Recognising its importance as a revolutionary technology, an Australian university has today announced the country’s first course on blockchain technology. It’s being hosted by Melbourne’s RMIT University and is scheduled to start in mid-March.
Blockchain Skills in High Demand
The eight-week short-course aims to address the current vacuum of young talent familiar with blockchain technology. Alan Tsen, a manager at one of the tech companies behind the new course, Stone and Chalk, told local news source 9news:
“There is a real demand for blockchain training and a skills gap in the market that needs to be addressed.”
Along with Stone and Chalk, the course has been developed by the university’s Blockchain Innovation Hub and graduate services provider, Accenture. Jason Potts of the former organisation told Business Insider about the technological complexities of blockchain and what the short course hopes to provide for students:
“It’s actually quite hard to understand… a whole lot of different technologies have come together to contribute to it working… Much of this course is designed to help executives and business leaders to understand not just how this new technology works, and understanding what’s actually behind it, but also how it reflects business models and business strategy.”
Without initiatives like the Melbourne university course, the lack of relevant skills issue is only set to get worse. The industry is rapidly expanding and according to tech think tank Gartner Research, will be worth over $176 billion by 2025.
Whilst the first practical application of the technology was cryptocurrency, there are various startups that are experimenting with it for a variety of different purposes. These include cybersecurity, resource management, healthcare, and the legal profession, to name but a few.
One company currently studying how blockchain technology can disrupt existing industries is Power Ledger. Also based in Australia, the startup hopes to provide a platform for sharing solar energy. They received substantial funding in late 2017 from a smart cities grant issued by the government. No doubt co-founder Jemma Green is as excited to hear about local educational institutions taking the technology seriously as she was about being named beneficiary of the government’s support:
“We are really delighted to see the federal government supporting Australian innovation, and recognising the role blockchain can potentially play for more resilient and efficient ecosystems.”
Whilst the Melbourne RMIT University blockchain course might be the first of its kind in Australia, it’s by no means unique globally. Institutions from Cyprus to the US and UK are now offering similar programmes. Evidently, with universities as prestigious as Berkeley in California taking notice of the technology, the future is bright for the blockchain space.