The world of blockchain is changing fast and growing even faster, as the blockchain industry grows and matures over time, the demand for human resources increases. Yet, there is a gap in the amount of qualified personnel capable of doing the job and the number of open positions.
Furthermore, the industry has to compete with web development, cloud computing, and neural networks for the talents out there.
This is a strange phenomenon in the job market. If we take the other competing fields mentioned in the last paragraph, the younger, web development, is three decades old.
Blockchain, on the other hand, began in 2009 and did not see development potential until the burst of ICOs in 2017 and 2018. So, the growth in the field is less than five years old, but it continues to push the job market forward and demand more and more capable hands.
Now, the crypto industry does not only include programmers, data scientists, and cryptographers. There is also a large demand for marketing specialists, social media managers, legal experts, compliance officers, etc. This is a brand new sector of the economy which needs a large pool of specialists and professionals of all backgrounds to keep growing.
The global nature of blockchain means that it reaches all countries in the world. Nigeria is no exception and in fact, is one of the leading countries in terms of adoption in Africa. The Blockchain Nigeria Group actively promotes the adoption of cryptocurrencies via conferences and panels. Also, they promote education in blockchain for new students and professionals looking to change careers.
As the world’s economy is changed by the pandemic, many traditional works are disappearing. This is the moment to seriously consider training in a new field. The future may be unknown, but one certainty is that remote work will only expand. Right now, one of the most open industries to follow that model is blockchain.
To work in the crypto space it is important to know that there is a culture predominant in it. Most projects have personnel in various countries around the globe and this means remote work and dealing with different time zones. The future is not clear for such a young industry. So, there’s not a clear set of rules or a path that assures success.
One day technology may be all the rage, then it becomes obsolete and people have to adapt on the fly. This means the main skill anyone has to have is the ability to learn by themselves and never get comfortable in one spot.
The basics of blockchain
Before anything, the first thing to know is the basics. This means having a general understanding of what the data architecture of a blockchain is. The way the blocks work, what the hash is, how it works to ensure security, what is the consensus algorithm, and such topics. A deep understanding of these is not necessary unless you want to work on base protocols, but a broad general knowledge of all the parts is a fundamental requirement.
The understanding of Languages
Most jobs involve working with people from different countries so English is a must since it is the most widely used language. But to be ahead of the pack a second language is important depending on where in the world you want to work. French and Spanish are important for Europe and the United States, and for Asia knowing basic Mandarin is an important skill.
Africa and Nigeria specifically come with their set of challenges. Many different countries speak a variety of languages internally due to the rich cultural background of the continent. This means that focus is important. For cross border cooperation besides English, French and Portuguese will always be relevant not only in Africa but to work with European partners.
In the end, a blockchain project will be based out of somewhere in the physical world. This means that a person must choose where this is and try to learn the basics of the local language and culture to be able to perform at the best capacity. This is a fluid sector and knowing the basics of a foreign culture helps a lot to set a person apart. This is doubly so for those not wanting to work on the development side but in departments like marketing, content creation, and social media management.
Now if programming is your area of choice. The main computer languages are dictated by the largest protocols out there Ethereum and Bitcoin. Of course, other protocols will use different languages. An example, Cardano bases most of its architecture in Haskell which is a functional programming language.
The most coveted crypto position
As expected the most coveted professionals are those able to work at the base layer of the protocol. The combination of computer science, probability, and cryptography is the golden ticket of the industry. Then, we have those developers working on Dapps and smart contract design which have a knowledge of finance. These people work in the booming DeFi space and are also benefiting from the growth.
Of course, as we stated earlier, not all jobs are in the technology wing. There is a wide demand for marketing specialists capable of direct social media campaigns and are good at community outreach. There is also a high demand for law experts capable of navigating the grey areas of the industry and compliance experts for KYC implementation.
As the industry keeps expanding, salaries are getting higher compared to other tech sectors. A study conducted by U.Today has done an analysis of the sector in US dollars. Some of the results are: Asia has an average salary of $87,000, the European continent is $73,000, the United States is at $136,000, and remote jobs price at $124,000. Other regions with smaller blockchain sectors such as LATAM and Africa tend to be below the Asia average.
The average salary varies widely from project to project. Established companies like IBM tend to pay higher and with more benefits, while start-ups are on the low end generally.
The jobs that are at the top of the list are no surprise. They are on the technical development side. These tend to be very demanding positions and are generally for people with long experience in the tech industry and software development.
1) Blockchain developer – Generally speaking, this is for computer science graduates. These developers are involved in the high-end part of the spectrum directly modifying and interacting with the base protocol, consensus algorithm, and cryptography. These developers make an average of $180,000 annually.
The second group is the Dapp and other application developers. They don’t modify the core functions of the blockchain but build on top writing smart contracts and connecting them to a user-friendly front end. These ones average about $170,000/year.
For a guide on how to begin developing blockchain, check out this article on blockchain development (Dapps).
2) Data scientist – Their responsibilities are focused on analyzing the data of usage and other types of statistical analysis of market behaviors. Their average salary is $170,000 per annum.
3) Marketing manager – All the tech in the world is useless without people to promote them. These professionals manage marketing campaigns and social network engagement. Their average salary is at an impressive $175,000 annually.
In order to break into the world of Blockchain being certified is important. Check out this article to get a complete overview of online resources for Blockchain certification. That is key in the industry since having some proof of knowledge learned is always a plus.
Once you have gotten a certification the most useful sites for job searches in Nigeria are:
This is a general job board. By using the search function with the keyword ‘Blockchain’, it is easy to find many open positions in the blockchain sector.
This is also a top resource for Nigeria based jobs.
This is one of the leading peer-to-peer crypto exchanges in the world and they are always on the lookout for more talents and skills. Check out their current openings on their career page.
There are many blockchain job opportunities scattered around the entire globe. The sites in question are global in reach, so a lot of remote positions can be found in them.
The world of blockchain is changing fast and growing even faster. This is attracting people from all over the world to work in it. The values of decentralization and openness mean that this is a unique industry open to teams working remotely and accepting those from various backgrounds.
One thing is certain, there are opportunities out there for those who want to switch careers!