Bitcoin is invading the college experience in Illinois as students are flocking to courses that focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Most college students tend to focus their enthusiasm and energy on courses devoted to their particular major. Classes that fall outside of that purview are often taken due to being easy, allowing students to keep up their GPA. However, a new field of study is proving extremely popular in Illinois colleges, drawing students from multiple disciplines. Professors are reporting that courses devoted to studying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as the underlying blockchain technology, are filling up almost as soon as they’re posted.
Crypto in the Classroom
It appears that the subject of cryptocurrency is getting students motivated to show up for class. Quite a few colleges in the state of Illinois are now offering courses specializing in Bitcoin and blockchain. Professors and students are now aware that having knowledge of cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology is vital for forging a career in finance and business. As such, students majoring in those subjects are interested in crypto classes, but they’re not alone. Students majoring in engineering, computer sciences, and from many other fields of study are signing up too.
Some of the universities now offering cryptocurrency classes include Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Illinois Institute of Technology, DePaul’s Driehaus College of Business, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Some professors have said that interest in such classes is being driven by a younger crowd, eager to dive into this new technology. They note that older faculty and students prefer to focus on traditional financial subjects. Professor Gib Bassett talks of this divide, stating:
They want to hear about bitcoin. Their parents have told them it’s a tulip bubble. It’s crazy, it’s ridiculous, and their friends who invested three years ago are millionaires. … There’s clearly a generational component to this.
Bitcoin Classes Popping up Everywhere
It’s just not colleges in Illinois that are seeing a surge in demand for cryptocurrency courses. Stanford is one notable university offering such classes. Dan Boneh, the co-director of the Stanford Computer Security Lab said he had over one million people sign up for his online class.
MIT and the University of California are just two more big names that are offering cryptocurrency-themed classes. Some cryptocurrencies are taking notice, such as Dash, who donated $50,000 to the Blockchain Research Laboratory at Arizona State University last year and is now working in partnership with the lab. Kyle Squires, Dean at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU, stresses the importance of this education, saying:
The Blockchain Research Lab not only offers students early access to blockchain technologies that are transforming the nature of business transactions, it is providing them an opportunity to be part of the design process and a unique opportunity for real-world innovation and design.
It’s perfectly understandable why cryptocurrency classes are so popular. The potential that blockchain technology has to impact our world is tremendous, and the decentralized nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies definitely appeals to young people. Unlike older generations, young college students are quite willing to embrace innovative new technologies. Plus, it’s just plain smart to study something that will have a major bearing on one’s future career.
Does your college offer classes in blockchain and cryptocurrency? If so, let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.