When it comes to thinking about opportunity in the world of blockchain, there are many ways to approach the subject. Udacity is a company committed to connecting learning to jobs, so we think first and foremost about employment opportunities. As a recent TechCrunch article put it, “Demand is off the charts for blockchain talent.” This is exactly why we’re so excited to launch our new Blockchain Developer Nanodegree program!
Rising demand for blockchain developers
If you’re interested in launching or advancing a career in the blockchain space, this is a fantastic time to get started learning the right skills. The TechCrunch article presents an impressive list of statistics, including the following:
- “Blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market.”
- “Upwork saw blockchain rise to the fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 skills.”
- “Demand for blockchain engineering talent on Toptal has grown 700 percent.”
Demand isn’t the only thing rising; salaries are going up as well. ComputerWorld recently quoted Matt Sigelman, CEO of job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, who stated:
“The median income for full-time blockchain developers in the U.S. is $140,000 a year, compared to general software developers, whose annual median pay is $105,000.”
In a May 2018 article from CNBC, Katheryn Griffith Hill, lead recruiter at staffing company Blockchain Developers, offered this remarkable summation:
“There are currently 14 blockchain developer positions available for every one blockchain developer.”
The Udacity Blockchain Developer Nanodegree Program
This new Nanodegree program, launched today at Future of Fintech, is focused on job readiness, and the acquisition of in-demand blockchain skills. As a student in the program, you’ll build portfolio-ready projects designed in collaboration with working blockchain developers and hiring managers, and you’ll enjoy direct access to leading experts in the field. You’ll build your own blockchain to store and manage data, create your own smart contracts using Solidity (the primary language on Ethereum), and build a blockchain-powered web app for supply chain management.
For experienced developers interested in moving into the blockchain space, this programs offers hands-on experience building decentralized applications, and the opportunity to master the blockchain development skills that are in high demand across industries, and at companies ranging from startups to large, established organizations.
“We’re very excited about current and future applications of blockchain, but the industry is still in need of an influx of qualified new talent into the field. This is why we’re working with Udacity in support of the new Blockchain Developer Nanodegree program, to ensure that new developers can learn the right skills to start making an impact right away.” —Balaji Srinivasan, CTO, Coinbase
Rising salaries for blockchain developers
In an interview we recently conducted with Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, he was quick to highlight this demand, and point out the financial opportunities for blockchain developers:
“If you’re a blockchain developer today, your skills are in huge demand, and the supply is relatively small, so your compensation will probably be pretty good.”
In the same CNBC article noted above, Hill points out that blockchain developers with just two years of experience are commanding impressive salaries:
“If you have someone with two-plus years of experience in blockchain, you could see their salary be $200,000 or above. People with three to five years of experience—they’re looking at half a million dollars.”
Hiring for skills
A critical point for aspiring blockchain developers to recognize is that this is still an emerging field. So not only is there wide-open opportunity, but competition for jobs is happening on a comparatively level playing field, because no one is yet in a position to have extensive experience in the field—the space is still too new. In a climate like this, recruiters and hiring managers have to adopt new strategies, as a recent Bloomberg article noted:
“To hire the best blockchain developers, recruiters might have to take new routes and be flexible about job requirements.”
Our partners at IBM wrote a blog post recently noting their demand for blockchain talent, and describing an increasing emphasis on hiring for skills:
“IBM has more than 400 blockchain projects in progress, employs more than 1,600 employees, and has more than 150 job openings related to blockchain. Some of these are even ‘new collar’ jobs: roles in fast growing fields, where having the right skills matter more than having a bachelor’s degree.”
Learning with the experts
In an emerging field like blockchain, hands-on experience is a key competitive differentiator for job-seekers, and that’s exactly what students will get in this program. To ensure our students learn the skills that have genuine relevance in the field, we designed the curriculum in collaboration with working blockchain developers. We also drew on exclusive insights from some of the leading voices in the blockchain space, including:
- Balaji Srinivasan, CTO of Coinbase
- David Johnston, Chairman of the Board of Factom
- Aaron Brown, VP of Engineering at MadHive
- Elena Nadolinski, Solidity Engineer, Co-Creator of Ethmoji.io.
- PK Rasam, Founder and Chief Blockchain Officer at LINCD
With developments moving so rapidly in the world of blockchain, we knew it was vitally important to offer a dynamic experience that affords students the opportunity to be 100% up-to-date with all the latest innovations. To that end, we’ve assembled an outstanding roster of talent to be our Experts-In-Residence for the program. Students will have the opportunity to engage in weekly office hours sessions with these highly-skilled individuals:
- Adam Gall, Co-founder, CTO, DECENT
- Brian Ho, Software Developer & Course Instructor, Blockchain at Berkeley
- Connor Yanz, Software Engineer, MadHive
- Matt Whittington, Software Developer, Factom
- Parker McCurley, Founder, DECENT
- Tyler Mace, Senior Software Engineer, MadHive
Using blockchain for social good
In addition to the lure of high demand and high salaries, the blockchain space offers ample opportunity to making positive contributions in a wide array of social good arenas. When we interviewed Santiago Siri, Founder of the Democracy Earth Foundation, he noted the following:
“Blockchain-based technologies are ways of coding not just reliable financial software, but also, it can code human rights.”
Santiago was featured in a 2017 article from Entrepreneur that highlighted his company’s work using blockchain technology to combat voter fraud. Other uses detailed in the article include promoting ethical business practices, stemming financial corruption, enabling green technology, facilitating fund-raising, and more. Robert Opp, Director of Innovation and Change Management for the World Food Programme, was recently quoted in a World Affairs article detailing his organization’s use of this powerful technology:
“Through blockchain, we aim to cut payment costs, better protect beneficiary data, control financial risks, and respond more rapidly in the wake of emergencies. Using blockchain can be a qualitative leap—not only for the World Food Programme, but for the entire humanitarian community.”
To disrupt, or be disrupted
Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a blockchain developer, ranging from the financial to the ethical, and all points in between. What is inescapable is that blockchain represents one of the most compelling new technologies out there. But it is also potentially a disruptive one, with the potential to bring sweeping change to a wide swath of industries. This is all the more reason to start mastering blockchain skills today. As Brian Kelly, Founder and CEO of BKCM, said in a recent interview with Udacity:
“If you’re concerned that, hey, this might disrupt my business, this might disrupt my job, then learn everything you can about this particular technology, and you’re going to be better off for it.”
This is what the Blockchain Developer Nanodegree program is truly all about—learning everything you can about this technology.
Are you ready? Enroll today, and start advancing your career as a blockchain developer!