Cryptocurrency gained mainstream attention over the past year, and many developers, entrepreneurs, and investors are now involved in the blockchain industry.
The rise of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum saw the birth of ICOs – unregulated and volatile startup fundraising rounds hosted on the Ethereum blockchain.
Many of these crowdfunded projects proceeded to create new applications and platforms using blockchain technology, while others crashed and burned.
Companies are looking to get involved in the blockchain technology underpinning these cryptocurrencies, and this has created demand for skilled individuals with blockchain knowledge.
MyBroadband spoke to Gavin Marshall – founder of blockchain-based app Sharebit.io and an instructor at the Blockchain Academy in Cape Town – about the emerging blockchain job market and how people can get involved.
While traditional fields such as management and marketing will be required within blockchain-based startups, those looking to develop decentralised applications will need a particular set of skills.
Marshall said the technical skills and expertise required to work on decentralised projects depends on the blockchain involved, as well as the scope of the project.
He said skills which can be applied to the field of blockchain-based applications include a knowledge of programming and an understanding of cryptography.
As the security and immutability of blockchains and cryptocurrencies are based on cryptographic hash functions and encryption algorithms, cybersecurity and cryptography knowledge will go a long way in helping you land a job.
Marshall said an open mind was also an important component in working with a technology with great potential.
Obtaining certifications and credentials related to blockchain applications is not as established as other fields, as the sector is still a young one.
When asked if cryptocurrency was an attractive career option for students, however, Marshall replied: “That’s a bit like asking if a career in the Internet is an attractive option for students.”
He said the Blockchain Academy offers beginner courses, in addition to advanced courses, aimed at enterprise customers.
“Bitcoin/blockchain for beginners, Bitcoin/blockchain advanced, Ethereum beginner course, Bitcoin for developers, and then there’s a course covering trading, as well as blockchain for financial institutions.”
“Coming on even the beginner course will give you a very good overview of the underlying technology and why it’s likely the most profound innovation since the internet,” he said.