency in their operations, priority has now shifted to the hiring of blockchain experts who are highly sought after to offer the following expertise:
- Cryptography expertise. This is a highly valuable skill that enables the transmission of messages between two parties in a private and secure channel. Cryptography enables businesses to keep the information that they share between themselves secure from their competitors as well as any malicious third parties. It is the core concept that ensures the linking of blocks of information as well as the immutability of data in the blockchain networks.
- Smart contracts expertise. This is another skill that enables the automatic digital execution of an agreement after all the pre-agreed conditions have been met without having to involve an intermediary. It is of utmost benefit since it saves time and money, a role that was traditionally taken up by third parties like brokers and lawyers.
- Data structures expertise. Data structuring is a skill that businesses and institutions can leverage to help them make informed data-driven decisions thereby improving efficiency. Simply put, the blockchain data structure is an order of back-linked blocks of information that are openly and easily traceable.
- Multidisciplinary/domain expertise. Blockchain expertise is now required in most industries where the technology has penetrated. Therefore, part of blockchain training is to make blockchain professionals able to adapt to different domains in order to make their expertise useful for problem-solving.
- Team players. For blockchain professionals to solve problems, part of the required soft skill is to be team players as they have to liaise with different departments and fields to be effective.
Industries adopting blockchain
With the increasing focus on digital transformation, blockchain emerges as a disruptive technology and has disrupted around 90% of the industries globally, either directly or indirectly. Nearly all industries have adopted blockchain technology thereby increasing its demand remarkably. That being said, the following industries have been the most visibly redefined (for the better) in terms of operational efficiency and transparency:
- Supply chain management. Blockchain enhances transparency in a supply chain by enabling all players to have access to the same information from producer to consumer. This builds trust which is crucial in any transaction.
- Cyber security. Blockchain technology mitigates the risk of human error which is the major cause of data breaches. With data storage automated, the human element is minimized and so is the risk of data leakage.
- Banking and payments. Blockchain offers transparency which builds trust, as well as cost and time effectiveness by eliminating third parties and enabling digital transactions.
- Healthcare. Blockchain’s digital ledger concept makes it possible for patients’ medical records can now be stored and transferred in a way that is secure and tamper-proof. Also, blockchain has become key in managing pandemics.
- Governments. Blockchain technology is in high demand in government agencies and public sector institutions since it enables them to protect data, reduce fraud and wastage of resources including time, as well as be accountable to the citizens, thereby winning their trust. Additionally, service provision, for instance, business licensing and property transfers has become more streamlined in the advent of blockchain.
Other notable industries in which blockchain is quickly gaining traction are insurance, transport, ride-sharing, networking, the internet of things, as well as cloud storage among others.
Courses, training, and certifications
The potential blockchain holds to transform industries and its promises for businesses has directly translated to high demand for blockchain courses, training, and certifications. Learning institutions have strived to keep up with this skyrocketing demand and are doing their best to equip aspiring employees with the necessary skills and expertise required to pursue a career in blockchain.
Two years back blockchain curricula were still in a nascent stage although still playing the all-important role of bridging the knowledge gap for an emerging technology that was transforming the world’s greatest industries. Today, online and in-classroom courses abound as almost 50% of top universities endeavor to include one or two blockchain courses to students. Not only courses but also advanced credentials like degrees and master’s qualifications will be available in higher learning institutions in the near future.
With emerging courses, a framework for blockchain curricula is gradually taking shape to promote not just conscious learning but also research and innovation.
What Makes Blockchain so valuable?
Demand is normally in direct proportion to the value of a product and the number of clients in need of that product. Blockchain technology is in high demand purely because of the value it creates and the problems it solves for its clients. This is enabled by its functional features which are:
These features are so important that they can easily be the root of the downfall or success of a company or institution. For blockchain, these features are inherent and can help institutions and businesses to significantly enhance trust as well as their operational efficiency.
Blockchain technology is not only restricted to business enterprises but also extends to other bodies and institutions such as governments, NGOs, and nonprofits. This means that there are a lot of potential employers looking for blockchain professionals to prove just how essential and valuable this technology is. These potential employers for blockchain professionals across different industries include:
- Tech firms
- Non-profit Organizations
Going by the huge deficit between the demand for blockchain professionals and the supply available from learning institutions, career opportunities for blockchain are immense. Another advantage of blockchain is that there are numerous career paths that one can pursue as blockchain in itself is multidisciplinary. This means that in any given industry or domain, a blockchain professional can land a job as a:
- Blockchain Developer
- Blockchain Solution Architect
- Blockchain Project Manager
- Blockchain UX Designer
- Blockchain Quality Engineer
- Blockchain Legal Consultant
- Blockchain Data Scientist
- Blockchain Information security analyst
- Certified Blockchain Architect
According to Linkedin in 2020, blockchain topped the list of skills that employers looked for in potential employees globally. It was especially a top priority for employers in The US and Europe. This demand is on a steady rise and it’s just a matter of when and not if it starts being considered a basic skill for any employee. The greatest news about blockchain especially for professionals in this field is that it is a highly sought-after skill and one whose demand is set to remain on an upward trajectory.