Blockchain is among the most talked about technologies in business and IT circuits, next only to artificial intelligence. Innovators in the space have focused heavily on developing blockchain applications with clear business use cases in mind. As a result, blockchain is being viewed as a major enabler for businesses across industries. Naturally, this also means that IT professionals are excited about getting prestigious (and high-paying) jobs in the blockchain job market. Surveys and studies done by jobs and careers research firms have revealed that blockchain developers, project managers, and app designers generally get higher salaries than their counterparts from other technologies. For anybody looking to switch to or grow quickly within the blockchain job market, here’s a useful guide.
Get excited for the right reasons
Mechanized farm equipment brought a sweeping transformation to the global economy at the turn of the 19th century. That’s because the resultant automation replaced manual labor (which caused a problem in countries from England and all over but more jobs came into the limelight in areas no one could predict). Slowly automation became the core of the industry.
Technologies such as these can bring an order-of-magnitude improvements and are relevant across all industries. Blockchain is such a technology. While most of the early blockchain buzz was about the technology’s role in bitcoin, Forbes magazine got it right (as they normally do) by suggesting that, eventually, cryptocurrency might prove to be a distraction from the larger potential of blockchain.
Blockchain’s fundamental technology has far-reaching applications in almost every industry — manufacturing, finance, news, arts, education, governance, supply chain, you name it.
Think of it like website development: Every business could use this type of development skills to achieve awesome outcomes. Blockchain’s power and ability to grant decentralized permissions makes it possible for anybody to build a transactional business without oversight.
Opportunities galore in the blockchain job market
Considering the relevance and scope of blockchain technology, it’s hardly a wonder that the excitement in the IT professional ranks is as massive as it is — and the blockchain job market is becoming just as massive.
As per ComputerWorld, the median salary of a blockchain developer in Silicon Valley is $158,000. Upwork, the world’s largest freelance job exchange portal, as well as LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, both report that blockchain development is among the in-demand demand skills for 2018.
Then, there are several deeper specializations within blockchain that could translate into highly fulfilling job opportunities. You also need to understand the difference between core blockchain development and blockchain development in the general sense.
The former is all about developing the core of blockchain technology, including its protocols, whereas the latter is about undertaking actual implantations of decentralized and distributed ledgers.
Private and public blockchain are also crucial differentiations that should be understood. Public blockchains are much like the examples you’re already aware of — cryptocurrencies and related technologies. The private blockchain is specific to companies and their needs.
Skills you need to make it big in blockchain
Programming: Things get very nerdy in the blockchain universe. Development expertise is at the core of blockchain, and professionals need to be adept at pure programming to make their way into this job market. Different blockchains have been developed using different languages. Bitcoins are running on C++, Ethereum uses C++ as well as Python, and Dragonchain uses Java, Python, C#, and NodeJS.
Web development: There’s a large proportion of backend development work in blockchain projects. Professionals, hence, need to have a working knowledge of web development. Among the most frequently used languages for blockchain are HTML, CSS, MongoDB, and NodeJS.
Integration and interoperability: Mature blockchain applications involve the interconnection of different ledgers across several technology platforms. The deployment risks are massive. Companies want blockchain programmers with an open source mindset so that they can make different ledgers talk, and blend into a larger business application.
Blockchain platforms: In every blockchain project you join, you will witness the use of varied platforms. Selecting a suitable platform — well, that’s not easy and companies look up to their blockchain experts (that’s you) for advice. The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric is a pretty important one, as is R3 Corda. Then, there are Ethereum and Ripple. Learn to fit platforms to use cases.
Blockchain security: Security frameworks for blockchain security and regulation are still evolving. This means that you need to proactively look out for information. On the bright side, this also means IT professionals with a grasp of the subject can find highly rewarding employment. The key skills to learn are cryptography, hashing, elliptic curve digital signatures, and Merkle proofs.
What kind of roles could you take up?
The blockchain job market is booming, and there are many kinds of roles on the table. Development managers, operations managers, project heads, blockchain lawyers, security experts, technical writers, testers, cryptography experts, just to name a few.
These roles are on offer in almost every industry. Among the most important ones to keep an eye on are:
Music: Blockchain applications that connect musicians and listeners directly, empowering the creators as well as consumers.
Manufacturing: Blockchain is the biggest enabler of transparency in the supply chain, right from verification of costs of production to verification of provenance of goods.
Gaming: Blockchain opens up dozens of opportunities for in-game value exchanges, which can help gaming companies build sophisticated revenue channels.
Government departments: Because of the sensitive nature of information maintained in these departments, blockchain is being viewed as an enabler of transparency and security.
Advice for anyone looking to build a career in blockchain
As you prepare to take the leap, remember these points:
- This is the perfect time to enter the blockchain jobs market, because everyone is learning, and it’s easy to get into coveted organizations.
- Make sure you can back your resume’s “blockchain” claims with confident inputs and answers that showcase your experience with blockchain development tools.
- The number of tools in the market for everything related to blockchain management is surging, so be sure to read extensively to remain in the thick of things.
- Join forums, communities, and renowned blockchain career websites to remain knowledgeable about the best opportunities.
Blockchain job market: The floodgates are open
It’s less than a decade since blockchain even became something. The blockchain job market is in its infancy and has opened its gates to IT professionals who have the courage to take the leap.
Featured image: Shutterstock
More IT Career Guide articles
- Most promising computer science jobs for the next decade
- Weathering the storms: What you need to succeed in your IT career in good times and bad
- Key skills you need to grab a machine learning job in 2019
- IT employee monitoring: 5 reasons you should do it — and 5 you shouldn’t
- Just stop! 7 mistakes that could doom your IT career