Bitcoin and blockchains enter school curriculum

The best business schools in the world have taken notice

US business schools are beefing up training in the software that underlies digital currency, bitcoin, a technology expected to be a game changer in many industries.

The move makes sense as more students seek careers in the Fintech Industry instead of traditional hotspots like consulting powerhouses as McKinsey or Investment Banking giants like Goldman Sachs. The world has changed and the typical placement targets for the graduates of elite business schools has changed as well.

The top 20  US Business Schools have recognized those changes and adjusted their programs, because Bitcoin and Blockchains are not just a passing trend but advancements  that have the potential to change the face of business. The last year has been the year of the blockchain.

Blockchain is one of the hottest areas of finance to work in.

The technology has everyone from investment banks Goldman Sachs, UBS and JPMorgan Chase, to start-ups such as Circle and Coinbase salivating at its potential uses, such as international clearing and settlements. Accenture reckons it could cut finance industry costs by $20 billion annually by 2021.

“Blockchain and new financial technologies in general open a number of new opportunities both for start-ups as well as for incumbents,” says Christian Catalini, assistant professor of technological innovation at MIT Sloan School of Management, who developed an intensive three-day blockchain course for MBAs.

Five of the world’s top-25 ranked business schools took blockchain into their curricula — among them are Harvard, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the Stern Business School in New York City. Schools are also covering peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, digital currencies, and entrepreneurship in the fintech environments.

The targets of graduates changed but the required skills changed as well. The old wall street movie with the legendary Gordon Gecko reminds us how stock trading looked like 30 years ago, but now Students who wish to work in trading must learn how to code, while bankers need to understand algorithms and big data.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain was born with the controversial cryptocurrency. It uses cryptography, allowing participants to securely manipulate the ledger without a central authority.

“There are so many firms that need to understand this space,” says Campbell Harvey, finance professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He adds: “They want to have a so-called blockchain tsar at their firm; someone who can coordinate a multi-disciplinary effort so their firm comes out on the winning side rather than the losing side of blockchain disruption.”

When people think about blockchain they think about bitcoin, but the blockchain has the potential to changes things like the Internet changed the world. The combination of the digital currency and the blockchain could be disruptive as the internet and have impact on contracting, logistics and global supply chains and the global financial markets (money exchange), therefore are a lot of businesses are going to be affected by this and the top us business schools already adjust.

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