Education reflects the signs of the times. Educational curriculums need to be updated from time to time to reflect the historic as well as contemporary knowledge. The most recent example of educational curriculum updating to accommodate contemporary knowledge is the inclusion of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in educational institutes. Universities of Chicago are among the first institutes to educate their students on cryptocurrencies.
As reported by Chicago Tribune, cryptocurrency education used to be something which was a matter of discussion during late hours of a class - but of late, things are changing. Cryptocurrencies have become a core part of the courses that deal with economics and finance. Professors in Chicago are updating their course plans to include cryptocurrencies while there are some schools which are adding classes dedicated to cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology in their syllabus.
“It’s not so much about being ahead; it’s making sure that you’re not going to be behind,” said Sarit Markovich, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.“It was hard for me to fill up the course,” she said. “Students were interested in typical traditional banking. They were like, ‘We don’t want to hear about that. ... Tell us about mergers and acquisitions.’”
However, all of this changed last year when Bitcoin prices spiked from $970 to over $19,000 in just one year. It wasn’t just Bitcoin, as the entire cryptocurrency market boomed during 2017, with Ripple recording a profit of 36,000% and Ethereum profits going up by 9,000%. This prompted a number of students to suddenly be interested in this emerging technology. Markovich claims that alumni too, have been reaching out regarding this course. The curriculum is being prepared and is likely to start off from the next batch of Master of Business Administration students.
Another Chicago based institute, the Illinois Institute of Technology is all set to start off with their first-ever blockchain class, starting this summer. Professor Gib Bassett, who heads the finance department at the institute commented, saying “They want to hear about bitcoin. Their parents have told them it’s a tulip bubble,” he said, referring to the tulip bulb market in 1600s Holland that bloomed dramatically, then crashed. “It’s crazy, it’s ridiculous, and their friends who invested three years ago are millionaires. … There’s clearly a generational component to this.”
While cryptocurrencies are one aspect of it, the blockchain technology too, has attracted many. Considering how blockchain is considered to be the actual technology and cryptocurrencies merely a product, a number of tech institutes are now looking at offering blockchain programs for their students. Given the infinite possibilities of innovation that the blockchain tech presents, students are showing up in huge numbers for these courses now.