Back To School: Growing Number Of Blockchain, Cryptocurrency Courses Set To Help Industry Over Long-Term

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The longevity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency appears to be in good stead, with the New York Times today reporting that “the virtual currency boom has shown no signs of cooling off in the more august precincts of America’s elite universities.” 

Indeed, Cornell, Duke, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Maryland are just some American colleges that have opted to list graduate-level classes that explore Bitcoin, along with the technology underpinning it (i.e., the blockchain).

With the disruptive feelers of blockchain technology set to extend (directly or indirectly) to basically every industry in the not-too-distant future, demand for these courses has come from all pockets of academia. Although somewhat surprisingly, demand has not necessarily come via faculty professors. Rather, it has been eager students from disciplines like business, law, and engineering (computer science) who have incessantly pushed for such courses to be offered.

So compelling is the interest in the revolutionary technology, that New York University professor, David Yermack, was forced to upgrade lecture halls after under-estimating his original choice (which could seat 180). Indeed, Yermack had no other choice but to settle for the largest lecture theatre in N.Y.U. to facilitate rising enrolment numbers (now at 225).

In demonstrating the strength of demand, even one of the world’s premier online learning sites, Coursera, has started offering a course about virtual currencies. The course – created by a Princeton computer science professor – has been the fifth-most-popular of all classes offered by the educational company.

Today’s stories serve as further examples demonstrating the growing academic interest of the younger demographic in areas like cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Earlier this week, we learnt that an Australian high school scheduled an out-of-hours educational presentation covering virtual currencies. Prompting this was a booming interest from students of the school’s senior cohort; some of which already hold positions in certain crypto assets.

Even North Korea’s Pyongyang university has taken to educating their most elite students on the burgeoning space. This has aroused suspicion that the motivations for doing so are exclusively nefarious, and are certainly not borne out of some utopian ideal of “benevolent academic exchange.”

On a more technical level, the first accredited school for blockchain, Academy, has realised significant progress recently. Just last month they acquired SoftUni, “Eastern Europe’s leading provider of high quality and accessible education in the IT and digital world.” This announcement coincided with another: the launch of the Academy Token (ACAD) which commences public crowdsale on March 1st.

The booming crypto industry certainly appears lucrative to young, aspirational computer scientists, with Academy sharing that there are “currently 14 open jobs for every blockchain engineer.”

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