The ecosystem’s largest bank and quasi-exchange, Coinbase, commissioned a survey about higher education (students and faculty) attitudes toward crypto and blockchain. They found over 40% of leading universities around the world offer at least one course in blockchain or crypto, and 25% of all students, regardless of major, said they would consider taking classes in either subject.
Coinbase and Qriously Team to Survey University Attitudes Toward Crypto
US crypto bank and exchange Coinbase has an interest in taking temperatures regarding cryptocurrency, especially in an extended bear market. That in mind, the bank teamed with Qriously to take the pulse of the top 50 universities in the world, as determined by US News & World Report rankings. They also asked students about their interest in subjects such as crypto and blockchain.
Takeaways of the study include finding nearly half, 42%, of the globe’s best universities offer at least one course on either the subject of blockchain or crypto. And, as Coinbase explains, “Students from a range of majors are interested in crypto and blockchain courses — and universities are adding courses across a variety of departments.”
Researchers at Qriously sampled 675 students, 50 international universities, along with interviewing students and professors personally. One business school professor in the United States noted, in a matter of just four years, the amount of students enrolling for his offering on blockchain boomed from an initial 35 to 230, a 6X increase.
Qriously, the company, hit its stride last year by reliably predicting the rise of certain political parties thought long dead in British politics. The London-based ad-tech company helps develop advertisements for mobile applications, using pointed questions to users while cataloguing their answers. Those answers are then repackaged as curated ads. The company has been around in one form or another since 2010.
Crypto Job Market Demanding Skilled Workers
New York University’s Stern School of Business finance department chair noted, “A process is well underway that will lead to the migration of most financial data to blockchain-based organizations. Students will benefit greatly by studying this area.” He believes the rise in student interest has been pushed along not only by interest in a new technology but also because more and more companies are searching for crypto-related skills.
Another finding had to do with interest among students not normally known for their tech acumen, namely the Humanities or Social Science areas. Dawn Song, University of California at Berkeley professor of computer sciences stressed, “Blockchain combines theory and practice and can lead to fundamental breakthroughs in many research areas. It can have really profound and broad-scale impacts on society in many different industries. The techniques used in blockchain aren’t necessarily new,” but rather are areas “where research and even education has been around for a really long time.”
Coinbase continues, “Universities, in turn, are forming research centers and adding more crypto-related courses, in part to meet rising demand and also because they now see cryptocurrency as an area worthy of serious academic study.” Indeed, their findings found crypto related classes smuggled into departments such as finance and anthropology, rather than just traditional computer science.
“In fact,” the survey asserts, “the rise in offerings across disciplines maps to student interest: Students with a diverse set of majors say they’d like to take cryptocurrency classes, […] Nearly half of all social science majors expressed interest in taking a crypto class.”
70% of All Universities Offer a Crypto-Related Class
Though their “analysis found that 42 percent of the top 50 universities offer at least one class on blockchain or cryptocurrency, and 22 percent offer more than one,” if their findings included already existing courses in crypto, a whopping “70 percent of universities offer at least one crypto-related class.”
The United States appears to be leading the pack, as only “five of the 18 international universities on the list, or 27 percent, offer at least one class on blockchain or cryptocurrency. And only two — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and National University of Singapore — offer more than one.”
And of those US colleges, “Cornell offers the highest number of classes when including cryptography, cryptocurrency, or blockchain. The 28 courses include ‘Anthropology of Money’ and ‘Introduction to Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts,’ which covers the cryptocurrency bitcoin and ‘the technological landscape it has inspired and catalyzed,’ according to the course description,” the study detailed.
Stanford University is top among non-traditional crypto class offerings, and “its Center for Blockchain Research this summer to bring together students and faculty from across the school’s departments to work on various aspects of cryptocurrencies and blockchain,” the study revealed. Stanford professor of computer science, Dan Boneh, mentioned, “every time he talks with a new team in the group he finds himself walking away with three new research ideas. ‘There are new technical questions being raised by blockchain projects that we would not work on otherwise,’ he says.”
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