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07/06/2019

Minister Humphreys Launches Country’s First Master’s in Blockchain through Skillnet Ireland

The Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys T.D. will today launch Ireland’s first ever Master’s in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies) in the Davenport Hotel in Dublin.

The programme has been developed by Skillnet Ireland’s Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, in collaboration with Dublin City University.

The launch coincides with Blockchain Ireland week, a Government initiative focused on promoting the growth and development of Blockchain technology in the country. Speaking at the launch, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. said:

Ireland is a global technology leader, including in blockchain technology. Nine of the top ten US technology companies operate in Ireland, along with nine of the top ten global companies recruiting in the blockchain industry. Our aim is always to be proactive in anticipating and serving the needs of the industry and the people who work within it. This programme directly supports objectives set out in the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative. The first of its kind in Ireland, this Masters programme will help ensure the country has all the skills necessary to become a global hub for this new technology.

In response to the National Blockchain strategy and aligned to the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative’s aim of enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet worked with Blockchain Ireland to identify what skills were needed in this sector. This Masters programme was developed as a result. Skillnet Ireland awarded funding to Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, under its Future Skills programme, to further the programme development in collaboration with industry.

Ireland can be at the forefront of Blockchain revolution,” said Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland Paul Healy

“Blockchain technology has now penetrated multiple industry sectors such as banking and finance, food supply-chains and medtech .  A highly skilled workforce is one of the essential ingredients for Ireland to be a leader in Blockchain technologies. This Master’s programme will help ensure we have the right skills available for companies and IT professionals to enhance their blockchain technology capability and to seize the immense opportunities that are available” he added.

The Masters in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies) will be delivered by industry specialists in collaboration with Dublin City University.

The programme will be primarily taught online, part time, over a two-year period.

“DCU is proud to collaborate with Skillnet Ireland on the first of its kind Master’s programme in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies),” said President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith

“This programme will produce graduates equipped with the skills and knowledge required to thrive in this rapidly changing sector. This project displays the combined strengths of higher education and enterprise networks in the face of new challenges we all face in our quest to flourish as an economy,” he added.

Blockchain was first introduced as the underlying platform for the famous cryptocurrency Bitcoin, over a decade ago. Since then, it has been gaining popularity and has become one of the fastest growing technologies of recent times. In 2018, over $5 billion was invested in the sector by venture capital firms, a significant increase from the previous year’s $1.5 billion. Experts have considered it to be the best technology created in recent years, after the internet itself.

 “The lack of technical Blockchain skills is of national and international concern as it is a significant inhibitor to Blockchain adoption in companies across key industries including manufacturing, supply-chain, health, food, aviation, finance and the public sector,” said Dave Feenan, Acting Network Manager for Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet

“This new Master’s will provide Ireland will a real opportunity to upskill our already excellent IT professionals, preparing them for jobs of the future. The synergy between industry and education means these professionals will have the practical tools needed to bring the benefits of Blockchain technology to a variety sectors,” he added.

This course is aimed at IT professionals working in the Republic of Ireland. To qualify for direct entry, they must have a Level 8 Honours Degree (2.2) or higher in Computer Science, Computing, Computer Applications or a related discipline. Applicants without these entry requirements may be considered if they can demonstrate previously obtained competence equivalent to the entry requirements.

Applications are now open for this new Master’s beginning in September 2019. The closing date for applications is July 23rd 2019. In the first instance, applicants should submit their CV directly to info@ictskillnet.ie For more information on the Master’s degree in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies) at DCU click here.

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