Blockchain experts are in such high demand that some companies will cover the fees of graduate courses, student debt, and even tuition reimbursement for their employees.
But as much as blockchain technology has advanced over the years, universities are still slow to implement comprehensive courses that can keep up with the evolving industry.
When they do, the courses often fail to reflect emerging changes in pedagogy, and therefore lack any real-world business context.
For a blockchain course to be relevant, it needs to include modules that cover smart contracts, financial services, energy trading, and supply chains as well as how to use that knowledge.
A relevant course should also be:
- Practical and allow students to test their knowledge as they learn
- Personalized with progress based on a student’s individual aptitude
- Integrated with peer-based discussion and collaboration
We’ve compiled a list of 10 blockchain university courses that are relevant and taught with pedagogical advancements in mind.
This list also explains why each university course stands out and what you can gain from enrolling in it.
Before diving into the courses, let’s first define the meaning and uses of blockchain technology.
What Is Blockchain Technology and How Does It Work?
Blockchain technology is a database system that can best be compared to a public ledger. The main difference between a blockchain and a regular database is how the information is organized.
While the latter structures information into tables, a blockchain collects data into groups called “blocks.” Each block has a finite storage capacity, and once full, the block is encrypted and linked to other previously filled blocks. New records are then stored in a fresh block and so on.
Eventually, the blocks form a chain of information—hence the name blockchain. In the table below, you’ll see more differences between blockchain and traditional databases:
|Stored data can be altered||Data is immutable and cannot be edited or deleted|
|Information is centralized with no transparency||Data is verified publicly which promotes transparency|
|Prioritizes speed and accuracy||Prioritizes verification, automation, and trust|
|Best use cases include enterprise systems that use a continuous flow of data||Best use cases include supply chain, transaction management, and smart contracts|
Blockchain is considered one of the most secure digital technologies in the world because of its ability to secure data without the need of a third party.
While a blockchain can store various types of information (smart contracts, title deeds, product inventory data), its most common use has been as a ledger for cryptocurrency transactions.
Blockchain Uses in Business
IBM built its Food Trust on a blockchain so that they could track food products until they reached their destination. They did this to reduce the risk of food poisoning and to enhance accountability across their food supply chain.
This is one of the many practical blockchain uses in business (and outside of cryptocurrency). Companies like Walmart, Unilever, and Pfizer have also adopted this technology to make their supply chains more transparent.
Aside from asset tracking and management, Statista reports that the most popular blockchain use case in 2021 was for secure information exchange.
Blockchain is revolutionizing retail, financial services, and government services.
The main difference between a smart contract and a regular contract is that the former is stored as a computer code that can be secured on a blockchain.
A smart contract can automatically facilitate and verify the terms of an agreement between participants.
Let’s say you’re a tenant who wants to lease a commercial building. When you draft a smart contract with your landlord, they agree to give you the code that unlocks the property as soon as you pay the security deposit.
No attorneys, mediators, or fees involved—just a simple smart contract.
If you don’t pay the deposit, you don’t receive the code. And if the landlord fails to send the code after you pay the deposit, you get an immediate refund.
Financial institutions operate during business hours, usually five days a week, and it can take some time for your transaction to be verified.
Blockchain, on the other hand, is always on the clock. Here’s how financial services stand to benefit from the integration of this technology:
- Instead of days, consumer transactions can be verified in 10 minutes
- Blockchain can expedite international fund transfers
- The transfer of funds between institutions is quicker and more secure
- Reduction in the costs and risks involved in financial transactions
Blockchain is a promising tool for recording transactions between the generators and users of energy.
In 2020, Power Ledger, in collaboration with OP Properties, announced a project for a 5-story complex in Australia. It was to be equipped with solar rooftop PVs as well as local battery storage, and apartment owners would be able to sell excess solar electricity back to the grid without the need of a retailer.
This kind of peer-to-peer electricity trading is just one of the many use cases of blockchain in the energy sector.
Companies like eMotorWerks have succeeded in connecting private owners of charging stations to drivers of electric cars using blockchain technology.
Supply Chain Management
A blockchain provides all the parties in a supply chain with access to the same information, reducing duplication and communication errors.
De Beers, a diamond producer, developed a blockchain program called Tracr that successfully tracked 100 diamonds from miner to jeweler.
Participants in the blockchain were required to upload photos at every stage and update information regarding the mining location and quality of each diamond.
This level of transparency enhances trust while safeguarding De Beer’s reputation among investors, employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
How to Learn Blockchain
The best cryptocurrency course is the one that covers everything—from the basics of what cryptocurrency is and how it works to advanced tips on how to develop a cryptocurrency portfolio. It’s even better if the course provides you with personalized advice on how to make money with cryptocurrency.
But did you know that 66% of students prefer distance learning to the traditional classroom?
That said, most online courses come with disadvantages such as:
- They take more time than on-campus classes.
- They lack academic collaboration and discussion.
- They have a reduced opportunity for networking.
With online courses, you’re essentially learning in a bubble without translating your skills to the real world. The same goes for blockchain courses and certifications.
Most digital learning platforms are focused on reaching more students instead of making their content better. So while an online blockchain certification can give you a bit of credibility with employers, you might find yourself lacking when it comes to applying the knowledge you acquired to real-world situations.
Current eLearning trends point to the fact that learning is best when it’s built around doing.
This is why the best way to learn blockchain is through university courses. They come with more opportunities for exposure—both to your peers and to potential employers. High-level university courses prioritize collaboration, practice, and discussion, making them more suitable for business applications.
Alt: Quantic introduction to blockchain course
Best Universities for Blockchain
The 2021 Coindesk blockchain university ranking is based on the following criteria:
- Scholarly impact (published research papers)
- Employment outcomes and industry placement
- Campus blockchain offerings (blockchain clubs and research centers)
- Cost of attendance
While their selection criteria is comprehensive, Coindesk fails to examine one crucial factor: the relevancy of the blockchain courses in a business context.
The content of a course points to its quality and usefulness in the real world.
As with the case of IBM’s food supply and Power Ledger’s energy trading, blockchain has proven its relevance in solving day-to-day problems of both business and personal life.
We take this into account when ranking the best universities for blockchain.
In the words of the Financial Times, Quantic is “... one of a new breed of digital education companies seeking to challenge the supremacy—and business model—of established institutions.”
Apart from a comprehensive learning experience, Quantic also offers advantages such as:
- Access to a built-in career network
- Collaborative group study
- Interactive and app-based technology
- Flexible learning schedules
Quantic’s selective admission culminates in an unmatched student experience that enables learners to form lasting professional relationships. What’s more, you can opt to attend our in-person workshop and networking events in cities around the world and put your knowledge to use.
Quantic’s Active Learning method challenges students to think and make decisions as they would in the real world.
“What I learned will stick with me far longer than a standard lecture-based curriculum could.”
#2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative is emerging as one of the world’s authorities on blockchain.
Their 6-week Cryprocurrecy course will teach you about the limitations and capabilities of cryptocurrency, its underlying blockchain technology, and how the two function within the current economic environment.
You’ll acquire the skills necessary to:
- Assess the viability of crypto projects
- Understand how finance, tech, and banking industries respond to blockchain and cryptocurrencies
- Compete with other professionals in the crypto space
- Understand how blockchain technology operates in moving value via the internet
- Understand smart contracts, crypto markets and exchanges, and trading on a blockchain
#3: University of Nicosia
The University of Nicosia was one of the first institutions to offer a Master of Science degree in Blockchain and Digital Currency.
The program is designed for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and public administrators to better understand how blockchain is likely to interact with existing financial systems.
The course includes modules such as:
- Emerging topics in blockchain and digital currency
- Smart contract programming
- Emerging fintech topics
- Token economics
- Decentralized financial systems
- Law and regulation in blockchain
#4: Cornell University
Business and technology leaders, software engineers, or anyone else seeking a broader understanding of blockchain can enroll in Cornell’s Blockchain Essentials Certificate Program.
Some of the key takeaways include:
- The use of smart contracts today
- Promising future use cases for smart contracts
- How and when smart contracts might apply to business challenges
#5: University of Zurich
The Blockchain course at the University of Zurich provides professional practitioners in various industries with hands-on experience in the blockchain space.
Students take part in academic blockchain projects and consulting activities that provide them the economic knowledge and legal tools necessary to navigate the industry.
The modules cover real-world applications of blockchain such as:
- Smart contracts
- Data protection and property law
- Enterprise blockchains
#6: Georgetown University
The Blockchain Technologies Management course at Georgetown University will provide you with the critical insight and practical knowledge required to operate blockchain technologies.
After completing this course, you’ll be able to:
- Define blockchain technology and how it works
- Use smart contracts and blockchain applications in your industry
- Compare different crypto assets and cryptocurrency mining methods
- Study specific cases and learn how blockchain can be integrated into your business strategy
#7: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology offers a graduate certificate course in Blockchain Enabled Business.
This course equips students with the skills to manage blockchain technologies both in public and private enterprises. You will learn about:
- Fintech and cryptofinance
- Building and using smart contracts
- Uses of blockchain for trade
- Legal, ethical, and regulatory aspects of blockchain
#8: University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge offers a Distributed Ledger Technologies: Foundations and Application course that teaches students how to integrate blockchain technologies into their own research.
This course also covers cryptocurrency, smart contracts, and other relevant applications for distributed ledger technology.
To qualify for this course, students must have a prior understanding of computer networking, distributed systems, cryptography, and cryptocurrency.
#9: University of Oxford
The Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme is a 6-week program designed to help busy executives drive innovation for their companies through blockchain.
The best part is that you can integrate their program with your organization’s learning strategy.
By the end of module 6, you will have learned:
- The basics of how a blockchain works
- Use cases of blockchain across industries
- How data, privacy, and tax laws impact the use of blockchain
- How to evaluate the benefits and risks of introducing blockchain technology into a business
- What the future of regulation will look like for blockchain
#10: University of California Berkeley
There’s a huge demand for blockchain developers. The University of California Berkeley sought to fill this gap by introducing a course that will equip learners with industry-relevant blockchain experience.
Their Blockchain Developers course takes a deep dive into the fundamentals of blockchain, smart contract development and security, and cryptocurrency.
This course specifically targets students with a background in programming.
Over to You Now…
So there you have it: the best blockchain university courses to help you advance your career.
If you’re looking for the best student experience, interactive learning, and comprehensive content to put you a step ahead of the rest, apply to the Quantic MBA today.