Thinking about a career in Blockchain? It’s touted as being as revolutionary (if not more) than the internet. From transforming the very core of how businesses and governments operate… Blockchain has a truly revolutionary potential.
Often associated with crypto currencies like Bitcoin… Blockchain possibilities go way beyond this.
So what exactly is Blockchain?
At its most basic level, Blockchain is literally just a chain of blocks, but not in the traditional sense of those words. It’s digital information (the block) stored in a public database (the chain).
Blockchain technology provides the form of a distributed non-repudiable ledger. It works on decentralised platforms and offers major advantages for business operations such as….transparency, elimination of third parties, cost reduction, micropayments, cryptographic security, and permanent transactions.
The Rise of Blockchain
Although Blockchain is still in its infancy with many tech challenges to overcome in order to scale for wide spread use – it’s not going anywhere…The adoption of blockchain in companies across key industries including manufacturing, supply-chain, health, food, finance and the public sector is growing.
A Gartner study estimates Blockchain will add $3.1 trillion in business value by 2030!
Furthermore, if we look below, at the size of the blockchain technology market worldwide– again the estimates are growing in the coming years.
Size of the blockchain technology market worldwide from 2018 to 2025 (in billion U.S. dollars)
So if this is the general trend, a question you might be considering is… Does Blockchain mean jobs? What are the Career opportunities? Would it be a good career change?
Blockchain Skills Shortage
Due to the many applications of Blockchain, as a skillset it’s becoming highly coveted. However, as the industry is evolving so quickly… there is no typical entry path into blockchain that we can recommend. It wasn’t something that you covered in school.
But there’s no doubt that the demand for Blockchain skills – on a national & global level – has outstretched the supply of talent. Some reports demonstrate a 500% increase in the demand for blockchain skills in recent years. That’s not so surprising given its prevalence across industries now.
The world is coming to realise the power of Blockchain and thus the scramble to find the talent to stay ahead of the game is well underway.
Blockchain in the Irish Context
The screenshot above is based on a quick search on LinkedIn only on job opportunities with Blockchain in Ireland – it highlights a lot of vacant positions and this trend will only continue to grow. (This has gone up over 5x in Ireland 2020 -2022. As we’ve updated the screenshot!)
At a national-political level, there is a growing overall awareness of this trend.
IDA Ireland’s Blockchain strategy aims to promote Ireland as a European location for Blockchain developments. With Fintech and Blockchain being an obvious strategic alliance in the Irish context.
Furthermore in 2018, the Minister for Finance published a discussion paper examining the potential of virtual currencies and Blockchain technology.
So what are the Career Opportunities?
With it’s wide spread applications, there are many areas that will require the use of blockchain. The key employer types are
- Start-ups. Generally this has been in a wide range of companies particularly since crypto-currencies started booming in recent years.
- Legacies. These are the big institutions that may directly affected by the distributed ledger technology such as banks.
- Tech Firms– Think Facebook, Google, Microsoft all which can stand to use Blockchain.
- Governments – with many potential cost-cutting benefits, many states can use blockchain to its advantage.
In terms of the typical roles being hired in blockchain, it’s mostly tech professionals like software developers and engineers. However, beyond this there are indirect roles for people in marketing, accounting, law etc.
How to get started with a career in Blockchain?
Get up to speed! As mentioned, the rise of blockchain is undeniable. However the conventional educational entry points have been lacking. Fortunately ICT Skillnet has teamed up with The School of Computing at Dublin City University to deliver an MSc in Blockchain – Distributed Ledger Technologies.
Introducing the MSc in Blockchain
- Online delivery. This course is primarily online so you can take it from the comfort of your own home while maintaining social distancing protocols.
- Grounded in Practicality. Blockchain is an ever-evolving and ever-changing industry – The course is practical in nature.
- Super-Charge Your CV. Blockchain is one of the most lucrative skills to have in the world today. Your CV (and bank balance) will thank you.
- Networking opportunity. Connect with like-minded and ambitious peers in the same area of computing and tech.
- Led by experienced pro’s. Learn from the best at the esteemed DCU School of Computing.
- Competitive edge. While opportunities are abundant, the climb to the top is a steep one. Having Blockchain is one skill that can separate you from the rest.
The programme is open to those working in private and commercial semi-state organisations.
Is Blockchain a Good Career?
If you are looking for a career path that can be both lucrative and secure then yes, Blockchain is certainly one of the best tech careers to choose. The blockchain industry is booming and it’s projected to continue to grow in the coming years. As above, the global blockchain market will be valued at 39.7 billion dollars by the year 2025.
For this reason, it is a particularly good career to pursue at the moment as the call for skilled employees in this area exceeds the number of qualified blockchain professionals. By taking advantage of this gap in the market you can strategically upskill yourself in the necessary skills to position yourself as a highly desirable candidate for today’s job market.
How do I Start a Career in Blockchain?
As outlined earlier in this article the best way to start a career in Blockchain is by getting up to speed with the technology. For example, through completing the MSc in Blockchain offered by ICT Skillnet in partnership with Dublin City University you will be in a strong position to start a career in Blockchain.
As mentioned, Blockchain is a new technology and the ways in which it can be utilised in business are still only coming to light. So, whether you want to work in the heart of it as a blockchain developer or in other disciplines such as marketing or design, the sky really is the limit.
One thing that is certain is that this revolutionary technology is not going anywhere. So, by getting ahead of this trend and upskilling in Blockchain technology; your CV will stand out no matter the industry or sector.
Is Learning Blockchain Hard?
Learning Blockchain can appear to be a daunting task. It is often perceived to be highly complex and while it certainly has a degree of complexity this should not deter you. As like most disciplines in life there is a learning curve and once you begin to understand and grasp the concepts – it will be easier and easier to build upon.
Additionally, if you have the relevant prerequisite skills or have an aptness for acquiring tech related skills.. then the learning curve will shorter. If you feel that either of those represents you then you are already a step above the average beginner in this field.
Does Blockchain Require Coding?
The short answer is yes. As blockchains applications within industry is still in the early stages, the vast majority of blockchain careers are in the trenches so to speak. Meaning the most sought-after position currently is that of the blockchain developer. With that in mind, all the skills of a developer are useful in blockchain. Such skills include; data structures, web development and basic programming language.
That’s not to say that other blockchain careers won’t emerge in the future that require lesser knowledge of coding. For this reason, having a strong understanding and knowledge for the potential applications of blockchain can also serve as enough to get into a career in Blockchain. For example, the below chart created by 101Blockchain.com outlines the various career paths that are currently emerging under the Blockchain umbrella.
Which Language is Best for Blockchain?
It is hard to say definitively which programming language is best for Blockchain as this can depend on the application requirements as well as the developers’ preferences. C++ is one such coding language that is widely popular for blockchain as it was used by the founders of Bitcoin – which had been a term used synonymously with Blockchain in the early days.
Additionally, there are numerous programming languages that are equally viable choices such as:
Is Blockchain Worth Learning?
If you think you have what it takes for career in a booming and innovative industry that is only expected to grow further than yes, Blockchain is absolutely worth learning. As mentioned at the beginning of this article Blockchain is thought to be the next (and possibly greater) revolutionary technology after the Internet. So, if that truly is the case it is likely that blockchain is going to transform the way we work and the way that we live. So, learning Blockchain while it is still in its infancy can ensure you don’t get left behind!
Final Words on Blockchain and Ireland’s Career Opportunities
Blockchain is a revolutionary development with the potential to change so many areas of working life as we know it. Getting up to speed in this area for tech professional’s represent a truly unique opportunity.
Will you make the jump forward in this era of change?