Despite European spend on blockchain set to soar to €3.5 billion in the next five years, a lack of understanding of how the technology works is holding Irish people back from pursuing a career in blockchain
Dublin, Ireland — November 15, 2018 — As Ireland cements its status as a leading European technology hub, new research has found that 75% of the Irish population would not consider a career in blockchain technology. Despite financial service behemoths such as Deloitte and Mastercard announcing blockchain-related jobs in Dublin over the past two years, a lack of knowledge and education in how blockchain works is holding Irish people back from pursuing careers in the emerging technology.
The research — which focused on Irish attitudes towards, and knowledge of, blockchain technology — revealed that of those that would not consider a career in the sector, more than half (53%) cited lack of understanding of what blockchain technology is, with lack of information (38%) and unsuitable educational backgrounds (10%) also seen as barriers to entry.
The study, carried out by Amárach Research for blockchain professional services firm Wachsman, surveyed 1,000 people in Ireland. It found that respondents between the ages of 25-34 were most likely to pursue a career in blockchain (the technology underpinning bitcoin and around 2,000 other cryptocurrencies), with more than a third (38%) prepared to embrace the challenge.
Wachsman CEO and Founder David Wachsman said: “The findings of this study are remarkable. Ireland boasts one of the most highly-skilled and educated workforces in the world, yet most Irish people would not consider a career in blockchain because they don’t feel they have the ‘right’ background. While blockchain is a new technology, the concepts, use cases, and applications for implementation can be learned. The quality and quantity of research materials, educational guides, and news coverage on blockchain usage — all the way from start-ups to blue chip enterprises — are increasing by the day.”
Other key findings from the study:
- The industry’s gender imbalance was spotlighted, with women (20%) less likely to consider a career in blockchain compared to men (30%).
- Of those that would not consider a career in blockchain:
- 61% of females indicated that they don’t know what blockchain technology is. This is in contrast to 44% of males;
- Fear of instability is higher among men (9%) than women (4%). Among 35-44-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds, 10% of respondents cited this reason as to why they wouldn’t pursue a career in blockchain. This is in contrast to just 3% of 18-24-year-olds;
- Gen X is most likely to have suffered during the recession and post-Celtic Tiger years and may be seeking stability after an uncertain decade;
- The demographic least likely to know what blockchain technology is and how it functions across industries are the 45-54-year-olds (62%), followed by the 55+ group (54%).
- Dublin continues to emerge as a national and European tech hub, with those living in the capital (34%) far more likely to consider a career in blockchain technology compared to anywhere else in the country. Munster (23%), the rest of Leinster (21%), and Connacht/Ulster (20%) followed behind.
David Wachsman said: “With demand for blockchain technology experts skyrocketing both in Ireland and abroad, it’s important for people to realise that a career in blockchain stretches far beyond requiring a computer science, business, or finance degree. Industry newcomers in Ireland can be professionally trained and educated on the disruptive power and potential of blockchain because it is quickly becoming among the most significant career opportunities of our generation.”