Reskilling and Upskilling in the Age of Blockchain: Exploring Opportunities and Overcoming Challenges

Fujitsu / August 8, 2023

Given the fast-paced and ever-evolving nature of today's business environment, it is crucial for both individuals and organizations to adapt and acquire new skills. The concepts of reskilling and upskilling have emerged as vital strategies for individuals to thrive in the evolving workplace, driven by shifting market demands and changing customer needs. One technology that exemplifies the potential of both reskilling and upskilling is blockchain.

Reskilling and Upskilling: Adapting to New Market Demands

Both reskilling and upskilling involve the continuous acquisition of new skills and expertise throughout professional life. They enable individuals to stay relevant and adaptable in the market by aligning their skills with evolving demands. With rapid technological advancements and evolving business models, it is crucial to develop new competencies to meet evolving market demands.

Beyond a Technological Layer: Blockchain as an Opportunity for New Business Models

Blockchain has emerged as a transformative technology, revolutionizing the way transactions are conducted and data is shared across industries. Its decentralized and distributed ledger system offers enhanced security, transparency, and trust.

Over the past five years, the blockchain ecosystem has experienced significant growth. The number of public, private, and hybrid blockchains has increased, and numerous companies have emerged to offer blockchain-related products and services. Consequently, this growth indicates the increasing recognition of blockchain's potential and the need for skilled professionals to drive innovation in these industries.

While blockchain is often perceived as a technological layer, its potential extends far beyond that. It presents an opportunity for the creation of entirely new business models that bring greater transparency, value, and performance to all parties involved. Blockchain's ability to facilitate secure and transparent transactions has the potential to disrupt traditional industries and create new opportunities. Therefore, reskilling and upskilling efforts should focus not only on technology, but also on understanding the broader implications and applications of blockchain.

Embracing a Multidisciplinary Approach

Reskilling initiatives extend beyond individuals from the IT field. Blockchain's impact spans across various domains, including legal, finance, and human resources. As blockchain enables the creation of newly business models that have no resemblance to non-digital counterparts, professionals from diverse backgrounds can benefit from reskilling initiatives. For example, legal professionals can explore blockchain's potential in creating smart contracts, while finance experts can leverage blockchain for more efficient and secure financial transactions.

Upskilling in Blockchain: Filling the Talent Gap

Upskilling focuses on enhancing existing skills within a specific profession or field. It involves continuous learning and development to stay up to date with emerging trends, tools, and techniques in one's current area of expertise.

As the blockchain industry is still relatively new, specialized education and training programs focusing on blockchain are limited. This scarcity of professionals with experience beyond proof-of-concept applications poses a challenge to the industry's growth. Therefore, upskilling in blockchain technologies is crucial to bridge this talent gap.

Upskilling in blockchain should focus on various aspects, including business models, tokenomics systems, and decentralized finance. These mixed fields of knowledge require professionals with a combination of technology, finance, and business acumen. By upskilling individuals from diverse backgrounds, organizations can tap into a broader talent pool and leverage complementary skills to drive blockchain innovation.

Implementing an effective upskilling process in blockchain requires careful planning and execution. The training programs should be practical and focused on business or process solutions. The aim is to enable participants to understand the potential of blockchain technology and learn how to implement it in simple terms. The "case method" of training, which emphasizes practical application, can be particularly effective in teaching participants how to apply blockchain technology to real-world scenarios.

Moreover, upskilling in blockchain should be an ongoing process. The blockchain industry evolves rapidly, with new applications and technological advancements emerging regularly. Continuous learning and adaptation are essential to stay up to date with the latest developments. Training programs should be designed to address new industry use cases, provide problem-solving analysis using blockchain technology, and incorporate lessons learned from implementation projects.

Empowering the Reskilling and Upskilling Journeys: The Role of Mentoring and Motivating Factors

Facilitating individuals on their reskilling and upskilling journeys goes beyond the simple acquisition of new skills and knowledge. Mentoring and motivating factors play vital roles in driving success and maximizing the impact of these development processes. Accompanying these initiatives with a mentoring process can provide valuable support to individuals entering the blockchain field. Mentoring helps reduce the fear and uncertainty associated with entering a completely new area. The mentoring process can be reciprocal, where young talent native to blockchain technology can assist senior professionals in deepening their knowledge, while experienced professionals can guide juniors in understanding the business and traditional customers.

Reskilling and upskilling processes offer numerous benefits to both individuals and organizations. For employees, these processes allow them to maintain their maximum employability by aligning their skills with technologies that are in high demand among clients. By staying abreast of emerging technologies, professionals can enhance their career prospects and remain competitive in the job market.

Organizations, on the other hand, benefit from retaining experienced talent and seniority. Complex technological projects often require professionals with real-world experience, particularly in managing stakeholders and navigating change management processes. Retaining skilled professionals ensures continuity and expertise within the organization, which is highly valued by customers.

Challenges in the Reskilling and Upskilling Processes

Despite the significant advantages of reskilling and upskilling processes, several challenges must be addressed. One of the primary challenges is the scarcity of real-world or practical knowledge in blockchain within the market. While blockchain traceability and services began to emerge in 2018, the field is still relatively new, and the pace of technological advancements and updates requires continuous investment in ongoing training.

Additionally, the blockchain market is experiencing rapid growth, resulting in highly competitive salaries being offered by companies to attract top talent. Unconventional and creative retention techniques must be employed to retain skilled professionals amidst intense competition. Organizations must recognize the unique characteristics and interests of blockchain professionals compared to traditional IT professionals and create a work environment that fosters their motivation and drives their engagement.

Conclusion: Embracing the Talent Revolution

In conclusion, reskilling and upskilling processes are critical in the age of blockchain technology. The transformative potential of blockchain necessitates individuals and organizations to adapt and acquire new skills to harness its benefits fully. By embracing reskilling initiatives, organizations can address the talent shortage in the blockchain industry and tap into a diverse pool of professionals from various disciplines.

Both reskilling and upskilling in blockchain should go beyond technological capabilities and encompass a multidisciplinary approach that combines technology, finance, and business expertise. By nurturing a culture of continuous learning and development, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and drive innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain ecosystem.

The talent revolution witnessed in the blockchain industry reflects a broader shift in the job market, where motivation, experience, and the ability to create new competition models converge. As individuals and organizations adapt to the transformative power of blockchain technology, the possibilities for innovation and growth are boundless. Embracing reskilling and upskilling in blockchain will empower individuals to thrive in the digital era and enable organizations to unlock new opportunities for success.

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Marcos Carrera
Head of Blockchain & Web3 Iberia, Fujitsu
Marcos Carrera has been an entrepreneur and director in the blockchain & crypto ecosystem since 2016. Graduated in industrial engineering and with an MBA in IE Business school, he has been improving his skills through several executive programs on technology, leadership and sustainability. With his strategic consulting mindset, Marcos has been helping companies to use blockchain as a competitive advantage and adding value to their clients.

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