NYU becomes first American university to offer major in blockchain
New York University (NYU) has become the first American university to offer a major in blockchain technology, according to a CBS news report on Tuesday.
The major will be offered through NYU’s prestigious Stern School of Business, which was also the first school to offer undergraduate courses in blockchain. In fact, demand for blockchain courses has grown so much that professors have had to move their classes to a larger room. To accommodate the growing interest in the subject, NYU has also doubled the number of blockchain courses it offers.
Said adjunct professor Andrew Hinkes on the new major, “We hope to establish a groundwork so that the students can understand what’s really happening under the hood, so that they can understand both the legal and the business implications, and prepare them to go out and tackle this new market.”
Indeed, the school seems to share the view of many blockchain devotees that the technology will eventually infiltrate and disrupt many existing industries.
“The big established companies will definitely be partners in this whole equation,” Associate professor Kathleen Derose said, “While the startups in [fintech] will likely invent the new cool stuff.”
NYU is not the first school to make a foray into blockchain course offerings. According to a Coinbase report entitled “The rise of crypto in higher education” published in August, 42% of the world’s top 50 universities now offer at least one course on crypto or blockchain — with Stanford and Cornell leading the way — and “students from a wide range of majors are interested in crypto and blockchain courses.”
For now, the courses are primarily concentrated in the sciences — of the 172 courses reviewed in the study, 81% were offered through the math and science departments, while only 15% were offered through business and finance, and 4% through social sciences. However, the report notes that at Berkeley, a course called “Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law” was taught in collaboration between the school’s computer science, business, and law schools, where an equal number of students from each school was admitted. More than 200 students were turned away from the course, due to space restrictions in the classroom.
As blockchain fever continues to sweep through American campuses, it would stand to reason that an increasing number of universities will begin to offer courses in the subject, not just to meet the growing demand, but ensure their students maintain a competitive advantage in the job market after graduating.