Better known as “blockchain,” distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a relatively new innovation with the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry as well as other fields. As with any other disruptive tech, job opportunities abound for some, while other positions may be at risk without some retraining.
There’s a good reason distributed ledger tech ranks near the top of the Gartner Hype Cycle. IT professionals working in finance (or any other industry) likely need to familiarize themselves with blockchain. What follows is a high-level analysis of DLT along with a quick overview of the current job market in this field.
A Closer Look at Distributed Ledger Technology
The ultimate promise of blockchain lies in making transaction processing between multiple parties a faster and more streamlined process. It accomplishes this by leveraging ledger recording over a peer to peer network. Every entity involved in a transaction is able to accept or reject the underlying data.
Approved transactions are stored in the ledger as a crypto-secured chain of data blocks, thus the technology’s most popular name. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency are a leading use of blockchain, but the technology also has applications in real estate, intellectual property, and potentially even elections.
Job Opportunities in this Emerging Financial Tech
While blockchain remains an emerging technology, IT job opportunities using it are becoming more numerous, especially in the financial services sector. Whether or not you are interested in finding a position specializing in distributed ledger tech, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the underlying technology. It is a simple enough concept to apply in multiple use-cases.
Steve Webb, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, feels the job market for DLT is on the upswing. “It’s like any new technology – there is always huge demand for people with the right skills. If 2016 is the year of the early adopters starting to come to market, that will create the wave that sees demand really start to build up through this year and into next,” said Webb.
Standard programming and network engineering skills are largely translatable to blockchain. Any experience in cryptography is also valuable.
In addition to banks and other financial industry organizations, large technology companies, like Microsoft and IBM, are also ramping up efforts into DLT. An open source blockchain project, called Hyperledger, is worthy of exploration for anyone looking to learn about and contribute to this nascent tech as a way of gaining relevant experience.
Are you looking for an IT job in the financial industry?
If you need additional insights on growing your technology career – including DLT positions and more – talk to the experts at The Ceres Group. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in Boston, we also know the firms looking for talented pros. Contact us today!