In the past, employers considered people with degrees more valuable than those without. But this is changing for an increasing number of industries as we move further into the 21st century. Technology is now evolving so rapidly that even some of the most desirable technical degrees; typically favored by employers no longer hold the weight they once did.
A growing trend is more businesses are now looking for people who have the functional skills and competencies which can be put to work straight away to help companies solve their problems. Degrees are less relevant for the blockchain sector, although having a degree certainly won’t do you any harm, but no longer will it be deemed absolutely necessary if you can demonstrate you have the desired skills and abilities via skill tests and/or proof of work.
Competency over just academics
The truth is many businesses have witnessed how academics doesn’t necessarily equate to competence or even good work ethic. The outdated ATS systems that weed out candidates without degrees as undesirables no longer serve businesses large or small and fortunately have their days numbered. Some large institutions have already modified their recruitment processes to reduce talented non-graduates from falling through the gaps. The Blockchain industry is accelerating this move further, and we firmly support it.
Blockchain technology will help transform the way education is delivered.
Blockchain technology will help transform the way education is delivered and funded. It has the potential to increase access to knowledge and increase its overall quality. Right now the education system is not delivering what businesses need and unfortunately leaving many students ill equipped/underkilled and stuck with no job and mountains of debt. Not exactly smart.
Online Education however is evolving with many innovative Ed-Tech companies popping up offering up-to-date skills training designed to equip students to deliver in real world live environments. These companies are building their platforms using innovative tools and features to enhance the overall learning experience. They aim to give students all the necessary skills without taking years off their lives; instead allowing modules to be completed at a pace dictated to by the students themselves.
Some Ed-Tech businesses are connected directly to perhaps a single traditional institution whilst others might offer students a variety of certifications/qualifications which can be mixed and matched with full flexibility. Those who provide the opportunity to work on live projects will likely thrive and gain more credibility with employers.
Degrees not deemed necessary for many blockchain startups
Over recent years we have heard some large traditional employers such Ernst & Young (EY) announce how not holding a degree would no longer disqualify candidates from entry level roles within their firms, yet some would argue this was not the case in practice. However, many blockchain startups really aren’t looking for a degree. Instead, they understand that talent is measurable in different ways which opens up a variety of opportunities for professionals who are just starting out and want to get the ball rolling. Not everyone has the time, financial resources or desire to embark on a three or four year degree via the traditional route.
Most startups expect staff to demonstrate initiative early on, bringing fresh ideas to the table. Typically the learning curves are steep, intense but rewarding whilst each team member should be highly motivated to take full ownership of their professional development, often with the full support of company. Gaining a traditional degree or other recognized qualifications may be on the agenda but it should never be a barrier to enter into this world.
No degree, no problem
Blockchain technology is moving at light speed. Holding a degree can still be an asset but it is no longer a measure as to whether you are qualified for the job.
Evidence of portfolio and project work are far more important in this space. For technical/developer positions it would be desirable to demonstrate contribution to various open source projects where your code speaks for itself. This combined with the inevitable technical tests during the interview process will likely carry far more weight then any degree ever could.
Start working on some projects
It is now imperative to skill up, test ideas and have some fun whilst demonstrating your passion for this sector. Look for some simple projects you can get involved in and hone those skills. We recommend searching for training courses that provide access to working on live projects so you can start building that portfolio. Whether you hold a degree or not there are plenty of opportunities out there for blockchain professionals. As blockchain technology penetrates more industries the job opportunities will increase vastly for both technical and non-technical roles.