ICT Skillnet: Blockchain skills shortage – the opportunity

Blockchain
(Image: Blockchain)

Putting Ireland at the forefront of Blockchain revolution

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5 July 2019 | 0

If you are an IT professional considering career options, then it’s worth investigating Blockchain technologies. Known for its origins in crypto-currencies, Blockchain is now being implemented across a variety of applications, due to the many benefits it can deliver – the definitive protection of data, robust security, processing speed, cost efficiencies and transparency.

The Irish government recognises this opportunity and it is working to position Ireland as a hub of excellence for Blockchain developments. One of the key components for this strategy is to have enough IT professionals with the right skills to deliver Blockchain projects. This Masters programme was developed as a result. Skillnet Ireland awarded funding to Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, under its Future Skills programme, to further the programme development in collaboration with industry.

“Ireland can be at the forefront of Blockchain revolution”

“Blockchain technology has now penetrated multiple industry sectors such as banking and finance, food supply-chains and medtech. A highly skilled workforce is one of the essential ingredients for Ireland to be a leader in Blockchain technologies. This Master’s programme will help ensure we have the right skills available for companies and IT professionals to enhance their blockchain technology capability and to seize the immense opportunities that are available”
Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, Paul Healy

The First Masters in Blockchain in Ireland – Join Us
IT professionals with a relevant degree or equivalent competence now have a unique opportunity to lead the way and study for an MSc in Blockchain. Blockchain Ireland and Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet are co-funding this course as a response to the skills shortage that has been identified. This gives participants the opportunity to study a world-class course at a low cost, by comparison to other international courses of the same standard.

“DCU is proud to collaborate with Skillnet Ireland on the first of its kind Master’s programme in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies).”

“This programme will produce graduates equipped with the skills and knowledge required to thrive in this rapidly changing sector. This project displays the combined strengths of higher education and enterprise networks in the face of new challenges we all face in our quest to flourish as an economy.”
President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith

Master Your Career
Graduates will be uniquely positioned to secure dynamic, top-level positions that will define the digital landscape into the future. Originally associated with Bitcoin and financial instruments, Blockchain specialists are now working in a wide variety of market sectors including manufacturing, medtech, food and government agencies. And because there are so few highly qualified and experienced professionals available to employers, talent with a Masters in Blockchain are likely to be in heavy demand – both here in Ireland and overseas as the growth in Blockchain is a truly global phenomena.

The Down-low
So, what does taking this MSc involve in practice? Well you need to be committed to completing the course over a 2-year period, on a part-time basis. The course starts in September and it’s delivered mainly on-line but some time on campus at Dublin City University may be required. The big advantage of this format is that it is feasible for students to continue to work full-time, or part-time, if this is the preference.

Each year is divided into two semesters, culminating with a practical project that involves the implementation of a Blockchain project in a commercial setting. In the first year, you’ll be given an overview of the basics; the research methods and skills needed for Blockchain, and its applications. You’ll also be introduced to cryptography and cloud systems. Year 2 focuses on scalability, public key cryptography, security and systems architecture.

“The lack of technical Blockchain skills is of national and international concern as it is a significant inhibitor to Blockchain adoption in companies across key industries including manufacturing, supply-chain, health, food, aviation, finance and the public sector.”

“This new Master’s will provide Ireland will a real opportunity to upskill our already excellent IT professionals, preparing them for jobs of the future. The synergy between industry and education means these professionals will have the practical tools needed to bring the benefits of Blockchain technology to a variety sectors.”
Dave Feenan, Acting Network Manager, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet

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