18 Apr A staffing shortfall and skills gaps is coming to blockchain
This article has been published in Medium
There are now 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer” (TechCrunch).
Blockchain’s exponential growth will mean that the industry will experience the same staff shortages and skills-shortfall challenges that the tech boom experienced. In fact, it will only get worse as blockchain and the tech industry will be competing to hire from the same tech talent pool.
A lot of research is now being done in the blockchain space to better understand the quantum of this challenge. From increasing jobs placements to more in-depth research into specific skills-sets. Fortunately, we can learn from the challenges that the tech industry experienced in this timing gap and reiterate the best-of-breed solutions.
Education and training is the only means to address the staff shortages and skills gap for blockchain and now is the time to prepare for one of the biggest opportunities and challenges for blockchain.
To best addresses this challenge it is important to embrace a globalised delivery of vocational education and training. It is fundamental that any course syllabus is mapped to the most required job roles in the industry along with a framework in place to modify the syllabus as the industry creates new knowledge sets.
In the new global playing field of blockchain, education needs to deliverable where-ever the participants choose to live, when-ever they wish to learn, in a mode suitable to them, and have a standardised industry relevant curriculum and job-now-job-tomorrow syllabus, to ensure the skills they master are as transferrable as blockchain needs to be interoperable.
In March 2018, I was approached by the Institute of iBusiness (IIB) Council and asked if I would like to join their Advisory Board and help them address this challenge. It was a compelling opportunity to contribute towards the growth of blockchain globally and one that I was honoured to accept.
What impressed me most with IIB Council is that their cyber security training programs have been developed incorporating this practical real-world approach, and they are applying this to blockchain. They are already delivering programs globally with the right mindset and frameworks.
I would like to share with you who the IIB Council is and why they will be important to blockchain.
Background on IIB Council
The IIB Council are a division of International Council of E-Commerce Consultants, also known as EC-Council, one of the world’s largest Cyber Security and Business Technology certification body.
They operate in 145 countries and have trained and certified over 200,000 professionals.
The IIB Council was formed by the EC-Council with the aspiration of applying their success in cyber security towards the business technology sector and on blockchain. Their programs focus on digital transformation and how technological advancements can foster sustainability and growth across business operations.
Blockchains Staffing Challenges
Blockchain’s exponential global growth will mean the industry will experience the same staff shortages, and skills-shortfall challenges that the tech start-up boom has and is experiencing. In fact, it will only exacerbate the shortage of developers.
To best addresses this challenge, it is important to embrace a globalised delivery of vocational education and training with agreed levels of minimum requirements and a framework that allows for continual assessment of this growing and evolving industry.
It is fundamental that any course syllabus is mapped to the most required job roles in the industry. Along with a framework in place to modify the syllabus as the industry creates new knowledge sets.
What impressed me most with IIB Council is that their training programs have been developed incorporating this practical real-world approach. They will deliver hands-on training in business technology nurturing a corporate growth-hacking mindset; a skillset that describes one’s ability to leverage analytical, creative and digital skills to conduct rapid experimentations within various business operations.
A lot of research is being done in the blockchain space to better understand the quantum of this challenge. From increasing jobs placements to more in-depth research into specific skills-sets. Fortunately, we can learn a lot from the challenges that the tech industry experienced and reiterate the best of breed solutions to address them.
IIB Council are leading the way with their Certified Blockchain Professional program that will be delivered through their global network spanning 145 countries.
The first Certified Blockchain Professional program is launching in mid 2018.
For more information on the IIB Council, their IIB Certified Blockchain Professional (C|BP) Course and course dates, please visit their website: www.iibcouncil.org
Below are some questions that I had for the IIB Council:
1. Why did IIB decide to launch an IIB Certified Blockchain Professional (C|BP) Course?
In, 2001 EC-Council introduced the “Certified Ethical Hacker” Training and certification program to address the lack of skilled cybersecurity professionals. In fact, EC-Council had to educate the organizations that they need experts who know how to compromise networks before they secured them. Highlighting the need of this skillset to organizations that had a hard time to employee and trust experts with such controversial qualifications, often perceived as negative, was a real breakthrough. Today, ethical hackers and cyber security professionals have a white-collar job, they are licensed and their training has standards recognized by the ANSI17024 (ISO/ICE17024).
17 years later, EC-Council has supplied organizations across different industries with over 200,000 trained and certified professionals and has been entrusted by governments and intelligence agencies worldwide to build and upskill their task force. As such we are now entering a new era where blockchain, an emerging field in data transaction and data storage validation technology, is becoming the next level of information security (as we all know data is most vulnerable when is processed, transferred or stored). As promising as it sounds, the technology itself has unfortunately received mostly attention through its two most active blockchain developer ecosystems in cryptocurrency mining: Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, to date both ecosystems and cryptocoins in general have been associated with rather favourable concepts such as unregulated environments, unreliable investments and government restricted ecosystems that may have affected blockchain’s technology potential to grow, scale and attract young talent.
In IIB Council (the business technology division of EC-Council group) we recognise the ability and potential of this technology to go beyond the facilitation of digital currency exchange and in fact to drastically transform businesses into Smart, Adaptive, Digital Enterprises by helping them optimise, automate and accelerate their operations across industries such as Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI), Hospitality, Food & Beverage (F&B)and Healthcare. Given our history in making cutting edge skills and breakthrough technologies a “must” in the professional certification industry, we are now announcing the launch of the first Technology and Network Agnostic Blockchain Certification to set the global standards and introduce the first global blockchain industry best practices. As such, we aspire to develop the right talent and address the supply and demand gap problem that is currently preventing wider growth and use of the technology.
Companies interested in hiring blockchain developers should look into our lab-intensive training programs and development boot camps and even invest in growing their in-house talent that will make it easier to develop and retain. Without the necessary skills, organizations will be unable to fulfil a growth vision in the digital revolution. It is important therefore to proactively cultivate the next generation of blockchain developers and programmers.
2. Can you share any numbers or stats on the potential skill shortages that C|BP will help address and formalise?
In LinkedIn you can find approximately 30,000 Blockchain Developers (excluding Investors, Entrepreneurs, Evangelist and Enthusiasts) worldwide. That’s roughly 0.0004% over the world’s population. According to the Financial Times, blockchain job posts on LinkedIn have increased as high as three times since last year. As such LinkedIn is now in the midst of listing blockchain as a recognized skill and making it part of the default skills set options.
In Upwork there are only 1,830 registered Blockchain Developers while the platform itself is rating blockchain as the 2nd most sought-after job skill in the freelance market today.
From the industry point of view, one of the leading Blockchain solution providers, IBM, is having about 150 job openings for Blockchain Professionals to help with the development of more than 400 blockchain applications today.
Since last year, Toptal, a job placement marketplace for on-demand tech talent, reported growth of 700% for blockchain engineering roles and 40% of the fully managed software development projects requested blockchain skills.
“There are now 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer” (TechCrunch).
3. What will be the first country or countries that will offer C|BP?
The Course will be available worldwide through our online iClass platform or through any of our 700 training partners and 800 universities we work with globally.
4. If there is one key message IIB Council would like to share what would that message be?
The course aims in 3 things.
1. Introducing the Blockchain Technology Agnostic and Network Agnostic International standards in a field that has been so far vendor biased (training providers have been more or less the solution providers). C|BP aspires not only to be impartial in its training but also take into consideration the wider application of blockchain technology, its potential to affect most business operations and its capability to be developed with an energy sustainable and scalable model.
2. Helping aspiring practitioners obtain an industry impartial and industry recognised professional training and certification developed by the industry’s top subject matter experts. From the Industry Experts for the Industry practitioners!
3. Helping Organizations identify and retain the right talent globally. Blockchain professionals are hard to find and even harder to train if you are not a tech-savvy organization. Large companies and SMEs in particular need to rely in education bodies such as IIB to access proven skilled talent at any time.