In the summer of 2018, BTC-ECHO editor David Scheider is looking for a master’s degree program on crypto and blockchain. He is currently working on the only known project in Europe at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. There he can expect a wide range of services from basics to concrete use cases. The disadvantage: it should cost 12,960 euros.
Today I am faced with the same question as David in 2018: Which blockchain master would I like to do and where can I do it? Is it really necessary to take so much money in your hands and study in Cyprus, or is this also possible in this country? So much in advance: it is not a “must” to put almost 13,000 euros on the table for a master. This is both more expensive and cheaper; it is both intense and extensive as well as short and crisp.
Crypto studies mostly in English
Nevertheless, it is clear to me after the research that there are so far few courses of study in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) that focus only on distributed ledger technology and its use cases.
Furthermore, almost all courses on the subject are offered in English. At the same time, however, many universities worldwide already offer individual seminars on the topic in order to give students the opportunity to get in touch with future technology – both in bachelor’s and master’s studies. In addition, there are programs, certificates and courses that you can attend even if you are not enrolled, partly for free, partly for a certain fee.
Cryptography, AI and management to participate in
There is, for example, the university in Mittweida, a village of about 15,000 inhabitants in Saxony. The senior Professor Dr.-Ing. Ittner tells BTC-ECHO that the master’s program “Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technologies” would guarantee that crypto students would not only sit in the ivory tower and think about theoretical concepts, but also come into contact with companies and practice.
According to the basics, which presuppose an interest in programming and the technical basics of technology, students can choose between two branches. On the one hand, the technical orientation, which includes areas such as cryptography and AI. On the other hand, a less technical orientation, in which it is then more about founding, management and legal aspects.
Ittner emphasizes: “Blockchain technology is not rocket science, anyone who is interested in the future topic can learn that.” This statement is also underlined by the tuition fee and the requirements. Currently, the semester in Mittweida costs about 95 euros. There are no admission restrictions.
Master for Crypto Businessmen in Frankfurt
The situation is different at the FSFM and the master’s program “Blockchain and Digital Assets”. On the one hand, it is assumed that you have already worked in a crypto-related field for a year before the start, and on the other hand, this training costs a total of around 33,000 euros.
Philipp Sandner from the FSFM explains: “Frankfurt School is a private university and does not receive any funds for teaching from the state.” Therefore, the university must ”set a price for their education”. In return, however, the FSFM promises “up-to-date education and support for students, as other universities often do not manage,” as Sandner emphasizes.
The focus is on the economics and applicability of the blockchain
The course of study has focused on the economic importance and applicability of blockchain technology. With the design of the study program in block courses and seminars, the university would like to offer people who are already working in particular the opportunity to further their education in the field of digital assets.
That is why only 60 ECTS credits (uniform credit points in European universities) in the form of courses would be achieved in the course. The remaining 60 ECTS are achieved by the students through practical experience and the final thesis. Sandner says: “It’s a master’s programme for people who have been working for a number of years. That’s the focus.” The success of the degree program is not measurable at the moment, as it will not be introduced at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management until November 2022.
Blockchain-Specializations in the Master’s Degree in Economics
Even if the University of Basel does not offer a specific blockchain Master’s degree, it is worth considering the two degree programs “International and Monetary Economics” and “Business and Technology”. Because both illustrate by way of example the possibility of aligning an actually economic education with the technology.
The Master in Business and Technology (MBT) is “a specialized program (…) and is aimed at students who want to deal with questions and challenges in the field of marketing, HR, strategy, organization and accounting as well as general management. This is taking into account technical progress and the digital transformation of business models,” says the Dean of Studies, Prof. Dr. Pascal Gantenbein. For enrollment, however, it should be noted that for studying economics abroad, achieving a certain score in the GMAT or GRE test, which costs about 200 euros, is part of the standard.
Top 20 will be admitted
As a restriction on admission, it is assumed for both degree programs to be among the best twenty percent of these globally standardized aptitude tests. In addition, the three-semester course costs 850 Swiss francs (about 820 euros).
Four lectures and two crypto seminars in the field of smart contracts, DeFi, FinTechs and digital currencies will be offered in Basel. Even for bachelor students of the Faculty of Economics, there are already opportunities to delve into the basics of blockchain technology.
The university offers the major lectures of both levels free of charge on its open access platform “Open Crypto Lectures” and on the YouTube channel of the same name. Prof. Dr. Fabian Schär, Managing Director of the Center for Innovative Finance, says: “Videos, slides, exercises and much more are openly available. We want to make this knowledge accessible to the public. (…) In the first year, more than 2,000 people from all over the world registered on the platform.”
It is also shorter
But it doesn’t always have to be a whole crypto study. Universities such as the Technical University (TU) Munich, the University of Bayreuth, the TU Chemnitz, the TU Berlin or the University of Applied Sciences Berlin offer lectures, courses and seminars in the blockchain area, for which not so much money and time have to be invested.