As Blockchain’s popularity is on the rise, the need for formal education in this field becomes more imminent. In this post, we offer you a comparison of different master’s degrees in blockchain technologies.
We live in a digital era where emerging technologies have become our daily companions and it is common for many buzzwords to trip off our tongue in tech-savvy conversations. But this abundance of information also complicates telling a really promising technology and the guidelines for the future apart from fads.
For this reason, when the name of one of these technologies remains a buzzword for more than a year, it’s important to be at least aware of it. As it happens, this is the case of Blockchain Technologies, which are starting to challenge the foundations of so many industries.
Blockchain is Everywhere
Blockchain has already proven that it has the potential to be the technology that redefines many business processes. The most significant benefits of its implementation include greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, increased efficiency and speed, and reduced costs. The use of blockchain promises to bring significant efficiency to global supply chains, financial transactions (including cryptocurrencies, Token economy, and ICOs), asset ledgers, legal regulations (e.g. smart contracts), and decentralized networking.
To see which way the wind is blowing, all you have to do is take a look at what tech giants are doing. Big companies like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon or Samsung are currently working on many solutions empowered by blockchain technology. Apart from the tech corporations, companies from various industries are looking into the possibility to implement Blockchain Technologies in their businesses as well. The demand for blockchain profiles is rapidly growing and there’s a lack of experts on this field.
The Need for Blockchain Education
To cover this gap, several institutions are offering education in Blockchain Technologies. There are different kinds of training available. On the first place, the training offered is differentiated depending on the professional profile: for technical-oriented profiles (who are willing to learn programming languages in blockchain) and for the business-oriented profiles (who learn all the solutions this technology can offer and the possible ways it can be applied in different types of companies).
For the technical-oriented profiles, there are a lot of programming courses with different specializations and depth level. On the other side, the business-oriented programs are much more limited and mainly distributed in short courses and master’s degrees. In this post, we are going to explore the differences between the different Master’s Degrees in Blockchain Technologies. Below, a list of the current program offerings:
A Comparative Perspective on Master’s Degrees in Blockchain Technologies
The Master’s Degrees exposed are taught in English and have a length from 12 to 18 months, equivalent to 60 or 90 ECTS respectively. All of them have Master’s Degree diplomas from recognized universities, including the University of Barcelona, University of Nicosia, Northeastern University, Universidad Católica de Murcia and Università ta’ Malta.
The program proposed by Northeastern University offers a blended education, with the on-site part taking place in Silicon Valley, California (USA). The one offered by L’Università ta’ Malta is completely on-site for the duration of the whole program and comes, therefore, with the need to move to the European country to study this technology. Meanwhile, the other Master’s Degrees are taught 100% online and provide a global scope receiving professionals from all around the world.
To analyze these programs at a content level, we have chosen 7 topics that can be considered as the key attributes for a Master’s Degree in Blockchain to success. These key contents are:
2 program paths (technical and business oriented), Business Strategy, Cryptocurrencies, Web Architecture and Cybersecurity, Legal and Smart Contracts, Lean Business Models, and Blockchain Project Development (software app or business model).
In the table below, there’s a Master’s Degree comparison according to the 7 key contents.
We can observe in the table above that most of the leading Blockchain degrees in English don’t cover the key topics we consider essential to gain an extensive understanding of the workings of the Blockchain.
According to the key contents, the Master’s certified by the University of Barcelona is the one to exceed in all categories, designed to help both technical and business-oriented profiles. In the second position, there is a tie between the programs offered by the University of Nicosia (1st Master’s in Blockchain at a global scale), even though it is mainly focused on the technical underpinnings of digital currency, and the Università ta’ Malta, which provides both an interdisciplinary view of Blockchain and DLT intended for students coming from an ICT, Law or Business related backgrounds.
Last but not least, the 3rd position is for the Northeastern University’s, whose program takes a socio-technical approach to software engineering preparing professional leaders capable of creating complex engineering solutions to real-world, humanistic problems. This program is a Master’s in IT, programming-focused, with specialization in Blockchain Technologies. This position is also shared with the Master’s certified by the Universidad Católica de Murcia, which provides an in-depth, panoramic understanding of the fundamentals, while critically evaluating the processes, practices, and tools of this disruptive technology, focusing on the business side of Blockchain. This Master’s also offers the possibility to choose between different locations, Online, Barcelona and Swiss campuses, as well as combining them.
When choosing one’s Blockchain training, the student should take into account all the usual factors: the prestige of the institution, the quality of the program, the location of the university, program’s flexibility and its suitability for one’s profile. However, on a highly technical and constantly changing field, such as blockchain, doing your homework about the contents of the programs is really important in order to choose the most fitting program to advance one’s career prospects.
So, once you have analyzed all the Blockchain Master’s Degrees in English, you must choose where to study depending on your criteria and particular interest of specialization in the field. However, don’t wait too long: The future is Blockchain and this future starts now.
It is the moment to start studying and get on board with the Blockchain Revolution!