While Sirer is thrilled to see the students' passion, he has a word of caution for blockchain fanatics.
"What you want to avoid at all costs is an excessive specialization at the beginning of your career," he explains. "If you end up going to a blockchain program, I think I personally would say that you're making a mistake."
Studying with a niche focus – even a bit buzzy as a blockchain – is less useful than learning the general principles, concepts and foundations behind information technology and Sirer engineering supports, especially in a sector as fast as high technology.
"The right thing to do is establish a broad and solid base," he says. "All our courses are structured to convey principles: we do not teach people how to use today's blockchains – tomorrow's blockchains do not resemble today's ones."
The student of Berkeley Lai, for example, has interned to two blockchain companies not only as a developer, but also as a marketer, he says.
In Wharton, Werbach is on agreement. Concentrating an entire academic education on an emerging technology would be a mistake, he says, since there is not yet enough material to fully teach on blockchain with sufficient rigor. He also encourages students to think about the subject in a holistic way.
"To understand the blockchain well, you have to actually learn a lot of the subjects we already teach in universities, things like economics and finance and law and systems distributed in engineering," explains Werbach. "I think someone who is taking a lot of related courses because they are interested in the blockchain will get an all-round education that will serve them well and will be useful even if this industry will fail."
Werbach says that the subject deserves attention and learning
"I am sure that whatever happens to the price of cryptocurrencies or the success of some of these early generations of companies that have made symbolic offers, this blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency is here to stay, "says Werbach. "It's a fundamentally new approach that is valuable in many contexts."
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