A blockchain degree can help you jump into a new, booming industry. As blockchain becomes more common and rooted in everyday life, the job market will inevitably become more competitive. In fact, at the time of this writing, blockchain is among the top in-demand skills across the United States and the UK. As a result, many companies and organizations are recruiting professionals with knowledge and experience in blockchain.
Therefore, if you are exploring the blockchain world or considering a career path in the blockchain industry, the time is now.
But what do you do? Where do you start? Like any career path, the first and best starting point is education. Can you earn a blockchain degree? Does it even exist yet? The answer is yes.
This article will provide you with an in-depth guide on everything you need to know about earning a master’s in blockchain degree to prepare you for an exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling blockchain career.
What is a Blockchain Degree?
Let’s begin with some basics. A blockchain degree is a program that provides a deep dive into all things related to the new kind of digital ledger technology, such as the various tools, technologies, applications, and platforms in various areas. There are also many different use cases and business models surrounding blockchain. An important part of a blockchain degree is learning about blockchain’s role in finance, identity management, technology development, operations, and more.
Since blockchain technology is still relatively new, it is somewhat challenging to find a specific master’s in blockchain degree program. However, earning a related degree, such as a master’s in computer science, a master’s in global business, or even a master’s in information systems, will likely offer a specialization in blockchain technology or cover topics related to it.
Why Earn a Master’s in Blockchain Degree?
As time goes on, it’s clear that the world of blockchain isn’t slowing down anytime soon. With the huge impact that it has already had on our world, blockchain has surpassed the point of being a temporary trend or buzzword; it’s here to stay.
Although many organizations and companies don’t necessarily require a master’s in blockchain degree to land a blockchain job, that doesn’t mean the program doesn’t exist. Furthermore, as blockchain continues to evolve, a master’s in blockchain could become a requirement in the future.
As a result, even seasoned professionals (including computer science majors, software developers, software engineers, coders, IT professionals, and even business analysts) are exploring the world of blockchain to help expand their knowledge and skillset. They’re taking courses, enrolling in bootcamp programs, or even earning full degrees.
What Does a Master’s in Blockchain Degree Program Look Like?
Although it may have different names and different program structures, a master’s in blockchain degree program involves diving into many key areas, which include the following:
- Application engineering and development
- Web design and user experience development and engineering
- Program structure and algorithms
- Web methods and tools
- Advances in data sciences and architecture
- Engineering data systems
- Engineering cyber security systems
- Decentralized cloud storage
- Digital security
- Secure technology infrastructure development
- Smart contract application engineering and development
- Regulatory aspects of smart contract automation
Depending on the type of program and institution, students will have the opportunity to learn how to apply the program coursework through several applications, including independent projects, building a portfolio of projects, or even getting on-the-job experience via an internship.
Regardless of the application, students will learn different approaches to software engineering, understand how complex network systems work together, and even have the opportunity to design and build distributed ledger applications for various businesses and entities.
Online Master’s in Blockchain Degree Program
In today’s digitally-driven world, as long as you have a mobile device and a network connection, you can do just about anything online—and that includes enrolling and participating in an entire degree program.
Are online degree programs as great as they seem? Here are the advantages and disadvantages:
Online Master’s in Blockchain Degree Advantages
- Flexibility. Of course, the number one reason why students enroll in online degree programs is flexibility. Many online master’s in blockchain programs are self-paced, which means you can listen to lectures, complete and submit assignments, and engage with peers all through a digital learning platform, and at your own pace. This program structure is great for students with full-time jobs, families, or other commitments that prevent them from sitting in a traditional classroom. Online master’s in blockchain programs also allows students in other cities, states, and even countries to enroll in the best program, regardless of geographic location. Some may argue that earning a Master’s in Blockchain degree online is more accessible than a traditional on-campus or in-classroom program because the online environment offers more flexibility than sitting in a classroom on campus. While this may be true for some, it’s not necessarily the case for every student.
- Cost-Effective. Yes, some online master’s in blockchain degree programs might be more cost-effective than a traditional on-campus program. However, the cost of online programs varies greatly with the institution.
- Learn Independently. As mentioned above, online master’s in blockchain degree programs allow students to work independently and at their own pace. Although some blockchain degree programs might require participating and collaborating with other students and peers via an online community or platform, the bulk of the coursework is done independently. Again, this could be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your particular learning style.
- Online Communication. Because an online master’s in blockchain program is delivered—well, online—all communication with peers and instructors happens digitally. This could be via email, a learning management system (or LMS), or a suite of chat tools.
Online Master’s in Blockchain Degree Disadvantages
- Overwhelming Workload. While some students may prefer self-paced and independent learning, it is not always the best format for others. Some students need more structure, assistance, and guidance when learning new material. As a result, some students may struggle with the workload in an online degree program, especially if they have difficulty managing numerous other day-time responsibilities. They may push off working on coursework until the end, cramming them through an overwhelming workload.
- Cost and ROI. As outlined in the list of advantages, yes, some online Master’s in Blockchain degree programs might be more cost-effective than a traditional on-campus program. Again, this varies greatly with the institution. Some online Master’s in Blockchain degree programs cost just as much as traditional on-campus programs. One further point to consider is ROI. While earning a Master’s in Blockchain degree will certainly give you a huge competitive advantage in the job market, you may want to consider your learning style and preferences. For example, if you think you might struggle with learning material online, an online program might not meet your needs. Therefore, it’s important to seriously consider the advantages and disadvantages of participating in an online degree program against your learning style and preferences to ensure you get the highest possible ROI.
- Learning Independently. There’s nothing worse than listening to a lecture, downloading the related assignment afterward, staring at it blankly, and feeling like a failure because you don’t understand the material or even who to ask for questions. If you think this could be you, it’s important to strongly consider whether or not learning material online is the best fit for you. Remember, not every student prefers to learn independently. Because course content, material, and lectures are delivered via recorded audio or videos, students may struggle with remaining engaged, not having in-person interaction, or miss the ability to ask a question in a live setting.
- Using Foreign Digital Learning and Communication Tools. Although most students interested in earning a Master’s in Blockchain degree are well-versed and experienced using various digital tools, applications, and platforms, not every student is in the same boat. If you’ve never taken an online course before, there may be a learning curve with using a new learning management system. Furthermore, every institution uses a different approach and LMS with different features, and some are better than others. In some cases, it might be incredibly frustrating to learn how to use and navigate a particular LMS and digest brand-new course content.
Regardless of your learning style and preferences, the quality and depth of the content and material related to blockchain are the same whether delivered digitally via an online program or traditionally in an in-classroom, on-campus setting. Students will also have the same opportunities to participate with peers (either in-person or online), complete assignments, work on projects, and pass exams.
Furthermore, in today’s digital age, earning a master’s in blockchain degree online is accepted just as much as earning a degree “the traditional way.” Most employers and companies will be impressed with your degree, regardless of how you earned it.
So, is earning a master’s in blockchain degree online better than a traditional on-campus program? That comes down to you and how you prefer to manage your coursework, learn new material, and what you think you will get out of the program.
How Much Does a Master’s in Blockchain Degree Cost?
A master’s in blockchain degree can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $20,000. Of course, this is a massive range; however, the cost of a master’s in blockchain degree varies greatly with the institution and the type of program.
For example, more well-known and prestigious institutions will likely cost more than smaller universities.
The good news is that many universities and institutions offer financial aid and scholarships to help students with financing. Additionally, some institutions will offer promotions on their degree programs.
Suppose you are interested in applying for a particular master’s in blockchain degree program, and you can’t qualify for federal financial aid or institutional aid or earn a scholarship. In that case, other private organizations offer scholarships, loans, and grants for students.
What Can I Do with a Master’s in Blockchain Degree?
So, imagine you are interested in enrolling in a master’s in blockchain degree program. What can you do with the degree after? What career fields, paths, or opportunities does this allow you to get into?
By earning a master’s in blockchain degree, here are some examples of different career paths:
- Blockchain Developer
- Software Engineer
- Financial Analyst
- Marketing Manager
- Security Architect
- Systems Administrator
- DevOps Engineer
- Technical Writer
- Cryptocurrency Trader
Of course, salaries for different blockchain positions vary with the role, position, organization, and even location. However, with a master’s in blockchain degree, you can expect to earn between $60,000, whereas a software developer can earn upwards of $150,000 per year.
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Blockchain Professional?
Getting into the growing field of blockchain requires various skills, all of which are centered around the comfort and interest in exploring, navigating, experimenting, using, and building various technologies and applications.
Depending on which career path you choose will ultimately determine which skills you need. Some examples of skills include the following:
- Basic blockchain architecture
- Knowledge and experience with smart contract languages, such as Solidity
- Web development
- Software development
- Knowledge and experience with algorithms used to process data
Unlike traditional forms of currency, such as the U.S. dollar, cryptocurrencies are traded via a decentralized network where every transaction is recorded in a digital ledger. Each transaction or piece of data recorded becomes a “block.” This decentralized system is known as the “blockchain.” The blockchain is where currency and other financial assets are shared and recorded. The blockchain is different from a typical database, specifically in how it stores and shares information across a distributed network. The blockchain stores information and data via cryptography.
Yes! However, different institutions have different names for their Master’s in Blockchain degree programs. For example, it might be called a Master’s in Global Business with Blockchain Technology, a Master’s in Information Systems with Blockchain Technology, a Master’s in Digital Currency, or even a Master’s in Computer Science focusing on Blockchain Technology. If you aren’t sure which degree program is right for you, then look at what topics and material will be covered in each program with each institution.
As mentioned above, the world of blockchain and digital currency is a growing, in-demand, and highly competitive field—and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. If you are considering a career in blockchain, here are some of the top career paths to consider: blockchain developer, software engineer, financial analyst, marketing manager, security architect, systems administrator, DevOps engineer, technical writer, and cryptocurrency trader.
Blockchain professionals can earn a decent salary regardless of their career path, type of role, geographic location, and organization. At this writing, here are some examples of different blockchain roles and average annual salary ranges: Blockchain developer $95,000-$150,000, cryptocurrency product manager $60,000-$90,000, frontend engineer $80,000-$100,000, blockchain legal consultant $100,000-$190,000.