University students are clamoring for courses on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
This is according to a national survey of 675 students, commissioned by Crypto Exchange Coinbase and published today. According to the survey, 21 of the 50 best universities in the US, classified by US News and World Report, now offer a class on blockchain or cryptocurrency technology, and at least 11 colleges offer more than one.
"Students today are really thinking deeply about economic issues and alternative economic futures," said Bill Maurer, dean of the School of Social Sciences at the University of California Irvine.
"Teaching about this sort of thing can now be really powerful for students who are trying to find their own way and imagine what kind of possible alternatives there might be to the prevailing economic system."
And that interest in alternative economics is not only relegated to expected departments, such as finance, business or even computing.
Instead, the Coinbase survey found that there is a strong demand for cryptography and blockchain courses in a broad spectrum of students.
While 34% of the computer science majors and engineering majors have indicated interest in the learning of nascent technology, according to the survey 47 percent of social science majors are interested in the same way.
Speaking to the enthusiasm in social sciences, or those related to the study of human society and social relationships, said Maurer, learning about financial systems prepares students in all programs for the market of today's work.
"There is a great demand out there, especially in the design space, for people who have the skills we train anthropologists with, understanding the human side of technology," he said.
Increasing the interest
Meanwhile, universities such as Cornell, Stanford and Georgetown are reinforcing their blockchain research opportunities to accommodate curiosity injections.
And at New York University, David Yermack of the Stern School of Business said that to meet the growing demand, his blockchain course will be offered at both semesters (when as originally taught only during one), according to a post published by Coinbase that outlines the results.
During the first session of the course in 2014, only 35 students enrolled. But in the spring of 2018, 280 students were enrolled.
Not only are students eager to learn, but a growing number are also testing technology for themselves: 18% of respondents say they have some cryptocurrencies.  Dan Boneh, professor of computer science at Stanford, who is also witnessing a growing demand for blockchain and cryptocurrency classes, told CoinDesk:
"It's a pretty exciting time, it seems like the beginning say something."  Negotiable skills
The increased interest in education surrounding technology is, in part, a reaction to the broader labor market.
Benedikt Bunz, a doctoral student at Stanford, who spoke to Pollenbase about the results of the survey, said Cryptocurrency experts found it easy to find work after graduation, since such skills are in great demand.
Case in point, Coinbase is stepping up efforts to recruit undergraduate and graduate students in this academic course
"It is exciting to see widespread interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology taking off in the global academic community, including students attending best universities in the world, "said Coin McKath, vice president of the Coinbase population, to CoinDesk. "This is one of the reasons we are focusing on creating partnerships with under-represented student groups on university campuses, and we are looking forward to expanding these efforts in the spring."
Beyond the Ivy League schools included in the Coinbase survey, Howard University, a historically African-American college, and the Smith College liberal arts women's school are two notable additions to the McGrath recruitment plan.
Given the high quality of the students showing an inclination towards the field, Boneh said that he is sure that something revolutionary will emerge in the coming years
"I think that [demand] has to do with a lot of talents going into space. Very clever people are working on blockchain projects. "
Image of the university through Shutterstock