2018 is shaping up to be the year of bitcoin in academia as more and more institutes for higher education enter the field. The latest example comes from a number of top ranked business schools in the US that are expanding their offering due to student demands.
Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business will offer a full-time cryptocurrency course beginning this May. The new class came about following a coordinated campaign by MBA students who see the innovative concept as vital for their future careers. “Many of us will have to discuss blockchain at our jobs. It makes sense to teach it,” explained second-year student Itamar Orr. “It gets you a competitive advantage; it’s an extra hammer in your toolbox.”
A group of students petitioned the school’s leadership to add the full-time class as before it only covered the field on a pop-up basis. Once Stanford opened the class to registration the wider demand was confirmed as it was closed with over fifty candidates on the waiting list.
Susan Athey, the technology professor who will teach the new class, commented to CNBC: “The fluctuations in the prices have everyone mesmerized: Just how did this happen? Many people have gone boom or bust and that’s, of course, exciting, attracts a lot of interest and motivates people to understand what’s going on.”
Critical Mass Achieved
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania will also offer a cryptocurrency class this fall for the first time. Professor Kevin Werbach said: “We’re at the point where there’s a critical mass to teach this domain. There will be a real phenomenon in business for the foreseeable future, and five years down the road there won’t be too many major business schools that don’t offer similar classes.”
It’s not just students that are asking for more classes but industry as well. John Jacobs, executive director of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, revealed he is “constantly” getting calls from Wall Street and consulting firms’ recruiters saying, “You need to train them. We need people to understand how to apply blockchain technology.” He added that: “Any world-class program is going to have to equip students in this field to compete. It’s everywhere we turn around.”
Would you attend a university course to teach you about bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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