Blockchain Talent Shortages

Blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrency, is the new focus of many industries. From finance to healthcare to supply-chain companies to government, almost every industry or business has started adopting the blockchain technology. To develop the blockchain-powered systems, the businesses demand the required talent and skills. The dramatic rise of the blockchain technology is making it nearly impossible for the institutions and training camps to keep pace with the increasing demand for the blockchain professionals. Hence, the blockchain talent shortages are making the blockchain skills highly looked for in the global job market. For instance, Japan is struggling to have sufficient number of coders for its escalating cryptocurrency industry[1]. The Hays Asia Salary Guide 2016 survey found out that almost 64 percent of the employers believe that they have talent shortage at present to meet existing business objectives, and 98 percent of them believe that this skill shortage is going to impact their business operations.

There are around 5,000 developers for writing the software for the bitcoin or blockchain in general, says William Mougayar, an author and thought leader. If we consider this number as a benchmark today, we can clearly see a significant talent shortage. The further evidence of blockchain talent shortages are visible on the job websites and job boards, according to Buningglass. In 2017, the hiring in blockchain increased by 3 times on indeed, and as per the Burning Glass Technologies, an analytics firm, the number of blockchain-oriented job adverts also increased to 4,000 last year, from 1,838 in 2016, which implies a massive growth of 115 percent[2].

The DTCC’s Fintech Symposium, held last year in New York City, put the blockchain talent shortage as the key agenda item, and the executives considered this a problem that was hindering the wider adoption and use of the blockchain technology. Mike Bodson, the CEO of DTCC, listed the shortage of talented blockchain professionals as one of the key concerns of his company[3].

The Origin of the Rising Demand

The increase in the blockchain talent demand is coming from various places. Many new cryptocurrencies are emerging up with initial coin offerings (ICOs), which require qualified developers. Also, the industries that are developing innovative solutions require the blockchain experts. For instance, IBM is developing over 400 blockchain apps that would have around 150 job openings.

Blockchain Talent Shortage is Not the Only Problem

It must be noted that the shortage of blockchain talent having the requisite skill set is not only a single challenge. Finding expert and experienced developers who know the exact work, is even more challenging.

At present, a lot of banks have hoovered up a higher percentage of the blockchain talent. The key reason is their ability to pay huge. But what exactly the blockchain developers are looking for? They not only want to join the blockchain companies as a part of the team having a unique or ground-breaking idea but also a business that has a predictable and stable future. Though businesses are making much noise but are actually more focused on financing, doing sales and making lots of white-papers to gain attention than commercializing their USP to attract the best talent[4].

How to Reduce the Blockchain Talent Shortage?

The blockchain education and the foundation of a knowledgeable and vibrant community globally is the best solution to grow the required talent pool. It is not sufficient to compete for the existing best talent; we all must grow and invest in future talent.

In the long run, the academic institutions and training organizations must execute a set up that produces the required blockchain skills in the upcoming developers. The software boot camps are making progress. US top-quality institutions such as Stanford University, MIT and University of California Berkley have now opened their blockchain courses. Coursera is also offering a blockchain course in partnership with Princeton University, while the Blockchain University that is run by the cryptocurrency experts, offers a course in California.

Is there anything on the part of the employers? Definitely, yes!

Employers interested in recruiting blockchain developers must look and invest into local universities and software development boot camps to help make that type of talent available. Businesses should even invest in the programs that grow local talent and make it easier to recruit and retain the blockchain professionals. The blockchain companies should focus on developing mentoring programs for the developers and offering internships, while academic institutions should extend the current offerings. The employers also need to know that more experienced blockchain developers might tend to work from home in their home country and a remote workplace idea is not just a nice idea to have, but also a necessity in many cases.

The current huge gap between the blockchain talent demand and supply shows the dire need for proactively cultivating into the future generation of blockchain programmers and developers and reduce the blockchain talent shortages.