With the start of the new academic year, students are anxious to enrol in courses focusing on blockchain and crypto technologies.
According to a survey of 675 U.S. students, 26% of students want to take a class related to the subjects. Professor Kevin Werbach at The Wharton School notes that this could well be because of students’ desire to increase their job prospects - explaining:
Wharton sends people to all the Fortune 500 companies, and investment banks and technology firms. A very high percentage of those leading firms now have blockchain or distributed ledger projects, and they're looking for expertise in that area.
Echoing these sentiments, Professor Harvey, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, teaches a course on innovation and crypto-ventures to MBA students. He commented in June that, “Schools should be preparing students for the future, not the past. Unfortunately most…do not have these courses that are focused on the future”.
This is changing quickly, however, at leading universities across the world.
David Yermack, professor of finance and business transformation at the New York University Stern School of Business, observed that his most recent course on blockchain and cryptocurrencies had 230 students, more than double the number the previous year.
“This is moving much faster than people expected," he said: “Business schools will have no choice but to update curriculums.”
Meanwhile, student initiatives are also booming. Berkeley has a Blockchain at Berkeley student club, which consults for companies who want to build blockchain applications. A sophomore student in the club, Alan Lai, commented that:
After December 2017 when the blockchain craze occurred, we had 2,000 people interested in our info session on Facebook. We had 400 applications that semester as well.
Similarly, The Penn Blockchain Club at the University of Pennsylvania has amassed nearly 600 members, and Cornell University’s blockchain club has complained that when a guest speaker comes, it cannot find a room large enough to fit all the students who want to attend.