FIU and Blockchain.com partner to better prepare students for crypto and tech jobs

·2 min read
MATIAS J. OCNER/mocner@miamiherald.com

As Miami continues to emerge as a hub for tech and cryptocurrency jobs, Florida International University and Blockchain.com are collaborating to better prepare students and FIU alumni for professional opportunities in the technology industry.

The partnership is the latest example of many ongoing efforts here to prepare Miami residents for tech jobs, so that companies don’t have to rely on hiring people from other states to work remotely or requiring employees in other parts of the country to relocate to South Florida.

In 2021, Blockchain.com, the operator of the well-known cryptocurrency trading platform, joined other tech companies by moving its operations to Miami and doubled its workforce. Hiring graduates from local universities contributed to its influx of new employees and the digital currency firm wants to hire even more local residents who start with requisite skills.

Lane Kasselman, Blockchain’s chief business officer, sees his firm’s collaboration with FIU as a way for the company to provide more educational opportunities in cryptocurrency to South Florida residents. By partnering with FIU, he’s hopeful the school’s diversity will reflect in the students that learn about crypto through the partnership. Kasselman thinks that crypto is lagging behind the tech sector in terms of increasing employee diversity.

“It starts with FIU, but we had an initial history there already and have been sponsors for eMerge Americas,” he said of that annual tech event here. “We want to be in service of people living and working in Florida on how crypto is part of their financial future. Because they’ve [FIU] got 60,000 students, there’s no better place to start with a program focusing on the intersection of finance and technology.”

Elizabeth M. Bejar, FIU’s interim provost, said the partnership reflects the school’s diverse community of tech graduates and the potential for future graduates to be even better equipped for the burgeoning sector.

“FIU prides itself on student impact and excellence, graduating more than 5,000 computer science and information technology professionals in recent years and being recognized as the country’s top producer of minority graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics),” Bejar said. “We look forward to developing the next generation of tech talent in partnership with Blockchain.com.”

The FIU and Blockchain.com collaboration begins with the 2022-23 school year. Students, alumni and community members will have the opportunity to engage with internships, workshops and special lectures related to tech training and employment.

FIU’s Innovative Education and Student Success initiatives will facilitate the partnership and find curricular and continuing education coursework to better prepare members of the FIU community for tech jobs.

Students, alumni, and community members will have the chance to connect with and explore opportunities including internships, workshops, and guest lectures through this partnership. National predictions expect tech job openings to increase by 13%, or by about 650,000 jobs, by 2030.