The demand for blockchain developers is growing faster than the existing supply of available talent. This supply/demand imbalance is creating tremendous career growth and above average income opportunities as companies worldwide are rapidly implementing this emerging technology, whose importance has been compared to the cloud and even to the internet. Here’s a closer look at why you should give serious thought to getting an education as a blockchain developer.
Industries You Could Work in as a Blockchain Developer
Blockchain doesn’t just support cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether. It offers the potential to support major processes in numerous industries that need trustless, verifiable, immutable records and automated processes. Industries where blockchain is expected to become a major underlying force include shipping and logistics, supply chain management, banking, real estate, health care, law, politics, and many others—even nonprofits. No matter where your interests lie, you can probably find a blockchain job there.
Companies You Could Work for as a Blockchain Developer
Whether you want to work for a small startup or a longtime behemoth, you can do it as a blockchain developer. Take a look at the online job boards: JPMorgan Chase, Amazon, MasterCard, KPMG, Microsoft, and IBM are all hiring blockchain devs. So are small companies like Gem, Gorilla Logic, Binance, and BitPay. These companies represent only a tiny sample of your options. Blockchain talent is in such high demand that there are even entire companies dedicated to sourcing it, including Block Recruiters in San Francisco and Crypto Recruit in Sydney.
Blockchain Developer Pay
Being a blockchain developer pays really well. Interns can earn $30 to $55 an hour. Freelancers and consultants can earn $80 to $150 per hour. Full-time employees can easily earn six figures and can expect entry-level salaries of at least $65,000. The median income for a blockchain developer is $140,000, which is $35,000 more than the median income for a general software developer.
There’s a wide range of pay depending on your skill set, the position, the hiring company, and its location, but these are jobs where you can make a comfortable and even lucrative living. And once you develop these in-demand skills and advertise them through your LinkedIn profile, you can expect blockchain job opportunities to come to you instead of having to spend hours perusing job boards and blindly submitting applications.
Blockchain Skill Acquisition
Here are a few places where you can gain blockchain development skills in a structured way:
A detailed course syllabus outlines how you’ll learn about managing your blockchain identity, creating your own private blockchain, migrating your private blockchain to your API web service, building your own private blockchain notary service, supply chain and data auditing, and more. The course culminates with a capstone project where you’ll build your own public blockchain. Each term costs $999, for a total cost of $1,998.
–Coursera’s Blockchain Basics course. Created by the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York system, this first course in a blockchain specialization gives an overview of the bitcoin and ethereum protocols. In an online course built upon videos, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises, you’ll learn about asymmetric key encryption, hashing, the consensus protocol, and more.
The course is self-paced, with an estimated completion time of four weeks at 3.5 hours per week. You pay $39 per month for as long as you need to access the course materials. A 7-day free trial gives you the opportunity to watch lectures, try assignments, and participate in the discussion forum. You can also audit the course for free, which provides access to course videos and some course content but does not provide a completion certificate that you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
Here are some more online options:
–Coursera’s IBM Blockchain Foundation for Developers (6 weeks, 2 hours per week, $49 to purchase, free to audit)
–Blockgeek’s blockchain and cryptocurrency courses and tutorials (7-Day Free Trial)
–BitDegree tutorial (self-paced, free)
–IBM’s self-paced blockchain courses (8 hours, free)
–MIT Sloan School of Management Executive Education: Blockchain Technologies self-paced online course (6 weeks, 5–8 hours per week, $3,000)
–Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme (6 weeks, 12–15 hours per week, GBP £2,200)
No College Degree Required
Programming is one of those fields where employers are less concerned about candidates’ credentials and more concerned about their ability to execute, and where not having a bachelor’s or master’s degree doesn’t mean you’ll have to settle for lower pay. You don’t need to spend four to six years in school, take on massive student loan debt, or miss out on years in the workforce to get the education you need to be taken seriously as a blockchain job candidate.
As the second-fastest growing job category and one where 14 openings are available for every developer, blockchain-related positions are something to take seriously if you’re looking to become a developer or expand your developer skillset. Many people still haven’t heard of blockchain; even fewer understand how it works and only a tiny percentage know how to create and use blockchains. But companies big and small are starting to use it, and they need lots of help. Gaining blockchain developer skills now could be the next best thing after being an early investor in bitcoin.
Eric C. Jansen is the founder, president and chief investment officer of AspenCross Wealth Management (AWM), a Registered Investment Advisor. AWM provides bitcoin and cryptocurrency educational services to its retail clients and manages several thematic investment portfolios focused on blockchain innovation & disruptive technologies.