Twenty years ago, if you wanted to get in on the cutting edge of technological innovation and make a bundle doing it, you were looking for jobs related to the internet industry.
There were no college courses or boot camps that existed yet to boost you into that industry; you got as close as you could with basic classes in programming or just by sitting down with technical manuals and teaching yourself as much as you could.
The smartest went on to make their millions.
Today, the hot new thing is the cryptocurrency market. And like the ‘net circa 2000, there are no guideposts, few (if any) experienced cryptocurrency professionals, no sure things, and no college classes that can guarantee you a career in the industry.
If you want to learn about the crypto space, you’re going to have to do it the old-fashioned way: a lot of sweat, a lot of smarts, and a careful study of the foundational skills that will let you make the next jump up the ladder when the opportunity presents itself.
Crypto is the key
The most essential of those foundational skills for building a career in cryptocurrency is, perhaps obviously, cryptography.
The blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies rest on a firm bed of encryption that validates transaction data and ensures privacy and security for users.
Although many jobs in the crypto industry don’t deal directly with coming up with or implementing the algorithms that go into those encryption solutions, having at least a strong conceptual understanding is vital for everyone.
Not everyone has the chops to become a world-class cryptographer. At the very least, you’ll need to absorb the essential elements of cryptography to evaluate and contribute to cryptocurrency efforts.
For programming jobs, though, you’ll need more than just a passing familiarity with crypto. You’ll require the education and the intellectual horsepower to judge and implement the internals of complex cryptographic schemes and to red-team the implementations of other cryptocurrency efforts.
Find the proper training
Getting the proper training – formal schooling or learning for free online – is critical. Here are some of the areas you’ll want to focus on.
Although encryption is an essential component of security, it’s only one piece of an enormous pie. If you don’t understand the broader security concepts, you’re not going to have a good idea of what encryption may or may not accomplish in a cryptocurrency implementation.
Fortunately, security is one area where you can find plenty of formal, well-reviewed courses and resources to get yourself up to speed.
There’s nothing intrinsically different about securing a Bitcoin repository than any other type of server with important data on it, so the time-tested measures already practiced by the professional cybersecurity industry are exactly what you need to study.
Boot camps, college courses, or certificate programs are all good, valid sources for security education that will pay dividends in your cryptocurrency career.
Coding and development
Web development is a critical skill to have when working in the crypto industry. This is because so many aspects of cryptocurrency rely on web-based technologies.
For example, most cryptocurrency wallets are web-based, and many of the transactions that take place within the cryptocurrency world happen on websites.
Therefore, if you want to work in cryptocurrency, you must understand how the web works and how to build websites.
This includes knowing how to create and implement web-based applications, design and style websites, and make sure that websites are accessible to everyone.
You don’t need to be a world-class, full-stack developer to work in cryptocurrency; however, having some basic development and design skills will help you to be more valuable and versatile in this industry.
Another area that is important in cryptocurrency is the currency side of the equation. Cyber currency is forging new paths in the theoretical exploration of what money really is.
You don’t need to necessarily be a financial analyst (though financial analysts may have a leg-up with their required training). Some in-depth knowledge of market theory, finance, and accounting is helpful to understand how your efforts fit into the larger picture.
Being able to discuss these matters intelligently is a rare quality among blockchain industry adherents. So, you can set yourself apart with education in issues of finance and currency trading.
It’s more challenging to get a good education in matters of finance than in computer security. In a formal sense, college courses are the only avenue to pursue.
However, it’s also possible to self-educate in these matters by merely doing a lot of reading and keeping up with current discussions of financial markets and currency trading that occur in the public domain.
As a data scientist, you will be able to understand and work with large data sets. This is important because many of the activities in the cryptocurrency world – such as trading and mining – rely on data analytics.
In addition, understanding how to use and interpret data will help you make better investment decisions when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, data science skills will also help you develop valuable tools and applications for the cryptocurrency community.
For example, you could create a tool that allows people to find the best deals when shopping for cryptocurrencies or develop an application that makes it easier for people to store their cryptocurrencies securely.
To be a competitive candidate for new job opportunities in the crypto world (like a blockchain engineer), you need to understand how engineering works. This includes how to build applications and how to make sure that they are secure.
Furthermore, understanding how cryptography works may give you a leg up in the security of your systems.
You don’t need to be a world-class engineer or computer scientist to get your dream job in crypto; however, having some basic knowledge will help you become more valuable and versatile within this industry.
Engineering and design teams will also focus on how blockchain works, different operating systems, maintaining software products, and possibly even a little bit of marketing.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is adding a whole new dimension to how emerging technologies are changing how we live, how they create opportunities for new businesses and globalizing the workforce.
It’s essential to understand how AI works to be successful in the cryptocurrency industry for several reasons.
First, understanding how AI works will help you better negotiate contracts with large companies or even when trading cryptocurrencies.
These contracts often include terms that will involve different types of automation – either in part or whole – and understanding how AI works will allow you to figure out why these provisions might be included in the contract and how they need to be handled.
Taking part in contract negotiations is one way that your skillset as an artificial intelligence expert will be an asset to your career in cryptocurrency.
Second, whether you are working directly with AI or not – by having a job in the crypto industry – you will probably have to interact with AI on some level regularly.
This could mean that you need to know how to set up computer programs that use AI technology, implement AI in how your business works, manage contracts with automated elements, or work with other people implementing AI.
Third, one of the largest industries today is how companies use the internet of things (IoT) on many levels – from data analytics to developing new AI-driven products.
This may mean how they create new software products, how they launch new services, how to implement automation in their business strategically, or how they (potentially) sell their product on the secondary market.
Understanding how artificial intelligence works will be an important part of how you build your career in cryptocurrency; it’s not just about how you use it in how your business works, but how you will have to interact with other people who are using AI on some level – either internally or externally.
In order to be successful in the cryptocurrency space, it’s important to understand how networking systems work. In the world of cryptocurrency, your involvement will typically depend on how well you can build and maintain a personal network system.
For example, if you want to earn lots of money from trading, then you’ll need a strong community that will support you and help share your knowledge.
You’re also going to need a good understanding of how this type of system works. This is because many people who are new to cryptocurrencies often don’t know how networks operate or how they’ll be able to use them to their advantage.
For example, how do networks authenticate people? How do nodes on the network communicate with one another? What are some common examples of how to use these systems? What are some of the best strategies for creating and maintaining a network?
All of these questions will help you to become an active member in the cryptocurrency world.
Keep up with current cryptocurrency events
No matter what level of education and expertise you are starting from, you can be sure that the entire industry is going to be shifting around on you from the second you get started. Everything you thought you knew is liable to change in a matter of months.
That means that keeping up with current events is a must in the cryptocurrency space. Whether it’s a new blockchain implementation hitting the wires or a serious vulnerability discovered in an old one, you aren’t going to get far without keeping your knowledge current.
You’ll do this by making industry contacts and le, channels, blogs and channels, and mailing lists to follow for current, high-quality advice.
Sometimes, it seems like as much news is disseminated through the industry by the grapevine as is formally announced, so who you know and how often you talk to them will be of paramount importance.
Don’t forget about other blockchain initiatives
By understanding current blockchain initiatives, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve and make well-informed decisions when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, having a comprehensive knowledge of how different blockchains work will allow you to develop useful tools and applications for the cryptocurrency community.
This could include anything from a tool that helps people find the best deals when they are shopping for cryptocurrencies, to an application that makes it easier for people to store their cryptocurrencies securely.
By keeping up with current initiatives happening on the blockchain, you’ll be well on your way to forging a successful career in the cryptocurrency space.
Make industry contacts, too
The best way to find a job in the cryptocurrency industry is to connect with people already in it. This could include talking to people at meetups and events or reaching out to experts online. By getting to know people in the industry, you’ll be able to learn about the latest news and trends and find out about upcoming opportunities.
Which cryptocurrency jobs are available?
There are many different opportunities for employment in the cryptocurrency industry, but how do you know which position is right for you?
By learning about the various types of positions that exist within the industry, you’ll be able to narrow down your search and find one that’s perfect for you!
Some people chose to work in the cryptocurrency space by becoming blockchain developers. As a blockchain developer, you’ll be able to create different applications that run on top of a cryptocurrency protocol.
This could include anything from an application that allows users to keep track of how much they’ve spent when shopping for cryptocurrencies, to one that makes it easier for people to securely store their cryptocurrency.
In addition to being a developer, you could also choose to become a cryptocurrency journalist. As a journalist, you’ll be responsible for providing news content about how different cryptocurrencies are performing and how people can use them efficiently.
This could mean writing how-to guides about how users can make the most of their investments or it could involve covering how a particular cryptocurrency is being used to help the environment.
Can I work with smart contracts?
Yes, and you likely won’t need a law degree for it. Generally, these contracts are legal agreements represented by code that automatically transfer virtual assets from one party to another.
They can also store information that’s run on a blockchain. Once you have a good understanding of this, you can look for jobs in the smart contract space – such as helping NFT creators execute smart contracts.
What can I expect once I’ve landed a job?
While there’s no guarantee how much money you’ll make working for a company in this industry, one can expect to make a good living.
For example, blockchain developers make, on average, $154,550/year.
Some cryptocurrency jobs offer six-figure salaries while still allowing you to work remotely. However, typically some on-site time is required for projects.
Whatever course you take into blockchain and cryptocurrency, the one sure thing is that it’s an industry on the cusp of big things. There will be opportunities across the spectrum of currencies and job types for years to come.