The development of blockchain technology has created the need for thousands of in-demand skills in the field of information technology, with thousands more positions waiting to be filled. According to a recent report by job analytics research firm Burning Glass Technologies (as detailed in a recent ComputerWorld article), there are over 5,000 full-time job postings for blockchain career professionals, translating to an annual growth of nearly 320 percent.
Large corporations developing blockchain apps, in general, hire project managers, blockchain designers and a handful of developers, with past exposure to blockchain technology.
Job market outlook
The market for blockchain career professionals has in recent times seen a tremendous growth with job postings for aspirants with relevant skills tripling in the last year alone. Enterprises are also increasingly focusing on Big Data, cross-platform connectivity, security, and distributed systems.
Job roles with the highest demand include not just engineers and blockchain developers, but also designers and legal experts, according to a report published by BusinessStudent.com, a B-school review site for management aspirants.
Promising blockchain career options
So, what are the typical job roles that companies are looking to hire for? To answer this question, here are the top blockchain career options for tech professionals at present:
Developers have an array of opportunities to pick from in the emerging field of blockchain technology, from financial services and tech giants to the public sector, all of whom are looking to implement blockchain.
Development professionals will need to build the blockchain platform and associated programs so organizations can leverage blockchain for improved business efficiency and profits.
Blockchain project managers
Project managers are typically entrusted with the role of managing and facilitating blockchain projects, particularly as firms handle a large client base.
Organizations developing blockchain applications need to communicate expectations to their development and design teams. Project managers ease this translation of organizational goals into technical jargon, thus enabling developers to adapt blockchains into enterprise technology.
Blockchain quality engineers
These professionals ensure quality within the blockchain environment, including the automation framework, manual testing, and the dashboards, within varied platforms including mobile and web.
Quality engineers develop, write, and implement automation tools and performance tests to adhere to enterprise-wide QA standards. Aspirants might need specific skills and a degree in Engineering Management.
Blockchain web designers
According to BusinessStudent.com, startups, as well as old-school organizations looking to leverage blockchains, will often begin with using cryptocurrencies, which translates to a greater need to keep customers informed on the company’s range of offerings. Web design experts will help in building intuitive and engaging user interfaces.
Typical job ads for blockchain UI designers often seek professionals who can craft IU designs using tools such as PC, Sketch, and Figma, working on both web and mobile platforms. Aspirants are often evaluated on their communication skills, given that they often interact across cross-functional teams including content, marketing, and operations.
Researchers estimate that for every blockchain engineer or developer, there would be 14 unfilled job openings. Blockchain engineers envision the organizational technology needs and help design and implement digital solutions for companies that use blockchain.
Blockchain engineers may wear many hats, including setting up enterprise-wide infrastructure to help support cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, implementing accelerators, analyzing code and building blockchain development training for new hires.
Not only must engineers be skilled in Java, but also need upcoming technology such as Hyperledger Fabric, Solidity, Python, Oracle Identity, as well as knowledge of access management solutions.
Blockchain legal consultants and attorneys
Blockchain legal experts will play a vital role in guiding organizations on the various policies surrounding the initial coin offering (ICO), including structuring and governing ICOs, which are now increasingly under stringent regulatory scrutiny.
Blockchain attorneys may need to develop legal contracts and partnerships given that blockchain offers business automation tools termed “smart contracts,” which are basically auto-executing tools that meet the terms and conditions that have been agreed upon.
A recent job post for a blockchain legal consultant called for attorneys who would help build legal partnerships connecting the cryptocurrency ecosystem to the prevailing financial framework, aside from providing negotiation expertise during mergers and acquisitions as well as drafting legal contracts, as needed.
As issues emerge with the rising number of fintech projects, there is an ever-increasing need for legal experts who provide the much-needed legalese.
Entry-level and internship positions
Entry-level roles can pay anywhere from $15-30 per hour, particularly for roles based in the West Coast, reports BusinessStudent.com. Typical internships would include design and development of distributed ledgers within proprietary platforms as well open-source environments, like Linux.
Entry-level jobs may also involve building proof of concept for blockchain pilot projects, since many new firms tend to be in their testing phases for various DLT (distributed-ledger technology) solutions. Interns may need technical skills in NodeJS, Java, APIs, C++, Go RESTful, Truffle, Solidity, and in HTML and CSS.
Transcending the skill gap and pay scales
Blockchain tech has an inherent gap in the plethora of jobs needing appropriate talent to fill. This needs and skill disparity means that average salaries for blockchain developers and engineers are quite high, with median annual packages of $130,000, as compared with generic software development that has a median annual pay of $105,000, reports Burning Glass Technologies.
As with most technology, experienced professionals with niche skills in blockchain iterations, including Hyperledger Composer or Solidity, are increasingly sought after (and this trend is on the rise), as reported by Eric Piscini, from Deloitte Consulting’s technology and banking practice.
Blockchain career options: Just the beginning
As the technology matures, companies will only continue to hire blockchain professionals, given that blockchain is fast becoming the next big disruptive technology.
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