Education

University of Edinburgh launching Europe’s first blockchain course

By Oliver Smith 19 June 2017
University of Edinburgh.
Summary

Universities are paving the way for digital currencies like never before.

Blockchain expertise is becoming one of the most in-demand skills by employers today.

In the last year alone job ads seeking developers with blockchain skills have tripled on LinkedIn.

Now universities are getting in on the action, with the University of Edinburgh planning to become the first major European university to offer a blockchain course later this year.

It’s a move that makes sense given Edinburgh earlier this year established a Blockchain Technology Laboratory, bringing together the university’s academics and students to work on blockchain research and development.

As we’ve previously explained (with cake), blockchain is a method of sending, tracking and recording digital tokens that’s entirely transparent.

Probably the most famous use case for blockchain is the transfer of Bitcoin – the digital currency which has recently soared in value.

Read more: Is the university of the future a coding school?

The blockchain curriculum

Edinburgh’s course is called Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers and will include “a thorough introduction to the concepts” behind both, Aggelos Kiayias a director of the university’s Blockchain Technology Laboratory told The Memo.

Students will also learn the skills needed to build their own blockchain, and the course will be aimed at 4th year undergraduates and first-year master’s students.

“Blockchain technology is a recent development and there is always a bit of a lag as academia catches up,” Kiayias told the Financial Times.

Across the pond US universities have been far quicker to jump on the blockchain phenomenon, with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, both having already launched bitcoin courses, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology planning on adding one soon.

With more universities offering blockchain courses and more employers searching for graduates with blockchain skills, picking up these skills is a no-brainer for any developer today.