Cryptocurrency, once considered a scam and associated with black money, is now taught in higher education institutions.
Rather than pursue traditional degrees in Economics or Finance, many students these days are choosing degrees in blockchain and digital currencies. As a result, more universities are adding crypto to their curriculum and offer courses in DeFi.
DailyCoin interviewed two students from UNIC (University of Nicosia), one of the first universities in the world to offer blockchain courses (since 2013). It’s also the first university to accept Bitcoin for tuition payments.
UNIC offers two Master’s degrees in blockchain: blockchain & digital currency and computer science (with specialization in blockchain technologies). The university also organizes free MOOCs on blockchain and digital currencies and has several academic certification programs.
Diving into Cryptocurrency Studies
Agne Kazakauskaite, an MSc Digital Currencies graduate from UNIC, became interested in blockchain technology in 2016, after discovering that it’s a novel technology enabling data to be sent peer-to-peer that avoids intermediaries by tapping into data that is stored on a distributed ledger.
“At that time, I thought that this technology would transform entire industries and business lines,”
She started looking for educational materials and courses, and found the MSc degree that the University of Nicosia offers:
“I must say, that I was always very studious and keen to learn things, always wanted to attend top educational institutions, do the courses, skill myself and satisfy my curiosity. At the time of studying MSc, I was also completing Python programming courses online. Now I wish I had taken Solidity classes, but I thought Python would be more applicable, as my background and passion are in finance. So studying another degree was a passion for me.”
Another former alumni of UNIC, David Stancel, shared that he accidentally discovered the MSc program in digital currencies and was intrigued. When he found out it was remote, he immediately decided it was no-brainer:
“It was great to get a structured view on the whole topic of digital currencies as it helped me to organize my knowledge that I had acquired prior to the Master’s degree. We had some great courses that were diving into the tech side of Bitcoin as well as smart contract platforms...I know that recently some new courses were added regarding DeFi, which is super relevant and interesting. I wish I could do those now,”
Agne mentioned that the recommended readings from the courses were very interesting. One book from the reading list that she highly recommends is The Tower of Basel. She also said that writing papers on the topic encouraged students to think critically and consider diverse perspectives. She discussed one assignment, which was to write two persuasive essays: one that argued the stance that “Bitcoin is money,” and the other on the stance that “Bitcoin is not money”:
“The professors gave us vast, credible, interesting sources of information to form our opinions about the economy, monetary systems, and then research into digital currencies.”
Vast Job Opportunities after Graduation
Having a crypto degree has pushed Agne forward and given her a vision of where the digital economy is going, which as helped her develop strong views:
“Right now, I am focused on DeFi; this is really exciting. I am a Lead Evangelist for DeGate DAO, which is building a decentralized trading protocol on Layer2, with its own special Layer3 match-node, powered by zero-knowledge technology. I am very excited and supportive of the DAOs ideology. I think it brings a totally different view of how we create value.”
David is a CTO at Fumbi, a cryptocurrency brokerage firm. He acknowledged that the degree was helpful for his career:
“The University of Nicosia has a great reputation in the area of digital currencies and it definitely opened some doors for me. Also, I had a lot of interesting classmates who work with interesting companies so that alone is a great benefit! Regarding the knowledge itself, I knew a lot of things about crypto before I got into my Master’s degree, but still, I find it valuable as it helped me to zoom out and make a more systematic overview of all the areas within crypto.”
On The Flipside
- Blockchain and cryptocurrency still cause confusion, and the industry’s future value remains to be seen.
Why You Should Care?
Deep knowledge in cryptocurrency is a powerful asset that can open many doors and provide exciting opportunities for your career. Blockchain is now being used in a range of fields, including finance, healthcare, entertainment, real estate, legal, and many others.