The barriers to entry for the blockchain space are still high, especially since blockchain technology and its benefits are not yet as widely understood as other innovations. In order to overcome this barrier, there are higher education programs available to help busy professionals understand blockchain architecture and the new paradigm of scalable, decentralized applications (dApps).
While many universities, like UCLA, already offer classroom instruction, there are several online programs offering a reputable and flexible way to learn about blockchain technology. This includes courses providing an overview of blockchain systems and the uses for distributed ledger technology, including the underlying mechanisms by which they function.
Blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market, currently with 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer. With the average salary of a blockchain engineer in Silicon Valley at $158,000, programmers who have experience in Solidity (language for creating Ethereum smart contracts) are in short supply and high demand.
Whether you are looking to make a career pivot or sharpen your professional skills, the following online professional programs offer a first step toward gaining a fundamental understanding of blockchain technology:
University of California, Berkeley
The UC Berkeley Blockchain Fundamentals Professional Certificate Program, available through edX, is a comprehensive survey of core topics in cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and blockchain technology. The courses are taught by instructors from UC Berkeley’s Computer Science department, yet it costs under $200 and takes place entirely online, offering a combination of access, affordability, and flexibility.
Each course in the program takes six weeks to complete, and you can expect to spend about three to five hours per week, per course. There are two courses total in the Blockchain Fundamentals Professional Certificate program:
The Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation’s Blockchain for Business Professional Certificate Program, available through edX, is an intensive 10- to 16- week online program designed for the business professional who needs to understand the potential (or threat) of blockchain to his/her company and industry.
Each course in the program takes five to eight weeks to complete, and you can expect to spend about three to four hours per week, per course. There are two courses in the program, beginning with Blockchain basics and concluding with an introduction to Hyperledger.
Here are all the courses you will take in the Blockchain for Business Professional Certificate program:
- Blockchain: Understanding Its Uses and Implications
- Blockchain for Business – An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies
Upon completion of each program, students will receive an official certificate that they can highlight on their resumes. Since edX is available on computers and mobile devices, students can learn anywhere and on their own time.
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