Demand for skills in blockchain technology continues to grow – and shows no sign of stopping. According to a recent Freelancer.com ‘Fast 50’ report, blockchain technology skills saw the fastest growth in demand.
‘Before the rise of cryptocurrencies, nobody heard about blockchain technologies,’ says says Dr. Imre Kocsis, a blockchain expert and educator at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME). ‘But today, this technology is being used in everything from finance to government, retail, and manufacturing. As a result, blockchain technology is now one of the most in-demand skills sets – and one full of significant opportunities for smart professionals,’ he adds.
However, before we get to what those opportunities are, let’s first take a step back and look at what exactly blockchain is.
What is blockchain?
At its most basic level, blockchain is a system for recording information, or data, that makes it extremely difficult – if not impossible – to change or hack. According to IBM, blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking both tangible and intangible assets within a business network.
As such, blockchain is a very attractive technology for many businesses. In fact, according to a PwC survey, four out of five executives reported using blockchain in their business. Some of the most common uses include sharing data, saving costs, improving traceability, supporting cross-organisational notifications, logging critical events and product and material certifications, enhancing warranty services, and facilitating contractual agreements.
What are the industries already using blockchain?
A variety of blockchain-driven business cooperation innovations are already relatively well known and accepted. Some examples are supply chain visibility, asset tracking, post-trade processing and trade finance; all challenges that are being addressed today by purpose-built solutions in a variety of industrial sectors, from container logistics through commodities as oil to agriculture and food.
But much more is to come. More and more industries are exploring the benefits of blockchain technology. These include everything from the banking and financial services sector to healthcare, insurance, media, entertainment, consumer goods, telecommunications, and travel and transportation. Hyper-connected digitized industry and smart, 5G and fog computing enabled cyber-physical environments stand to gain especially much. Here, blockchain will have a key role in such ‘killer applications’ as monetising sensor data and AI capabilities, orchestrating manufacturing across companies and ensuring the safety and resilience of connected systems.
To back up this prediction, consider that the aforementioned PwC report forecast that between 10 – 20% of the global economic infrastructure could operate based on blockchain. And, according to analytical agency Gartner, the blockchain solutions market will be worth an estimated $3.1 trillion by 2030.
What are the business opportunities?
The wide array of industries and applications already using blockchain technology, plus the forecasted growth, means employees with blockchain skills are in high demand. Just take a quick glance at any recruitment board and you’ll probably see posts for such roles as blockchain developers, architects, project managers, user experience designers, engineers, consultants, etc.
But look a little closer, and you’ll likely see more traditional roles seeking applicants with blockchain experience. That means even accountants, PR specialists, journalists, managers, CIOs, CTOs, digital transformation officers, product managers, investors, and analysts – to name only a few – will all benefit from adding blockchain basics to their skill repertoire.
‘Blockchain technologies serve as the building blocks to new business opportunities,’ says Dr. László Gönczy, an expert on migrating existing business cooperation to blockchain at BME. ‘That’s why smart business leaders everywhere are taking the time to learn about blockchain.’
How to upskill and acquire the knowledge?
EIT Digital Professional School helps businesses and entrepreneurs access and acquire breakthrough digital innovation knowledge. The course portfolio is carefully curated by some of Europe’s leading universities and think tanks and are taught by some of the most esteemed minds in academia, research, business, and industry. Visit the website to learn more.
Specifically on blockchain, EIT Digital Professional School offers two courses designed to equip professionals with the blockchain-fuelled knowledge. The Blockchain for the Decision Maker course helps participants evaluate and introduce blockchain-based solutions into their enterprise systems, while the Blockchain for Digital Manufacturing and Logistics course focuses on leveraging blockchain’s potential within the manufacturing and logistics setting.
‘Both courses offer a comprehensive understanding of the full potential of blockchain technology and how to leverage that potential in an enterprise or manufacturing setting,’ conclude Imre Kocsis and László Gönczy. ‘But most importantly, they give you the confidence to begin using blockchain technologies to solve actual problems and create new business opportunities.’