As you take your first steps into cryptocurrencies, you’ll realize that you’ve truly joined a revolution, looking to change anything and everything about the world. If you see yourself simply as a trader or investor, then reading as many whitepapers as well as other free content that you can might be enough to be a part of that revolution. If you truly want to make a difference and make crypto your career, however, then you might be interested in learning about where you can study the industry and earn valuable credentials for doing so. In the interest of illuminating all of the places that make that possible, we’re kickstarting a series on all of the places where you can study crypto, in Norway and worldwide. If that interests you, then read on!
MIT. Since the beginning, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been instrumental in supporting the rise of the Bitcoin network, both from a technical and an educational standpoint. Today, you can take numerous crypto-focused courses with MIT, either through their site or through third-party providers such as GetSmarter and edX. Furthermore, MIT essentially kickstarted the legitimization of crypto and blockchain tech in the academic sphere. So, alongside a handful of other universities, they’ve consistently attracted the top talent to teach and act as guest lecturers in their courses such as Gary Gensler, who is now the Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and Christian Catalini, who is the co-creator of Facebook’s Diem project. As if that isn’t enough talent, Michael Casey and Silvio Micali have also taught at MIT, the former of whom is perhaps the pre-eminent journalist in the cryptocurrency industry and the latter of whom founded the Algorand network and cryptocurrency. Through choosing MIT, you can’t go wrong in terms of its trustworthiness and overall reputation as a forward-thinking institution. If all of this isn’t enough to make you want to look into their offering further, consider the fact that a wide-array of their crypto and blockchain-tech courses are currently free and they’re considered to be one of the preeminent authorities on crypto in the academic sphere. Finally, regardless of the specific topic they involve, MIT’s courses tend to be geared towards a wide audience unless they’re offered inside of its Computer Science department, where programmers are their key audience.
The University of Oslo. What about, however, in our neck of the woods? Well, to kick things off, there’s the principal university from Norway, the University of Oslo. Currently, it offers two courses in English that are centered in the crypto-sphere, one of which is at the Master’s level, while the other is at the PHD level. Both are found in the Informatics department. Consequently, to take them, you’d have to be enrolled in a related Master’s degree or PHD under its banner. Even so, if you head to the university’s Norwegian course catalog, you’ll find one further largely crypto-focused class, called, an “Introduction to Cryptography,” which teaches you the basics of the theories, algorithms, and frameworks, that keep the entire crypto industry secure. Others exist, but they largely mention cryptocurrencies and their related technologies in passing, in connection with their other use cases, such as the energy sector and in computing at-large.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology. If you aspire to be a blockchain developer, then you may want to consider courses at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Out of the 7 crypto-focused courses they currently offer, 5 make up a fairly comprehensive program in cryptography on their own. Moreover, all 7 courses are also offered in English and by the end, you should feel comfortable with most of the security-focused frameworks in the blockchain space. The only caveat in this respect is that they’re all offered at the Master’s level, so to take them, you’d need to meet their prerequisites by obtaining a Bachelor’s in the Mathematics and/or Telematics departments, depending on the specific courses you’re interested in.
Norwegian School of Economics. Through their Msc. in Economics and Business Administration, the Norwegian School of Economics offers a course in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies that teaches you to build smart contracts in Ethereum’s native programming language, Solidity. While this is the only truly crypto-centered course they offer, it’s essential for anyone who wants to be a blockchain developer or just work on a cryptocurrency network at a high, strategic level since it teaches you the building blocks of just about every Ethereum-based service (DApp).
University of Nicosia. Last but definitely not least, there’s the University of Nicosia. Due to its longevity in the cryptocurrency space and the relatively wide breadth of its courses in that respect, it bears mentioning on any list such as this one. From offering the first crypto-focused course ever in 2013, they moved to offering the first Master’s degree centered on the crypto industry, which is their Msc. in Digital Currency that’s still around today. The key selling point for the University of Nicosia’s courses beyond their first-mover advantage is the fact that their instructors have truly being doing it since some of Bitcoin’s earliest days and they include: Andreas Antonopoulos, who is, to many, the world’s leading expert on all things crypto and blockchain. Whether you decide simply to take their free online course, which is titled, “Introduction to Digital Currencies”, or take the plunge with the full Master’s degree, you’ll end your studies with a certificate from the university and the knowledge that you’ve added to your crypto journey with knowledge from some of the industry’s foremost experts.
We asked two players from the Nordavind squad: do you see a benefit to studying crypto formally? Like: is it something that’s worth going to university for or do you think it’s something you learn by doing?
Sharp said: “I think crypto would be cool to study; you can study the technology behind the currencies & how crypto fits into- and impacts the financial world.”
Kerberos said: “Sure, if the time was taken to put together a course on it. I’m not sure it would be a whole degree but for example, I studied computer science at university and if there was a module on cryptocurrency & blockchain, I would have taken it 100%. Crypto is, of course, something most people, myself included, learn about through first hearing about Bitcoin, maybe buying some, and after some time, actually researching exactly what it is. If I had easily accessible information presented to me, I would probably have taken it. Cryptocurrencies in their current form, in my opinion, are just the beginning and it is the blockchain technology that is going to revolutionise the world (personally, I am especially interested in the smart contract and dApp blockchains such as Ethereum and Cardano). I think a lot more people would be as excited for the future of this if they actually understood it, so yes, I see a huge benefit to it.”
All in all, with the opinions of both players in mind, we’re left with two key takeaways. First, structured university courses focused on the crypto space could provide students with one stop shop for understanding what all of the disparate projects in crypto are, how they work, and how crypto correlates with as well as disrupts the traditional financial space. Last, but certainly not least, as we’ve said time and time again, for universities and the crypto space at-large, it’s early yet! Over time, it will be truly interesting to see what further courses surface with a crypto-focus, and what influence current and future students have on their subject matter.
For the most part, the best way to gain access to Master’s level courses centered on cryptocurrencies and their related technologies is to do your Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. If you aim to be more on the non-technical side of the industry or just to gain a deeper understanding of how it works, then it’s likely best to consider taking individual courses at some of the options listed above. In the end, everything depends on your personal career goals.
This list, by no means, encompasses all of the places or even close to all of the universities that offer blockchain and crypto focused courses. Still, if you’ve finished this list, then you’ve made significant progress towards understanding what the most trusted places are where you can take crypto or blockchain-focused courses in Norway and beyond. In our next post in this series, we’ll dig further into other heavily subsidized or even free courses in the crypto-sphere, with more of a focus on those that cater to true beginners and non-programmers.
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This text is intended to inform and is not an investment recommendation.