My generation — Generation X — popularized the personal computer and the internet. We were playing games and learning to code on Apple IIcs and Commodore 64s.
This paved the way for companies like Apple and Dell to bring internet companies like Google and Amazon onto our laptops.
Millennials, with smartphones attached to their palms, universalized social media apps. This trend created enormous wealth for early investors in the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.
As the millennial generation grows up and gives way to Generation Z, a new technological shift is occurring.
Crypto Is Not a Passing Fad
The kids these days are leading the charge into cryptocurrencies, according to a new study by crypto giant Coinbase and research company Qriously.
Notably, the study found that 42% of the world’s top 50 universities now offer at least one course on crypto or blockchain. That’s up from only a few schools of higher education in 2014.
Cornell University and Stanford University lead the way with over eight crypto course offerings, while the University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Berkeley and the National University of Singapore boast of four to six:
However, blockchain curriculum is not just targeted to computer science majors.
Students at Johns Hopkins University can take a business course on blockchain and learn about its security features. According to the school’s course catalog, they will learn “the potential benefits and weaknesses of its fundamental structure as applied to businesses and organizations.”
Ivy League standout Princeton University offers an information security class focused on secure computing systems, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as well as related economics, ethics and legal issues.
But these offerings pale in comparison to Cornell, which offers 28 crypto-focused classes in cryptography, cryptocurrency or blockchain. Its crypto course selection ranges from “Anthropology of Money” to “Introduction to Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts.”
Courses in Cryptocurrencies
Even though bitcoin is in the doldrums — down 70% from its late 2017 highs — college students are still eager to invest in and learn about the sector.
In a survey of 675 U.S. college students, nearly 20% of them own a cryptocurrency. Moreover, 9% of students have taken a cryptocurrency course, and 26% want to take a cryptocurrency course.
This enthusiasm isn’t just limited to computer science majors. As a matter of fact, more social science majors (47%) said they were interested in learning about cryptocurrency than computer science and engineering majors (34%).
And if you’re not currently enrolled at one of the universities that have crypto courses, online education providers such as Udemy, Coursera and Udacity offer hundreds of courses, including some more specialized on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Follow the Money, Find the Jobs
Perhaps the students’ willingness to learning about crypto is to help secure a job after graduation. The job market follows the money, and no other investment category has been as hot as crypto in the past few years.
Crypto projects raised a whopping $6.6 billion in 2017, while 2018 is on pace to double that amount. That surpasses the amount of venture capital dollars going to traditional internet companies.
But it’s not just new ventures that are adopting blockchain technology. According to a Deloitte survey, 43% of businesses consider blockchain as “critical, a top 5 priority.” Moreover, 74% of businesses see a “compelling business case” for blockchain.
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