Given Chinese firms’ enthusiasm for blockchain technology, there is a bit of a mismatch with the dearth of post-secondary courses on the topic. While many of the country’s top universities offer some sort of blockchain course or lab, the field has room for expansion.
That said, a lack of formal postsecondary courses on blockchain technology is not limited to China. This is also a problem in the West. Universities simply haven’t caught on to the need for blockchain education as they grapple with teaching other emerging technologies, such as big data or AI. This may be because blockchain is such a rapidly developing field that universities feel that anything they teach now might be irrelevant in the years to come.
China’s government understands the unlocked value of online education and has started its own efforts. The People’s Bank of China is educating the public about the potential of blockchain technology with the app De Dao (得到), made in conjunction with a prominent Chinese educational app developer. Another government app, called Xue Xi Qiang Guo (学习强国), is a repository of government educational materials in the social sciences with courses in Chinese art and film, in addition to classes in history and law.
See related article: A China central bank exec is leading a cryptocurrency course on app De Dao
For blockchain education, a better option might be massive open online courses (MOOCs) and bootcamps. A MOOC is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web, and it is often offered by brand-name schools as an alternative method of delivery to distance education. Bootcamps are short, intensive courses designed to cover a specific topic in a limited amount of time.
MOOCs are not as popular in China as they are in the West, but they are quickly growing in popularity with many top universities offering them. However, locals still have a preference for the more traditional structured university environment, and it might be some time before this takes off to the same extent as the West.