How Blockchain Is Helping People Move Their Careers Forwards

The typical American worker changes jobs four times by age 32, and there have been few moments in recent history better than the present to attempt one of those job changes. With job openings at a record high and unemployment at a record low, many workers are exploring ways to move their careers forwards, whether that means switching fields, building their skills base, or finding a new position.

Low unemployment is a prevailing narrative in the current tech scene; the rise of blockchain is another. As mainstream interest in blockchain skyrockets and capital pours into established companies and startups to build blockchain solutions, workers can use blockchain to move their careers forward.

New Skill Demands

One of the ways blockchain is helping peoples’ careers is by generating job openings. Tech workers willing to develop blockchain skills can enjoy high demand and high pay. In their quarterly analysis of freelance skill demands, Upwork named blockchain their fastest growing skill out of the 5,000 analyzed for both Q1 and Q2 of 2018. According to TechCrunch, blockchain experiences an imbalance of available capital to available talent, with 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer. Rare blockchain talent means that blockchain developers command high salaries–one blockchain recruiting expert interviewed by CNBC reported that developers with 3-5 years of experience could easily draw half a million dollars.

Continuing Education Opportunities

It’s not hard to make a solid case that blockchain skills are worth investing in, and developers don’t have to go back to college to get those skills either. Continuing education opportunities make the blockchain revolution accessible for everyone. HowToToken’s list of recommended blockchain courses includes online, flexible offerings such as “Ethereum Blockchain Developer: Build Projects Using Solidity” from B21Block and “Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies” from Princeton, offered online through Coursera.

There are plenty of opportunities for developers looking to amp up their blockchain skills. But what about continuing education that happens on a blockchain platform? Many education and tech experts argue that blockchain education-tech is a logical evolution for both fields. According to Inside Higher Ed, colleges and universities are not only teaching more blockchain material and normalizing blockchain research but are also applying blockchain to administrative processes. For example, MIT lets students download blockchain diplomas. A crop of startups is investigating blockchain’s potential for education. Applicature on Medium and Febin John James on Hackernoon list emerging blockchain education-tech startups such as BitDegree, an online courses platform built on Ethereum, and Odem, a decentralized education marketplace.

Verifying Skills

Once you have blockchain skills, how do you prove it? 75% of human resources managers have caught an applicant lying on their resume, so being able to verify their education and work experience gives candidates a distinct advantage. According to HR experts with TechTarget, verifying educational credentials might be one of the most immediately applicable uses for blockchain in the hiring world. Companies such as APPII offer credentials verification on the blockchain. Users biometrically verify their identity, build a base profile of credentials, and then have those credentials permanently verified by a third party. According to the Wall Street Journal, members of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance are experimenting with placing professional driver credentials and licensing on the blockchain, a move that could protect companies from litigation stemming from hiring decisions.

Improving Job Hunt

Even for candidates with verified credentials in a high-demand field, the job search isn’t always easy. Under-qualified candidates tend to flood public job postings with resumes, which makes it difficult for high-quality candidates to stand out. Some employers turn to social networks and recruiters to find quality hires, but these strategies tend to shut out qualified candidates who aren’t “in-the-know,” and require companies to bring in recruiters, who often charge high fees while adding limited value to the candidate hunt.

Could blockchain rectify some of the problems plaguing hiring and recruiting? A growing host of startups argue yes. Blockchain’s immutable decentralized ledger can restore trust and high-quality information to the hiring process just as it can for online education and credentials verification. To participate in the blockchain hiring platform, candidates, hiring managers, and recruiters must biometrically verify their identity on the blockchain. Candidates build their profile rankings by adding and verifying skills. When hiring managers and recruiters want to access a candidate’s profile–which becomes more visible the more verified information about themselves they add–the candidate earns tokens, which they can use for a variety of third-party skills verification and development services within the ecosystem or transactions off of the platform. On the platform, blockchain keeps biometrically verified data secure and trustworthy while incentivizing productive behavior among all parties.

Economic conditions and the tech scene will undoubtedly continue to change. Candidates who enjoy a tight labor market today might compete fiercely for limited job openings within a few years. What seems unlikely to reverse, however, is the blockchain’s forward trajectory as more and more companies and educational institutions appreciate its vast potential. Therefore, blockchain’s role in career development will most likely continue to grow.

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