India’s premier institutes are experiencing surging demand for tailor-made blockchain courses as education providers ramp up offerings for the growing industry.
Most existing courses are offered to full-time students or on public platforms, ranging from general overviews to in-depth discussions on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency trading.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her recent budget speech that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be introducing the nation’s own central bank digital currency (CBDC) this year while imposing a 30% tax on crypto income. While the future of the cryptocurrency industry in the nation still hangs in regulatory limbo, newer opportunities for blockchain professionals in both the public and private sectors are becoming clearer for students.
The RBI’s digital rupee rollout will increase the acceptance of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies by the masses, speeding up widespread adoption and improved crypto literacy in India, Anuj Kapoor, assistant professor at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), told Forkast in an email. IIMA is currently offering an elective on Bitcoin and blockchain technology, which the institute believes will be a popular subject among incoming students.
There are over 11,000 blockchain jobs posted by recruiters on LinkedIn India, of which 144 are new postings. Leading job portal naukri.com has about 110,629 job postings for blockchain developers in India by recruiters like IBM, Capgemini, and E&Y. Monster.com, another portal for local job hunters, has about 700 listings from the likes of banking giant JPMorgan in the search for blockchain developers and cryptocurrency product managers in India.
With demand for blockchain technology professionals across industries ranging from banking to legal and managerial, recruiters are on the lookout for professionals with blockchain expertise.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP), one of India’s oldest premier technology institutes, is offering a free 12-week online course on blockchain. IIT-KGP associate professor of computer science and engineering Sandip Chakraborty said it is good to learn any technology as it enters its peak.
Chakraborty believes that interest among professionals and recruiters will continue for the next few years, especially in a country like India, which is trying to develop new technologies and systems with the help of blockchain.
“In four to six years, we will have experienced and academically trained blockchain engineers, which as of today we lack because this is a very new technology and engineers have not got this in their academics,” Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Indian crypto exchange Unocoin, told Forkast. Vishwanath claims to have witnessed a surge among institutions offering blockchain courses since about three years ago.
With both public and private universities preparing to offer blockchain technology courses in core curriculum, traditional investors are looking to diversify into digital assets in fear of getting left behind.
“I am a regular investor in mutual funds and systematic investment plans (SIPs) and I am learning about cryptocurrency and blockchain to know about the subject before investing in it,” local businessman Sagar Chatterjee told Forkast. “I also want to learn about it because I hear of Bitcoin scams, and I want to make sure I don’t get duped. Knowledge is key.”
Chatterjee, a 35-year-old entrepreneur, has enrolled in an online cryptocurrency and blockchain course to learn more about the trending asset while crypto-related scams surged along with Bitcoin’s popularity.
However, although such courses would help bring students up to speed and enable participation in the ecosystem in the coming years, they may not find all the opportunities in India.
“We must also keep in mind that the Indian market in cryptocurrencies is fractured. It’s not perfect. It’s perhaps a little behind the rest of the world,” Pradeep Gooptu, a financial markets expert, told Forkast. “And therefore for students to find all the opportunities may not be possible in India. But I am sure this is only a short-term problem and in the next few years things will open up and cryptocurrencies will become a major exchange platform in India as it is elsewhere in the world.”