The technology that underpins bitcoin and other altcoins is experiencing a surge in public interest.
Bitcoin’s underlying technology, called the blockchain, is a digital ledger that features certain characteristics that are essential for digital currencies to work. However, these same features, such as immutability and decentralization, also make the blockchain well suited to revolutionize many aspects of operational workflow and productivity. In addition to the cryptocurrency space, blockchain technology is now being utilized in the financial sector, supply chain management, cybersecurity, online music distribution, and governance, among many other uses.
A Growing Demand
Due to the large number of ways blockchain technology can be implemented, there is a significant market for blockchain professionals. Data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies announced a significant rise in job postings for blockchain professionals. Postings were seen to have doubled since the beginning of 2017.
The report published in October 2017 explains:
“Five years ago, in 2012, we could only find a handful of postings requesting blockchain skills. By 2016, that had increased to 1,838 postings, and so far in 2017, there have been 3,958 postings. That’s a 115 percent increase over the 2016 total, and we’ve barely entered the fourth quarter of the year.”
In addition, popular freelance job platform Upwork reveals that blockchain skills have seen a large increase and were among the top in the fastest growing skills of the last quarter of 2017, coming in second only to robotics. Upwork further stated that between the last quarter of 2016 and the same time in 2017, the skillset had experienced a whopping 200 percent growth.
Burning Glass believes the surge in job postings is related to established industries taking note of the technology as well as the advantages it may offer, noting:
“Because of its connection with “cryptocurrencies,” blockchain is associated with finance, and major banks like Liberty Mutual, Capital One, and Bank of America have posted openings. There are also companies devoted to building blockchain applications, like Consensys Corporation. But the demand for blockchain is much broader, including major consulting firms like Accenture and Deloitte and technology companies like IBM and SAP. This is additional evidence that the business world is starting to take blockchain seriously.”
As many different industries lean toward implementing blockchain, interest is ballooning for this relatively new technology. Thus, the demand for professionals proficient in the many different aspects of the technology grows. As it currently stands, the experts are few and not enough to adequately satiate the market.
Speaking to FinancialNews, Richard Burgess-Kelly, the founder of Liberam, a RegTech recruitment company, stated:
“There’s a talent shortage in the network.There’s a big shortage in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain. Due to the nature of supply and demand, salaries for blockchain professionals are rising as well. When you have done a Ph.D. in blockchain, you can make a fortune.”
The Desired Skill Set
However, blockchain professionals are also required to have other skills. Career advisor website Paysa lists a number of skills that are related to the blockchain area including user interface design, social media, and networking, among others.
Matt Sigelman, the CEO of Burning Glass Technologies explains the need for blockchain professionals to be proficient in areas other than coding stating:
“What’s interesting here is what we refer to as the hybrid-job economy; that’s the notion that increasingly jobs are combining skill sets. If you look at some of the jobs growing the fastest and are highest value to companies are those with a sort of mixed-skill genome.”
The wide array of skills that blockchain professionals have contributes to the high valuation that companies attribute to them and are part of the reasoning behind their salaries.
The Salaries Blockchain Professionals Earn
According to Paysa, a blockchain professional will earn between $63,000 and $134,000 per year.
In addition, blockchain engineers are likely to net an average of $114,000 while those specializing in the marketing side of things would make $89,000. This reiterates that while other skills are important, an in-depth knowledge of the technology is much more likely to lead to a higher income.
On Upwork, prices for blockchain developers vary, with prices ranging from $15 to $200 an hour. According to job search site Indeed, salaries for people in the blockchain space range from $63,000 for marketers and up to $155,000 per annum for senior management.
Recently, it was reported that blockchain developers in Switzerland, which is positioning itself as a global technology hub, are able to command between ten and twelve thousand dollars a month, which translates to more than $120,000 a year.
As blockchain technology moves to become the standard in both the private and the public sector for storing and transferring any kind of data, the demand for blockchain developers is skyrocketing. This, of course, is also reflected in their salaries, especially as there is a substantial shortage of talent.
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