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How to become a blockchain engineer (2022)

how to become a blockchain engineer

As more companies worldwide embrace blockchain technology, the demand for talented blockchain engineers and blockchain developers is increasing. More people are changing careers and asking how to become a blockchain engineer. Moreover, a career in blockchain engineering can be lucrative, with good pay, the scope for career advancement and the opportunity to become part of the future of blockchain.

Blockchain applications are far-reaching and not restricted to blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. Indeed, many publicly traded companies in multiple sectors use blockchain to secure data and digital assets.

For instance: –

  • Microsoft
  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Intel
  • IBM
  • Daimler
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Oracle

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a decentralised digital ledger that securely records and stores real-time digital asset transactions.

The core feature of a digital ledger is transparency and immutability. It’s practically impossible to corrupt, change or manipulate data because the blockchain creates a verified time stamp with multiple network nodes. Data incorruptibility is attractive to businesses across all industries, such as finance, healthcare, real estate, and banking.

Above all, companies want to hire top talent, and the demand for professional blockchain engineers, architects and developers is increasing.

What is a blockchain engineer?

Blockchain engineers are highly-skilled problem-solving professionals capable of developing specialised blockchain solutions. As a result, blockchain engineers are paid well for their skills, and the number of opportunities for qualified professionals is unrivalled.

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global blockchain market is rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56.3%. In 2021, the blockchain market was $4.67 billion and this year (2022), the market stands at $7.18 billion, with a projected figure of $163.83 billion by 2029. Fortune Business Insights suggests that “The open access to data facilitated by blockchain technologies will be the central growth determinant for this Industry.” (Source: Fortune Business Insights website)

Blockchain engineers have options to progress to specialised fields such as project management, blockchain development, solution architecture, etc., and the salaries at these levels are significant.

Is it hard to become a blockchain engineer? If you’re starting from scratch, a significant amount of training is required, which can be overwhelming. However, if you’re fascinated by blockchain technology and happy to put in the work, the scope for a career as a blockchain engineer is vast.

What does a blockchain engineer do?

Blockchain engineers have a highly responsible role. They must create high-level security solutions to protect digital assets. Senior blockchain engineers may be involved with a team of professionals such as  blockchain architect and developers, designing, developing and implementing blockchain solutions.

In addition, as blockchain technology develops exponentially, blockchain engineers must ensure they update their skills with evolving blockchain technology. It’s a career where you benefit from a passion for technology, where learning new skills is fun and not a chore.

What skills do blockchain engineers need?

If you’re considering becoming a blockchain engineer, it might seem overwhelming how much there is to learn, such as extensive knowledge of data, coding languages, finance and more. The best thing to do is start with the required basic skills as a foundation for further learning.

Blockchain engineer basic skills

Firstly, acquire foundational knowledge of blockchain technology and decentralisation. Learn how it works, the different aspects of developing and securing a blockchain and study the industry terminology.

Secondly, gaining foundational knowledge helps you absorb the more challenging aspects of training to become a blockchain engineer. There are several blockchain foundation courses available, which we’ll discuss later in the article.

Blockchain architecture

Each blockchain has an explicit architecture, and a blockchain engineer needs to understand the architectural concepts. Study whitepapers on enterprise blockchain platforms to learn about hash functions, consensus mechanisms and more.

Coding languages

You’ll need a high level of expertise in several coding languages, such as JavaScript, a standard programming language in most blockchain projects. Another popular language is Solidity, the programming language for Ethereum smart contracts. In addition, it’s helpful to become proficient in Python and Java languages.

Extensive knowledge of cryptography

Cryptography qualifications and knowledge are essential for blockchain engineers because it’s at the heart of blockchain security. Hiring managers are more interested in candidates with cryptography skills because they need talent capable of encrypting decentralised records.

Two of the primary security algorithms in cryptography are hash functions and asymmetric key algorithms, so it will help your application to companies if you master these skills

Basic knowledge of front-end and back-end web development

Whilst not essential skills, web development is part of a blockchain project, so understanding things such as user-experience design and API management help you to collaborate with your team.

Understand the application of data structures

Learn about data structures used in blockchain because these skills contribute toward implementing a successful project.

Working knowledge of blockchain platforms

There are three types of blockchain platforms: –

  • Private
  • Public
  • Permissionless

A blockchain engineer must fully understand all three platforms to construct efficient solutions. As well as knowing how they work, it’s also necessary to understand the ecosystems of the platform. For instance, some of the largest industry ecosystems are Ethereum, Hyperledger and Quorum, which all have unique application standards.

Blockchain development tools

Successful enterprise blockchain engineers have extensive knowledge and mastery of multiple development tools such as MetaMask, Truffle and Remix.

From a hiring manager’s perspective, a candidate with multiple development tools can design solutions faster than an engineer with limited knowledge. Therefore, they’re more likely to hire candidates with more experience because speed and efficiency ensure a more cost-effective project.

A foundational understanding of finance

Understanding decentralised finance and macroeconomics helps blockchain engineers create practical solutions for enterprises. To that end, gaining a finance certification can help you stand out among other candidates.

Become a problem solver

Becoming a blockchain engineer requires more than the prerequisite hard skills. Above all, critical and strategic thinking skills are essential.

Hiring managers want solution-orientated candidates who can quickly and creatively problem-solve a project. If you’re unsure whether you’re a natural problem solver, ask yourself the following five questions: –

  1. Do I focus on the problem or the solution when something goes wrong?
  2. Can I concisely define a problem to another person?
  3. Do I consider every angle and possibility of a solution?
  4. Do I have an open-minded and flexible approach to problem-solving?
  5. Can I clarify a problem and solution to transform it into clear targets?

Successful blockchain engineers are not fixed thinkers and do not focus on the problem unnecessarily. Instead, they immediately begin brainstorming solutions.

Blockchain engineer salary

Salaries vary with experience. You can anticipate an entry-level salary of around £45,000. The salary for more senior blockchain engineers can be as high as £150,000. The median salary is £80,000.

Blockchain engineer courses

There are two potential routes to acquiring the skills to become a blockchain engineer.

Firstly, you could work towards a college degree in computer science or IT and then take additional courses in blockchain technology. Many blockchain engineer job specifications list a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite. However, if that isn’t the route you wish to take, there are options.

Secondly, the alternative route for how to become a blockchain engineer is to undertake certified self-paced learning with online blockchain course providers.

How to become a blockchain engineer

Route 1: Study for a degree

Getting a bachelor’s degree is not essential, but it’s an excellent foundation for starting a career in blockchain engineering. The Research Excellence Framework 2021 suggests that 90% of computer science research ranks as world-leading. It’s an excellent skill to acquire for aspiring students.

Most colleges and universities across the globe have post-graduate diplomas and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and IT on the curriculum.

It’s possible to complete a degree 100% online, and some colleges offer funding and financing options

University of Herts BSc Computer Science or Informational Technology

blockchain engineer
Image: herts.ac.uk

The University of Herts provides an online BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree and a BSc (Hons) in Informational Technology. You can attend in person or choose the remote option. The fees are £6,400 a year, and there are standard entry requirements: –

  • UCAS points A level: 112-120
  • A-level: BBC-BBB
  • Access course merit: Overall merit profile in 45 credits at Level 3
  • IB requirement: 112-120 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at grade 4 or above
  • English language: GCSE at Grade C or higher
  • Mathematics GCSE at Grade C or higher

The college also requests copies of your educational certificates and results for exams taken from the age of sixteen. They require an in-depth personal statement about your reasons for wanting to study the course and future career goals. Finally, you’ll need to provide a professional or academic reference.

The above are standard requirements for applying to most college degrees, but you may be able to negotiate. If you don’t match all the essentials, contact the college of your choice and discuss options. For instance, many colleges are often more flexible towards mature students or women returning to work.

Route 2: Online blockchain certifications

Certified Blockchain Expert™

blockchain engineering course
Image: Blockchain Council

Blockchain Council’s Certified Blockchain Expert is an excellent start for beginners looking for a low-cost foundational blockchain course. The online training provides a reasonably in-depth taster to learn about enterprise blockchain.

After that, if you still feel a career as a blockchain engineer is for you, you can take additional qualifications

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction
  • Origin of blockchain technology
  • Introduction to blockchain
  • Tokenise everything
  • Blockchain ecosystem
  • Blockchain mining
  • Transactions UTXO Vs Account model
  • Security and privacy
  • Other consensus mechanisms in blockchain
  • Blockchain solutions – steps and measures
  • Use-cases of blockchain
  • Other use-cases of blockchain

Fees: $149.00

Duration: 8 hours self-paced

Course outcome: In-depth understanding of blockchain and implementation, and you can use your skills with any blockchain application. Additionally, with your acquired knowledge, you can build a blockchain enterprise of your own.

Online Degree™ in Blockchain

Blockchain Council provides a more in-depth blockchain course, which is more challenging than the Certified Blockchain Expert™ course. The curriculum is the same but with four additional modules: Ethereum, IPFS, Hyperledger and R3 Corda.

In addition, there is a 100-question final exam with a required 60% pass rate.

Fees: $349

Duration: 20 hours self-paced

Course outcome: in-depth knowledge of blockchain technology and development platforms such as Hyperledger, Ethereum, Multichain and Stellar. In addition, you’ll learn about hash algorithms and cryptography and more.

Above all, let’s be clear that it isn’t an actual degree. A bachelor’s or MSc is three or more years of work, not twenty hours. However, this course is excellent if you want to build your blockchain knowledge before gaining additional qualifications.

Blockchain Council offer a range of individual courses, including: –

  • Certified Blockchain Developer
  • Certified Blockchain Architect
  • Certified NFT Expert
  • Certified DeFi Expert
  • Online Degree in Blockchain for Business

Conclusion: How to become a blockchain engineer (2022)

More candidates are seeking a career in blockchain engineering than ever before. Whilst there isn’t a direct route for how to become a blockchain engineer, if you commit to your education in blockchain now, in 2022, you are positioning yourself for a rewarding and lucrative career in blockchain engineering.

Companies worldwide seek top talent, and we are happy to help when you are ready. Contact the CB Recruitment team, submit your resume and find out what jobs we have available to suit your blockchain skills.

FAQs

Are blockchain certifications worth it?

It depends on your expectations from gaining a blockchain engineer certification. The demand for talented candidates with blockchain skills is increasing exponentially as more companies worldwide adopt blockchain technology.

If you’re passionate about a career in blockchain, gaining relevant certification increases your chances of getting considered for well-paid blockchain engineer jobs.

Is it difficult to learn blockchain?

Blockchain may appear complex and daunting if you have limited knowledge, but if you have the determination and aptitude, it isn’t as challenging as you may imagine.

Does blockchain require coding?

At the least, you’ll need a basic understanding of coding language. It’s also helpful to be familiar with web development and data structures.

Are blockchain engineers in demand?

Yes, we are seeing an ever-increasing demand for blockchain engineers, blockchain developers, blockchain architects and blockchain project managers across a broad cross-section of industries.

How long does it take to become a blockchain engineer?

That’s a tricky question because the skills and certifications are composite. There isn’t a definite certification for blockchain engineer jobs.

Each person must calculate a route for how to become a blockchain engineer by acquiring the skills needed for a blockchain engineer job. Focus on learning everything about blockchain, coding languages, web development, cryptography, data structures and more.

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About Author

Jan Barley
Jan Barley
Jan is a direct response copywriter, SEO writer and case study specialist. She lives in the Cotswold's UK with two rescue dogs. Jan became interested in cryptocurrencies in 2016, starting with a small portfolio of coins. Since 2020, Jan has written SEO content for cryptocurrency companies.
Jan Barley
Jan Barley
Jan is a direct response copywriter, SEO writer and case study specialist. She lives in the Cotswold's UK with two rescue dogs. Jan became interested in cryptocurrencies in 2016, starting with a small portfolio of coins. Since 2020, Jan has written SEO content for cryptocurrency companies.

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