Over the last couple of years and especially in the previous financial year, the interest in blockchain-related courses has been increasing amongst both experienced professionals and higher education students.
From March 2021 to March 2022, there has been 138% increase in the number of learners choosing blockchain or blockchain-related courses on ed-tech platforms in India. At the same time, there has been 170% increase in revenue generated by blockchain courses from March 2021 to March 2022, according to industry data accessed by this author.
One of the biggest ed-tech platforms providing such courses is upGrad, which is witnessing similar trends—with 115% increase in learner enrolments and 266% increase in overall revenue being generated from its blockchain-specific courses between FY20 and FY21.
Blockchain is not new; the idea of a distributed internet has been around for a while. But with blockchain, a concept called the distributed ledger got popularised, which is the fundamental idea behind crypto, and which is being talked about a lot.
UpGrad offers blockchain courses from IIIT Bangalore, Purdue University, Liverpool John Moores University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Arjun Mohan, CEO, upGrad, told FE that while learners are getting interested in all kinds of courses related to blockchain, many are going in for long-term courses, even Master’s in blockchain, which can be as long as 18 months.
“While the basics of blockchain can be learnt even by watching videos on YouTube, if you want to start coding in that format then you need to try out some libraries, and to get to that you have to learn certain languages,” Mohan said. “To be able to do that, in my opinion, can take at least a six-month course, even for an experienced coder.”
While companies who hire blockchain experts and coders don’t always check the duration of the course one has taken, but a long duration course definitely helps. Mohan said: “Most blockchain courses will help get you shortlisted for the interview, but in the interview you would be likely asked questions that you may not be able to answer confidently if you haven’t coded. That’s why a long-term course, which includes a capstone project (simulated real-life job environment), is getting more popular amongst learners.”
That is precisely the reason why the increase in revenue (for blockchain courses) is more than the increase in learner enrolment.
“A large number of people are taking long-term, extensive courses, and more and more people are now looking at deep learning,” said Mohan.While upGrad has partnered with four institutes for blockchain-related courses, Mohan said, in general across the industry, there is hard to find great teachers who can teach blockchain. “Currently, there aren’t many people who have a good understanding of the distributed ledger system or the blocks and crypto,” said Mohan. “But this is one area that will boom shortly and early-movers and early-learners may have an advantage.”