Crypto in Business Schools
A number of top business schools are racing to adjust their programs to include two new subjects.
Digital currency and blockchain technology are among the latest subjects to be added at schools such as Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business following last year’s bitcoin craze, CNBC reports.
“We’re at the point where there’s a critical mass to teach this domain,” Kevin Werbach, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, tells CNBC. “There will be a real phenomenon in business for the foreseeable future. And five years down the road, there won’t be too many major business schools that don’t offer similar classes.”
Simply a Fad or Relevant to Business?
Werbach, who will teach a class in the fall of 2018 called “Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Distributed Ledger Technology,” says there’s no question about student demand for the subjects. The important distinction to be made, he tells CNBC, was whether the demand was merely a fad or if it was actually something that could be relevant to business students.
John Jacobs is a former Nasdaq executive who’s now the executive director of Georgetown Business School. Jacobs tells CNBC that Wall Street recruiters seek out job applicants who are well-versed in cypto and that he constantly gets recruiters calling and saying, “We need people to understand how to apply blockchain technology.”
Student Interest in Crypto
At Stanford, a new course called “Cryptocurrency” will be introduced in May 2018.
Itamar Orr is a second-year MBA student at Stanford. Orr tells CNBC that the new course will help students when they enter the workforce.
“Many of us will have to discuss blockchain at our jobs. It makes sense to teach it,” Orr says. “It gets you a competitive advantage; it’s an extra hammer in your toolbox.”
Susan Athey, a professor at Stanford Business School who’s on the board of Ripple, tells CNBC that the course came following student curiosity regarding the subject.
“The fluctuations in the prices have everyone mesmerized: Just how did this happen?” Athey tells CNBC. “Many people have gone boom or bust and that’s, of course, exciting, attracts a lot of interest and motivates people to understand what’s going on.”