What does it take to work in the blockchain industry?

What does it take to work in the blockchain industry?

Job Focus / October 24th, 2017

New technology often does the hard work of transforming the world well before the general population even realises its happening. As a result, rapid technological change always brings winners and losers. Blockchain represents just that sort of change, and the winners will be the people who build skills in this sector now. This article will get you up to speed quickly on the technology, how it is changing employment opportunities, and what you can do to stand out to a block-tech hiring manager.

As tech early adopters ourselves, we have been assisting blockchain hiring managers from the early stages.Over the last few years, we have seen it expand to be a base technology in many industries, with technology giants like IBM and Microsoft currently creating products to support blockchain development. With the way things are developing, the blockchain could soon be as foundational as some of the cornerstones of current web infrastructure.

So what are the practical applications currently? Well there are more startups doing more applications of blockchain than you can shake a keyboard at, but let’s focus on some of the more traditional sectors. The banking sector is already a major recruiter for blockchain technology, which offers great possibilities for software developers who also speak the language of banking. UBS, Santander, and Barclays are amongst the best known early adopters and, with platforms like Ripple (XRP) threatening to fundamentally change the way international payments are made, this trend will only continue as banks seek to mitigate the risk of disruption.

The public sector is also starting to look for talent in the industry: Dubai is one of many governments embracing blockchain technology, with the creation of the Global Blockchain Council (GBC), which is entrusted with exploring the technology’s possibilities. The Crown Prince of Dubai has also announced a plan to transfer all government documents to a secured blockchain by 2020, which has the potential to save 25.1 million hours of economic productivity each year.

Consequently, with recruiters world-wide frantically seeking out the very few individuals with firsthand blockchain experience, their value is going through the roof.  It is not unrealistic for experienced blockchain developers to demand salaries of between £200,000 and £300,000. According to former Chief Information Officer of UBS, Oliver Bussman, there are potentially only 20,000 people worldwide with this experience. So what does this mean for the other 7,441,980,000 of us who are potentially interested in blockchain?

First, don’t worry. According to the COO of crypto-currency exchange CoinCorner, Phil Collins, when hiring for positions in compliance, digital marketing, or client services etc. they aim to employ people with expertise in their field, who are willing and passionate to learn a new industry. They then train all their new recruits in-house on the peculiarities of the blockchain market. In fact, the only role where having experience would give you an advantage would be for developer roles. Despite this, many companies will still happily take on any developer without any previous blockchain experience – providing they are eager to learn. We see this approach being taken by many people in the industry, proving you don’t need to be a tech genius to get in on the blockchain action.

That said, it is essential to educate yourself to a basic level in blockchain technology before going into an interview, at least to a level that could be expected of an enthusiastic amateur.  For anyone who is interested in entering the industry but has no idea where to start, YouTube is probably your best bet; with loads of quality videos there is no excuse for being truly clueless. Also, a great article which may save you hours of research is How I Explained blockchain to my grandmother.

If you are interested in a career in blockchain but are unsure where to start, drop a line to one of our recruiters who will be able to point you in the right direction.