How to launch a blockchain career: 4 skills you need

Blockchain's hype is fading, and businesses are seeking professionals who can actually implement the technology, according to KPMG.

Top 4 skills you need to launch a blockchain career Blockchain's hype is fading, and businesses are seeking professionals who can actually implement the technology, according to KPMG.

The hype around blockchain is finally fading, as businesses are learning what the technology is and what it's actually capable of, according to a Thursday report from KPMG.

Blockchain adoption is steadily increasing, moving from about 1% of organizations running product pilots, to 3.3% doing so in the past year, according to Gartner research. While the technology is not the major revolution many expected, it has helped many businesses in areas such as fraud and recall mitigation, and driven new processes and reduced costs, KPMG noted. It's likely that an increasing number of companies will continue exploring this technology throughout this year, identifying business models, piloting projects, and eventually progressing to scalable solutions, the report noted.

SEE: What is blockchain? Understanding the technology and the revolution (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The major challenge businesses will soon face when it comes to blockchain is a severe lack of talent, the report found. Much of the talent and interest in the blockchain space is currently found among college students, who have witnessed the rise of bitcoin and blockchain.

As such, new blockchain hires—recent graduates or experienced professionals—do not necessarily need to be technologists, the report noted.

Blockchain skills

Here are the top four blockchain skillsets you need to launch a career in the field, according to KPMG:

1. Business acumen

Blockchain transcends all business siloes, and people from throughout an organization—from IT to finance to procurement to the mailroom—are touching the technology. Someone working in the space needs to understand how the different parts of the business work to define the best use case and value propositions.

2. Tech literacy

It is important for people working with the blockchain to understand its technical underpinnings. However, it is also key to understanding how to apply that knowledge to a use case, the report noted. Employees on a blockchain team should understand the differences between technologies including the cloud, ERPs, and networks, and when to use different tools and platforms, to ensure they know how blockchain interactions within an existing technology ecosystem. Those working on the development side of blockchain also need some knowledge of coding, such as programming languages like JavaScript, HTML, and solidity.

3. Data analysis

Blockchain teams should include one data analyst who can understand and make use of the data gleaned from a blockchain, and present it in a meaningful way to a variety of people across the business, the report said.

4. Hacker mentality

Because blockchain is a relatively new technology, there aren't many courses or degrees in the subject yet. This means that blockchain workers need to have a hacker mentality, in terms of being open and able to explore and experiment by hacking the problem from a business and technology perspective, and working collaboratively.

"Like any emerging technology, having the right talent is paramount to driving results," the report stated. "Blockchain projects will not succeed or scale without a multifaceted team that goes beyond technologists. We expect more universities to integrate blockchain into future coursework, which will help prepare both end users as well as those who will be responsible for building, deploying and managing blockchain."

For more, check out The 15 most in-demand blockchain jobs on TechRepublic.

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Image: iStockphoto/NicoElNino

By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.