In most minds blockchain is chained to cryptocurrency.
But it this technology includes but is not limited to Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is a huge life-changer, that is about to affect every aspect of our existence to the same (or greater) extent as the Internet.
Expert have been talking a lot on how the global job market will be transformed when blockchain incorporates into our economic environment. What professions will be in great demand in the future, and why? Are there jobs that will be obsolete like video shop owner, or switchboard operator? Will employment market change beyond recognition?
Let’s try to answer these questions.
Jobs that will be in demand
It is obvious that tech skills are essential for getting a good job in the blockchain-fueled future. Right now many employers are looking for specialists in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and web-services. In future, there will be even greater demand for web-developers, data scientists, technical writers, machine learning, security and encryption specialists.
Naturally, it would be a good to consider becoming a blockchain-related specialist, like a blockchain engineer or a blockchain project manager. They will interact with companies seeking blockchain solutions for their business, and help adapt the technology to their platforms and needs.
Non-tech jobs that look promising are those needing good communication and leadership skills, creative approach, ability to solve problems and analyse information. Business representatives, community development managers, financial analysts, journalists and writers, marketing managers, sales and customer support specialists are unlikely ‘to be replaced by machines’.
Jobs that are at risk
As blockchain, by its very nature, eliminates intermediaries, it is a threat to agents working in different industries, including real-estate, traveling and insurance. Some of them will still be in demand — remember that excellent human interaction skills keep being important. Thus, if you are extremely good at communication and selling something you might get some good deals in the future, too. But If you are a career starter, it would be a good tip to avoid becoming a middleman in those fields — in a few years you might face very strong competition with remaining experts because most customers will prefer to buy and sell real estate through the Internet — much like today we buy stuff on Amazon and other online stores.
Other jobs that might be in danger are those connected with office paperwork and all kinds of verification and certification. Blockchain will not need notaries or auditors because all the transactions will be confirmed and finalised mathematically. Some experts say that the first area to be hit will be the one connected with reconciliation activities, because we will not need it anymore.
Industries that will face dramatic change
Naturally, the sector that will have to change greatly with advent of blockchain is banking. Though some blockchain enthusiasts believe banks will disappear altogether, it is more likely they will adopt the new technology and use it to make financial services more secure and convenient for the users — at a lower cost. Right now the major banks like UBS, Deutsche Bank, Santander and BNY Mellon are teaming up to develop new industry standards connected with making transactions via blockchain.
Also, this technology will transform insurance as we know it, making the service faster and more efficient for both parties. Say, if your flight is delayed, you will not need a lot of paperwork to make your expenses covered and get your compensation from the airline. The blockchain-powered smart contract will allow you to receive your money as soon as the trigger event occurs. In this case the trigger event is flight delay registered by special software following arrivals and departures of flights. Payout is made automatically to your account then and there.
It is really good, considering that most passengers never claim their compensation because of the fuss involved. It might be the reason why so many flights are delayed or canceled. On average, 1 of four planes does not arrive on time, which means about 15 thousands flights are delayed every year worldwide! Looks like there is a lot to be improved in the industry, and there will be.
Another area that is likely to change for the better with blockchain is the creative economy. Nowadays musicians and songwriters are often underpaid, the common complain being that the intermediary organizations like Spotify and YouTube ‘insert themselves into the value chain between the artist and its audience’. To earn some decent money from Spotify your song has to accumulate a big number of streams, and only a major artist can do it. Besides, many creative people believe that such services devalue their music as they let users listen to it for free.
Blockchain can redefine the way the artists interact with their audience. There will be a platform allowing the creator of intellectual property be rewarded directly and properly for their work.
Blockchain means increased automation of many processes and decreased need for manual verification, paperwork and third parties. It is connected with overall efficiency increase, that might mean a lot of people losing their jobs to machines and having to learn new skills.
Those who are afraid of the progress should be reminded that any technological innovation makes many jobs unnecessary, but it creates even more. Say, when horses were replaced by cars and trains, horse-connected jobs became irrelevant but many car-connected jobs emerged instead. Say nothing about the Internet, that replaced millions of secretaries, personal assistants, travel agents, telephone operators and bookkeepers by web services.
Any challenge comes with new opportunities — for those who are ready to learn.
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