Thinking about a cutting-edge career in blockchain? Here’s what you need to know…
Blockchain is big news right now – thanks to the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. And, as the industry expands, a wide range of jobs are being created. So, whether you’re a blockchain novice or you already have some experience, now is the perfect time to get involved and find a role that fits your skills.
Here are five blockchain jobs that should be on your radar, along with our advice on how to get involved in this fast-moving sector:
What is blockchain?
To put it simply, a blockchain is a list of records made up of lots of pieces of encrypted information (such as Bitcoin transactions).
These ‘blocks’ are usually spread across a peer-to-peer network, meaning they can be tracked and verified without compromising on security.
Blockchain is at the heart of what makes cryptocurrencies secure, but it also has many other exciting applications, from managing medical records to recording votes in an election.
What blockchain jobs are available?
What they do: Monitor industry trends, crunch data, conduct research and come to actionable conclusions – using information found in blockchains (e.g. cryptocurrency transactions). There role may also involve writing up reports on key insights.
What you need: Most employers will expect at least a bachelor’s degree, along with previous experience working with blockchain. However, a relevant background in financial services may also help you find work.
What you can earn: Salaries for an analyst can vary wildly depending on the size of the company and the seniority of the role. However, most companies will offer £40,000-£60,000 to those with the right skills and experience, along with equity and bonuses.
Perfect for: People with excellent analytical abilities and a feel for finance.
Our advice: Becoming intimately familiar with the ins and outs of blockchain is key. Be prepared to showcase some innovative ideas about where you think the industry is heading during the interview – and use relevant case studies or examples to help back your theories up.
What they do: Use common programming languages to manage and maintain blockchain applications. The industry is changing so rapidly that engineering roles will also require a lot of flexibility, with other common duties including testing and analysis, as well as security checks and training other members of staff.
What you need: A degree in software engineering, computer science or a similar subject area will be essential. Blockchain-specific training can also be useful, although many employers may offer this as part of their training programme once you start.
What you can earn: Salaries of around £80,000 are common for Blockchain Engineer jobs in the UK, and have been rising rapidly in recent months. Entry level salaries start at around £40,000.
Perfect for: People with a passion for programming.
Our Advice: Because blockchain is still evolving, people with engineering experience in other parts of the software market should still apply for this type of job. As long as your programming skills are on point, employers will be keen to help you develop in this relatively new industry – and allow you to grow your attributes as you learn.
What they do: Take blockchain and run with it. Part of their role could include building SDKs, APIs and entire apps to harness its core benefits in new ways and make it even easier for businesses and consumers to access complex data sets – such as those used in cryptocurrency.
What you need: A solid background in software engineering, fluency in programming languages like C++ and Java, as well as an innovative approach to your work. Ideas about how to get creative with blockchain are essential, and could help set you apart from the competition.
What you can earn: A seasoned developer can earn between anywhere up to £100,000, or even more, with the right level of skills and experience. Entry level roles start from £30,000 upwards.
Perfect for: Software experts looking for a new challenge.
Our Advice: If you’ve worked in software development for a long time, companies looking for Blockchain Developers will be eager to get you onboard as this fledgling industry grows. So, even if your experience is not in this particular niche, you should still consider applying for jobs that fit your skill set.
What they do: Oversee blockchain projects. This will usually involve managing a team of Engineers and Developers, as well as gaining buy-in from others around the business to move your ideas forward and hit core company objectives.
What you need: Past experience of project management in the software industry will be useful for this type of role. Technical knowledge of development and blockchain is less essential, but could be a key distinguishable asset.
What you can earn: Salaries of anywhere between £50,000 and £100,000 are common for project management roles in the software industry.
Perfect for: People with an aptitude for managing people.
Our Advice: If you’re thinking about getting into blockchain, project management could be an in-road that doesn’t involve having to demonstrate technical expertise. So, if you have piloted teams in the past, you should have a chance of getting a job. And if not? Taking a specific project management course, such as PRINCE2®, could be your way in to this exciting new industry.
What they do: Like most quality assurance roles, a QA Engineer in blockchain will need to ensure that the product meets expected standards before it’s released to the wider world. This will involve setting up a series of simulations and product tests, which will be key to ensuring a quality release.
What you need: A relevant degree and experience with other software and networking QA roles will be desirable, but not necessarily essential. Especially for a Junior QA position.
What you can earn: A Senior QA Engineer can bring home somewhere between £55,000 and £65,000 or more, along with bonuses and business equity. Many blockchain start-ups will offer equity to all employees.
Perfect for: People who choose quality over quantity.
Our Advice: Even though previous blockchain experience may not be necessary, you will need to show that you can plan and implement tests to put software solutions through their paces. So, think of examples of this from your current or past roles before you head to the interview. You could also try applying for more Junior positions, which will help you learn while you earn.
How to get a job in blockchain
Here are some of our top tips for aspiring blockchain specialists, who want to get a job as the industry gains momentum:
- Do your research – Although it is still relatively young, blockchain is a complex and intriguing topic. Even for more junior roles, you’ll be expected to have a good grasp of the basic function of the industry before you apply.
- Highlight relevant skills – You may not have worked with blockchain before, but your past experience can still be applicable, and you’ll need to prove it. Whether it’s your engineering expertise or your project management capabilities, don’t be shy to show off.
- Get qualified – Without a relevant degree, roles in development and engineering might be simply unattainable. Take a training course is a great way to improve your employability, whether it’s learning to code in your spare time, or getting to grips with cryptocurrency.
- Be flexible – Blockchain is still quite new, so expect the unexpected. You may have to learn and train as you work, engage with open-source platforms and take on lots of other unusual tasks, so show a willingness to get stuck in and take the initiative.
- Work your way up – If you don’t have a lot of experience in a similar role, don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. There are a number of junior positions out there for those who are willing to learn – which will provide you with all the training you need to get your foot-in-the-door and start moving your way up through the industry.
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