Blockchain developers are in short supply and hot demand. The task of developing blockchain distributed ledgers for businesses was recently ranked second among the top 20 fastest-growing job skills, and postings for workers with those skills grew a lot more than 200% this past year.

Salaries for blockchain developer or “engineer” positions are accordingly high, with median salaries in the U.S. hovering around $130,000 per year; that comes even close to general software developers, whose annual median pay is $105,000, in accordance with Matt Sigelman, CEO of job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies. In high-tech areas of the U.S. including Silicon Valley, New York or Boston, Blockchain Developer includes a median annual salary of $158,000 – an $18,000 premium over salaries for general software developers.

Individuals with experience with specific blockchain iterations, such as Solidity and Hyperledger Composer, are in even higher demand – and that demand is increasing steadily, said Eric Piscini, a principal within the technology and banking practices at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Here is the number one thing We have in mind when I get up each day: ‘Where am i going to find more engineers to sign up with they,'” Piscini said via email.

Solidity is a blockchain programming language for creating smart contracts (self-executing scripts); Hyperledger Composer is definitely an open-source version of blockchain according to JavaScript; it provides REST API support which allows non-developers and developers to create business networks. Together with Hyperledger, Ethereum is the world’s leading blockchain platform and both are the basis for many decentralized applications (Dapps), from smart contracts to cryptocurrencies like Ethereum’s Ether.

Just below blockchain engineers on the listing of the fastest-growing jobs is actually a related skill: bitcoin cryptocurrency developers. (Blockchain is definitely the technology that underpins bitcoin.) Taking second fiddle simply to robotics specialists, blockchain and bitcoin developers are advertising their services for as much as $200 each hour, in accordance with Upwork, an employment site that specializes in freelance workers.

Where you should learn blockchain

Most who choose to add blockchain to their skillset or seek a career as blockchain developers are generally versed in programming languages including Java or Python, Piscini said. But that’s in no way a prerequisite. “More universities are beginning curricula as well as the natural cycle to graduate enough students will produce good volumes inside the ckcxnz couple of years,” Piscini said. “We collaborate with universities around the world to produce content and hire the best talent.”

Several accredited U.S. universities now offer courses on blockchain, such as MIT, which has offered two courses on cryptocurrency engineering and design, and Stanford University, that features a course called Bitcoin Engineering that teaches developers how to create bitcoin-enabled applications. Additionally, there are specialty schools, like Mountain View, Calif.-based Blockchain University and London-based education startup B9lab, which launched an internet Certified Ethereum Developer Training course in 2016.

“We’ve been running this along with other courses for over a couple of years now and also have trained 1,000 people from over 75 countries,” said Elias Haase, founding father of B9lab.

The most successful students in B9lab’s courses tend to have sysadmin experience and also have worked with Javascript before, Hasse said, but “with the correct amount of focus, we’ve seen people from different backgrounds do rather well.

“Our youngest student was 14, the oldest 76. So we’ve seen a pretty broad number of developers,” he stated.

Currently, the best and fastest method to become proficient is to learn all on your own or attend programs organized by blockchain vendors and industry groups, including Consensys, Blockapps, the Ethereum Foundation and Hyperledger.

Under the auspices from the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger is a collaborative cross-industry effort designed to advance blockchain technology. Its Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth modular frameworks could be foundations for developing distributed ledgers for businesses.

While software developers are usually individuals who sign up for blockchain courses, you don’t must be a coder to glean business-oriented understanding of the distributed ledger technology as well as figure out how to create blockchain networks for the company, according to Hyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt.

Blockchain hyperledger KuhrtHyperledgerHyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt

For example, Hyperledger has an introductory course for business owners who simply want to learn about how the technology can be applied for their environment. The course includes a primer for techies looking to learn how to begin to build blockchain applications with Hyperledger frameworks.

Developers who want to learn coding may take more specific courses on blockchain modular platforms, including Hyperledger Fabric or Sawtooth. Those seeking a certificate in Hyperledger blockchain technology can turn to open online course provider edX; upon completion, they can pay $99 for any certificate in the technology.

“The courses might be taken by someone who will not be developer,” Kuhrt said. “It does provide a working example for your two projects we now have – Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth. You can find step-by-step instructions…to work through that. In terms of if it would be challenging for somebody who doesn’t have programming experience, I don’t think that’s in which the challenge could be. I do believe a person who doesn’t spend considerable time looking at command lines in a computer might have some challenges, however it is meant to help anybody to obtain up and running and then see what’s possible with blockchain technologies.”

How one developer changed careers

Until this past year, Kuhrt had spent 10 years being a software engineer at PayPal, working her way approximately its strategic architecture team where she was tasked to check out blockchain as a potential business platform. Kuhrt went on to design and implement a proof of concept for a PayPal rewards point program using Hyperledger Fabric, a wide open-source modular blockchain architecture.

“That’s the way i got interested in Hyperledger. It’s a fantastic place to get in on the ground floor,” said Kuhrt, who last year took the job at Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation project were only available in 2015. “I believe this technology will make some big changes in the manner business is done.” Kuhrt is currently responsible for connecting outside technologists towards the Hyperledger’s various blockchain initiatives, including its free training courses.

Since the courses went online a year ago, 72,925 people have enrolled and two,252 have completed the course work, based on Kuhrt. Not surprisingly, enrollments continue to explode as the adoption of blockchain in a myriad of industries continues to grow Blockchain applications are being placed on healthcare record management, alternative energy certificate trading and offer chain management, and others.