Shortage of skilled talent in blockchain arena apparent in hiring searches

In nearly every forecast of where jobs will proliferate over the next two decades, the top line performer is always IT software programming related. It makes abundant sense. We live in an electronic age that is innovating faster than ever before, and it takes raw IT talent to develop, implement, and make everything work. Within the IT sector, however, blockchain technology has ranked “Number One” for the last two years running, but according to the latest analyses, job-seeker searches are declining, a sign that the shortage of raw talent may be running into a brick wall, of sorts.

It was only late last September when Asktraders.com reported:

In a recent report from Hired, a job search site, the firm analyzed the resumes from more than 100,000 users seeking jobs and listings for 10,000 companies to arrive at its findings that “there was a 517% increase in demand for software engineers with blockchain development skills.

Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired, said:

The growth in demand for blockchain skills has gone through the roof and tops anything I have ever seen. It’s staggering growth.

The growth data is “staggering”, but filling these jobs is where the “disconnect” is occurring. The following graphic highlights the problem buried within a mountain of data:

The data is presented in a slightly different fashion in order to fathom the problem at hand. First, the periods for comparison are the four quarters ended for past September 30 periods, and the “bars” represent the percentage change in “shares”, not the totals for jobs posted and searches by job seekers. It is quickly apparent that job applicants are declining much more quickly than new job additions are created, and searches fell precipitously during Crypto Winter, and the trend accelerated on into 2019.

Allison Calvin, a writer for Seen, Indeed’s tech hiring platform, told ComputerWorld:

We’ve previously covered how bitcoin’s volatility seems to correlate with job seeker interest, and the change in bitcoin price this year might be why job searches have declined. For the first time, the number of jobs per million exceeded the number of searches per million. It could be reasonable to assume that if bitcoin drops dramatically again, a candidate looking for a blockchain role would run into less competition than they would after a large increase.

The folks at ComputerWorld have kept a keen eye on this market for years and also noted:

The mismatch between the number of jobs being created and the number of qualified candidates to fill them has always been lopsided. According to Indeed.com, in the four-year period between September 2015 and September 2019, the share of cryptocurrency jobs per million grew by 1,457%. In that same time period, the share of searches per million increased by only 469%.

According to Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, the “mismatch” cited above is now affecting project delivery schedules:

With 20,600 new IT jobs created in the first three months of 2019, the market is tight. There is a skills shortage, some projects are missing key early benchmark dates due to lack of staffing.

The counsel for jobseekers is if you beef up your skill sets, your odds go up dramatically to land one of these lucrative and exciting jobs. Concentrate on “basic cryptography, P2P networks and a language like C++, Java, Python or JavaScript”. Allison Calvin also adds:

To stand out, learn new blockchain development languages like Hyperledger, Bitcoin Script, Ethereum’s Solidity, the Ripple protocol or even languages currently in development like Rholang to stay ahead of the curve.

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