Category Archives: Toptal

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Enrolment Race Pushes Business Schools to Update Crypto Curricula

Enrolment Race Pressures Business Schools to Update Crypto Curricula

Recent reports indicate that rather than course numbers dropping due to a market down, the numbers of potential new entrants into the cryptocurrency space from other sectors are swelling. With top blockchain developers in the US pulling down salaries above USD 250,000, it is hardly surprising that the recent cryptocurrency bear market has done little to deter those considering entering the industry.

For many, the main route into the burgeoning fintech space has now become via a growing range of courses being offered by major universities and business schools around the world.

Courses are now on offer from far and wide whether it be in the Scottish Highlands, Ivy League Cornell and Stanford in New England or in sunny Cyprus. For those wanting a cultural slant on life for a short period, Saint Petersburg’s State University of Economics and Moscow’s Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) also both run blockchain technology courses. However, there is already a waiting list.

Professor David Yermack from NYC Stern School of Business came early to the university’s MBA program for blockchain and cryptocurrency education. His class has already doubled over the past year and as a result, he has had to move his lectures to a larger auditorium to cater for the swelling numbers at Stern.

The prestigious New York University first established its School of Accounts and Finance in 1900; Stern is one of the oldest and most prestigious business schools in the world. It is also a founding member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

A notable factor of the current surge to find a place on blockchain and cryptocurrency course is not the just amount of courses becoming available but the way in which some of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions have led the march towards fintech education. A recent Coinbase survey revealed that 42% of the world’s top 50 universities offer at least one course relating to blockchain or cryptocurrencies.

Some 22% of the universities offered more than one course, with Stanford listing ten classes and Cornell nine. The National University of Singapore ranked highest of the non-US universities with five blockchain-related courses. The US universities were far more likely to offer related courses than those abroad; just 5 of the 18 non-US institutions offered such classes.

Clearly, Ivy League universities appreciate the credentials of fintech, with Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Dartmouth College, and the University of North Carolina (UNC), all making investments from their endowments into at least one crypto fund.

Finding a place at one of these and other universities won’t get easier though, particularly in the light of tech recruitment sites such as Toptal reporting a 700% increase in demand for skilled blockchain developers since the beginning of last year.

 

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French College Opens Up Tuition Payments to Bitcoin

A French business school has announced that its foreign students will now able to pay their course fees using Bitcoin.

The Financia Business School in Paris, which includes master classes in fintech and blockchain technology on its curriculum, has included Bitcoin as a payment method to serve its 25% foreign enrolment. The college, which also offers bachelor’s and MBA qualifications, has a significant student intake from large Paris-based banking institutions such as Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole.

Paris–based blockchain startup Coin Capital have come on board to enable the innovative Bitcoin payment service which has so far attracted five students who have already paid their 2018 course fees in BTC. One such student, Adam Hasib, commented:

“I became interested in this technology early on and quickly became a staunch supporter of blockchain’s decentralized model… by June 2017, I had acquired my first Bitcoins, which allowed me to pay the registration deposit at school… I just had to contact the administration to get the wallet address before [making] my deposit.”

Financial has indicated that it has further plans for using new tech such as crypto and blockchain, particularly to support some of the college’s administrative processes. A token is also planned for the future, along with further blockchain courses with the college hoping to include partner institutions in its future innovations.

With Bitcoin stabilizing, universities are increasingly opening up educational projects for blockchain technology with the number of universities and educational facilities running blockchain and cryptocurrency courses growing around the globe as financial markets expand and absorb more blockchain-related products.

Toptal, a marketplace for hiring tech talent, has recorded a 700% increase in demand for blockchain developers since January 2017. There are now many opportunities for blockchain developers, but clearly not enough skilled technicians to fill these gaps. Universities are seizing the opportunity to use this opportunity by increasing courses which focus on emerging technologies, such as DLT and cryptocurrency, including some top ivy league universities in the US.

 

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Ripple’s $50M University Blockchain Investment Gives Graduates Boost

Ripple has announced a USD 50 million University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) partnering with 17 universities around the world, reports, Business Wire.

The initiative will support the workforce of the future, including academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.

Ripple’s UBRI partners include some of the world’s most prestigious universities including Princeton University, MIT, and University College London (UCL). Several universities across the US, along with others in Korea, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, India, Brazil, Cyprus, and Australia are also included in the project, giving the initiative a distinctly international flavor.

Although each university is to decide on its own individual research topics, Ripple is committed to collaborating with universities regarding subject matter and technical resources along with providing financial backing.

A 2017 report has shown that global fintech investment in companies has grown by 11% due to the continuing demand for technological solutions. In addition, 4,500 job openings with the terms “blockchain,” “Bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” in the title were posted on LinkedIn this year showing an increase of 151% on 2017 figures.

Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple says that the figures reflect the degree to which he feels that university graduates will increasingly fill situations in the fintech space as cryptography and blockchain matures. Universities will play a major role in the development of these new technologies:

“Much of the enthusiasm and activity to date around blockchain is disconnected from real use cases that result in clear benefits to businesses or civil society. While Ripple won’t dictate research parameters, we are excited to play a role in helping to support faculty and student-led projects that explore increasingly useful applications of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”

There are now many opportunities for blockchain developers, but clearly not enough skilled technicians to fill these gaps. Toptal, a marketplace for hiring tech talent, recorded a 700% increase in demand for blockchain developers since January 2017. These positions can be well paid. According to Jerry Cuomo, VP of IBM’s blockchain technologies division, the best blockchain developers can command a salary above USD 250,000.

The university sector is increasingly becoming a beneficiary of tech companies drives to further develop blockchain education. Last year, The University of Edinburgh and the Tokyo Institute of Technology received a commitment of USD 1 million to set up new blockchain labs from Charles Hoskinson, who helped develop Ethereum.

 

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