More and more U.S. corporations are welcoming the benefits of blockchain, a newer database technology that’s been around for the past three decades. About 86% of companies in the U.S. are building or plan to build blockchain teams in 2021, according to Deloitte’s 2020 Blockchain Trends report.
Blockchain’s growth has led to new professions, including blockchain consultant. Working as a blockchain consultant is an intriguing career option for people with an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree.
Work environments for blockchain consultants
Blockchain technology provides a way for companies to digitally and securely record data. As such, blockchain consultants typically work in banks, accountancy firms, oil and gas companies, insurance, retailers, law offices, startups, technology firms, blockchain consulting companies, or government agencies.
What is blockchain technology?
A blockchain is a database — a collection of information stored in a certain way. Rather than storing data in a single file, a blockchain stores data in a long series of blocks that are chained together. Blockchains are decentralized so no single person can alter data or information about transactions; every person who has access to the network can see every transaction that takes place.
Each block of information — each record — is linked to another block of information in the chain. When new blocks are added to a chain, multiple computers on the network confirm the information’s accuracy. If one person were to hack a blockchain and change a single block, thousands of other computers would cross-reference each other, identify that record as incorrect, and correct it. The system creates each link with advanced technology that prevents the chain from being broken.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency
Since blockchain allows organizations to record transactions permanently, it’s popular in the cryptocurrency market. For instance, blockchain technology allows individuals using Bitcoin to conduct a series of permanently recorded transactions. People can access Bitcoin 24/7 and complete most transactions within an hour. The technology allows anyone with a digital device and internet connection to access the network and make a transaction.
Blockchain consultant job industries
Industries across the board — finance, insurance, healthcare, agriculture, retail, and legal, for example — see potential in using blockchain. Accordingly, job opportunities for blockchain consultants continue to grow.
In financial services, many banks consult blockchain professionals to determine how to best move banking processes online. Other industries use blockchain technology to store information about supply chain management, patient healthcare records, and legal documentation.
What does a blockchain consultant do?
A blockchain consultant helps new blockchain firms develop growth strategies. They give advice about developing and implementing key blockchain strategies that can optimize business efficiency. Consultants begin by analyzing the effect blockchain could have on a company and developing a plan for implementing it. They explore plan requirements, identify potential problems, and participate in ongoing conversations with business managers about creating solutions.
Blockchain consultant tasks
Technical tasks associated with the role of blockchain consultant include cloud integration and prebuilt solutions. Consultants develop a proof of concept (POC) to demonstrate that blockchain has practical real-life applications for the company. Offering risk factors and providing risk management is another essential aspect of the job. Blockchain consultants can also offer legal advice about how organizations can manage their identity and handle their finances while using blockchain technology.
Skills of a blockchain consultant
Since blockchain is relatively new and not all companies understand how to implement it, the demand for professionals equipped to harness its power is growing quickly. More organizations are recognizing its benefits — such as cost reductions, decentralization, transparency, security, and efficiency — and are looking to hire blockchain consultants or professionals with blockchain skills.
The following skills are fundamental to the blockchain consulting profession:
- Software development
- Ability to adapt quickly to new technology and trends in the field
- Understanding the legal and financial implications of blockchain
People interested in pursuing careers in the industry can consider earning an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, such as the degree offered by Maryville University. The program also offers a blockchain concentration — featuring courses such as Blockchain Networks, Ethics and Legal Aspects of Blockchain, Applications of Blockchain Technology, and Blockchain Cryptocurrencies — that can help students develop core competencies needed to be successful as blockchain consultants.
Blockchain consultant salary
As of December 2020, the median annual salary for individuals with blockchain technology expertise was about $107,000, according to PayScale.com. Factors that could influence compensation in the role include education level, years of experience, organization size, industry, and job location.
In addition to blockchain consultant, other potential blockchain career paths include blockchain developer, blockchain solution architect, blockchain project manager, blockchain quality engineer, and blockchain UX designer. Salaries can vary for each of these positions.
New opportunities in an emerging field
Organizations are discovering the benefits of investing in blockchain for data validation, data access, identity protection, and more. In fact, 40% of U.S. companies are planning to invest at least $5 million in blockchain in 2021, Deloitte reports, which will increase the demand for blockchain consultants in the years ahead.
If you’re interested in pursuing a blockchain career, starting with earning a degree in the field, consider Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, which offers a blockchain concentration. Discover how the degree program can help you pursue your ambitions in the high-growth blockchain industry.