Exploring the Future of Cryptocurrency Jobs

by Ashley Eneriz

The demand for digital currency continues to grow—and so does the demand for cryptocurrency jobs. Recent research shows that job postings mentioning “blockchain,” “bitcoin,” or “cryptocurrency” have increased by 621 percent since November 2015. Similarly, blockchain is the top skill requested on Upwork, a freelance platform.

Why is cryptocurrency so popular? Stuart Strother, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Business and Management at Azusa Pacific University, noted that it’s an attractive alternative to traditional banking. “Many of the crypto coins have supply limits, so inflation is checked,” he said. Dr. Strother also explained that governments cannot control cryptocurrency and a bank is not needed for transactions. This boils down to fewer fees and instant payments for the consumer.

Popular Career Options in Cryptocurrency

Want to apply your passion and knowledge of cryptocurrency to a profession? Here are three burgeoning career options you can pursue:

1. Blockchain Engineer. Blockchain engineers build applications using blockchain technology. While blockchain was initially used to track digital currency transactions, many companies are discovering the benefit of the technology for their own field. According to CNBC, blockchain engineers earn between $150,000 and $170,000 per year.

2. Financial Analyst. As the public becomes more excited about digital currency, the need for financial analysts who are fluent in crypto is likely to increase. As a financial analyst, you can help clients make smarter investments in digital currency. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that financial analysts earn an average of $85,660 per year.

3. Cryptographer. A cryptographer develops algorithms and security systems to encrypt sensitive information, such as protecting data in finances and national security from cyberterrorism. According to Study.com, the average annual pay for cryptographers is over $110,000.

Skills and Degrees Needed to Succeed

First and foremost, if you’re looking to pursue a career in this field, it’s essential to be passionate about cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology. Ideally, you have invested in cryptocurrency, mined your own, or thoroughly researched it.

What type of career do you want in cryptocurrency? If you like the business and economics aspect of digital currency, a degree in finance will be beneficial. If you prefer the technical side of blockchain technology, then a degree in computer science is the way to go. Most crypto job postings are for technical roles, with 19 percent of companies looking for software engineers to further develop blockchain technologies, according to Glassdoor.

Dr. Strother noted that different elements of the curriculum offered at Azusa Pacific University relate to elements of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Aside from the classroom, those interested in this field can explore it further through internship opportunities.

“Last summer a handful of my students had internships in cryptocurrency,” Dr. Strother said. “The economics and finance majors broadly prepare students to work in this field.”

Career Forecast for Crypto

Cryptocurrency is still considered volatile, but it’s currently creating many new jobs and technologies. William Mougayar, author of “The Business Blockchain,” told Blockgeeks that he believes blockchain is going to create an entirely new marketplace. “There is a new economy out there, what I call the Crypto-Tech Economy, that could be as big, if not bigger, than the web economy,” he said. “So we have to be prepared for it.”

Right now, cryptocurrency jobs are very popular. However, no one can accurately predict what these roles will look like in 5 to 10 years. A degree in finance or computer science will likely help you land crypto jobs, while also providing you job security.

Even if you realize that cryptocurrency isn’t for you, jobs in finance and computer science are expected to grow in the coming years. In fact, financial analyst roles are predicted to grow 11 percent by 2026, reported the BLS, and computer science jobs are likely to increase by 13 percent, the BLS also noted.