With the recent crypto crash, and its subsequent impact on tech companies such as Coinbase, it’s worth asking whether pursuing a career in crypto-related technologies can still prove lucrative, particularly ones involving the blockchain.
That’s a hard question to answer, mostly because nobody seems quite certain how crypto and its related technologies and industries—including the blockchain and “web3”—will play out. Some technologists are betting their careers that the internet will evolve into a decentralized form dependent on the blockchain, crypto, and token-based ownership. But others dismiss many of these concepts as buzzwords or outright scams.
Perhaps it’s helpful to take a step back and crunch some data via Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), which collects and analyzes data from millions of job postings across the country. According to Lightcast, some 38,251 job postings over the past 12 months asked for blockchain skills, and the platform predicts that employer appetite for those skills will grow 24.6 percent over the next two years.
While that’s not quite the same amount of employer activity as, say, software engineering or network administration, it’s still pretty robust. Blockchain-related skills also pay a median salary of $99,000, which can quickly rise into the six-figure range with the right combination of experience and specialization. That’s also pretty good, especially in comparison to other tech jobs; according to the most recent Dice Tech Salary Report, the average technologist makes $104,566 per year (a 6.9 percent increase between 2020 and 2021).
Of course, blockchain isn’t synonymous with crypto; there are lots of technologists out there attempting to build blockchain-based platforms for tracking shipments or creating smart contracts, and they don’t really care about minting a new coin or figuring out how to build a better crypto wallet. But no matter what the goal of the technologists working with these technologies, the concepts surrounding the blockchain will likely remain key—which makes tracking blockchain-related employment and salary data a good way to keep an eye on the segment’s overall health.
Going forward, we’ll see if the salary numbers and job postings for blockchain begin to decline. If that happens, it’s likely the industry—and the technology underpinning it—is in serious trouble of ever achieving its dreams of domination. But if jobs and salaries for blockchain-related jobs continues to grow, it could mean bright skies ahead.