Cryptocurrency courses are coming to the Wisconsin School of Business as schools worldwide catch on to a new intersection of technology and finance.
WSB has created the course as students demand an education in subjects such as bitcoin, which is sweeping across markets.
The course will explore the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple, and their underlying technology—blockchain.
Cryptocurrencies are digital forms of money while the blockchain is a decentralized ledger which enables quick and secure transfer of currency.
WSB’s course will be taught by Brad Chandler, director of the school’s Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Investment Banking and an advisor to Badger Blockchain, an interdisciplinary student organization.
Students will gain a foundational knowledge of cryptocurrencies and their value proposition. “It’s imperative that we, as a university, develop curricula to address evolving market dynamics facing today’s business leaders,” says Brad. “To develop as future leaders, our students must confront complex and cutting-edge subjects and show the curiosity and persistence to step outside their comfort zone.”
WSB said the topic is already in high demand among students who see crypto as a mainstream force in finance rather than a controversial niche.
The course is intended for a non-technical audience. Classes will be open to both business and non-business majors. It will be relevant to graduate students from disciplines as varied as computer science, economics, engineering and business.
“The need to understand cryptocurrencies is not limited just to business students,” says Brad. “These innovative tools have wide-ranging impact, and bringing together students with diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and experiences will deepen the learning experience for everyone.”
WSB’s announcement comes as a plethora of other schools have created courses that explore cryptocurrencies — including Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Oxford’s Said School and Imperial College.
Schools say an education in financial technology is becoming essential as companies increasingly demand graduates who are clued up on fintech.
A recent study from LinkedIn said that the number of adverts for blockchain-related jobs posted on the business networking site had trebled in a year.
Banks and other financial institutions such as asset managers are scrambling to harness the power of fintech in a bid to slash costs and speed up processes which run on their legacy IT systems.
The new WSB course will be available beginning in the Fall 2018 semester.