bitJob’s Elad Kofman: “Opportunities to Learn and Grow Are Everywhere”br>
Israeli firm bitJob has teamed with Matchpool to introduce students to careers in the blockchain industry. Both bitJob and Matchpool provide platforms encouraging newcomers to the cryptocurrency space to participate in a peer-to-peer environment.
Matchpool will host a bitJob “pool” on its platform for students to network and expand their knowledge of blockchain technology, while bitJob participants can collaborate to secure freelance projects, earning additional income streams and valuable experience. bitJob aims to create a funnel of blockchain talent to fuel growth of the industry as a whole.
“Creating a network with the best opportunities for students is our top priority at bitJob, and partnering with Matchpool allows us to facilitate powerful connections in the blockchain space,” said Dror Medalion, Co-Founder of bitJob. “We believe this will lead to the growth of bitJob’s marketplace and utility of the STU token.”
“bitJob and Matchpool users share a key similarity in their willingness to connect and collaborate,” said Yonatan Ben Shimon, CEO of Matchpool. “Hosting bitJob students on Matchpool will allow communities to grow and exchange thoughts, and be incentivized with cryptocurrency in the process.”
The STU token supports functions on the bitJob platform, incentivizing student involvement in the community and rewarding developers. bitJob is currently offering a coin sale.
Block Tribune spoke with bitJob co-founder Elad Kofman about his plans.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Walk me through how someone would use this service.
ELAD KOFMAN: We all remember what it is like being a student; you need ways to earn money while job hunting so you’ll have a reliable income once you graduate. With bitJob, we created a marketplace that makes this process easy. Students simply register for bitJob and select which job postings to apply for. When a business chooses a student for a job and the student completes it, the business and the student confirm the completion of the work at the quality the employer required, and the student can choose whether to receive payment for their work in either fiat money (with PayPal) or in cryptocurrency (with the STU student token). Through bitJob, students get the opportunity to work on practical projects that enrich their resume and sharpen their skills, with no fees attached.
As employers, we found it difficult to hire quality temporary workers that fit within our budget. Many employers bypass recruiting students, because of the assumption they are not ready for real-world tasks. With bitJob, SMBs and SMEs can find their next wave of talent by publishing their job requirements or directly recruiting student-candidates with little risk. Employers only accept work that meets their standards. A key differentiator with bitJob, beyond utilization of the blockchain, is that we aim to make partners out of academic institutions and HR agencies. By creating a robust affiliate marketing program, students can sign up on day one for bitJob and start applying for projects, and employers can open up a previously closed pipeline of talent. All partners in the affiliate program will be compensated with a fee for their support, creating a collaborative community of students, job-seekers, employers, and academic institutions.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is the problem lack of trained professionals, or general awareness of opportunities?
ELAD KOFMAN: We believe it is a bit of both. In the age of the internet, opportunities to learn and grow are everywhere, it’s just a matter of finding them. There is a saying that “in order to create your own luck, you need to be ready to gasp the next opportunity that comes your way.” By connecting students and employers, we increase the likelihood of creating luck — of a student working on a project that fits so well with their skillset, they have a job waiting for them once they leave the safety of academia.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What are the skills most in-demand?
ELAD KOFMAN: Social Media Manager: An essential marketing tool for startups and major international players alike, social media managers are in high demand all over the world. Why not take that talent for Snapchat and Twitter and make some extra cash by organizing and managing the social media accounts for a company?
SEO Optimization: If something is placed on the internet, but you can’t find it on Google, did it ever really happen in the first place? This generation of students are digital natives, so why not use that innate technological savvy to help clients get the most out of their web presence?
App Tester: If you already spend most of your time on your phone, you might as well make some money doing it! Apps of all kind s— desktop, mobile — require a team of individuals to use the app and look for bugs and mistakes to make sure the project is on track. This position is a great introduction to hands-on experience in the tech industry.
Blockchain Developer: If you’re a student reading this, you probably already know that the next big wave in technology is the blockchain. Thanks to our partnerships with prestigious universities around the world and major blockchain development institutions, the bitJob marketplace will be an industry leader for opportunities in a decentralized world.
With the world globalizing, democratizing, and changing at a rapid pace, we are sure that many jobs bound to populate the bitJob marketplace in the future do not exist yet! But when they do, bitJob will be at the forefront in providing opportunities for students worldwide to gain experience and some income.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How are you vetting the candidates and the companies?
ELAD KOFMAN: To ensure proper expectations are set for both the quality of the work expected from the student and the standards each employer has, the system will rely on a reputation mechanism. Each employer and student will have the opportunity to provide feedback about the other party. Results of the feedback will display on each member’s profile, and it will be publicly visible to bitJob members. Blockchain technology helps to process registration, verification, authentication, audits, etc. to ensure the data is untampered.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How long will there be a candidate shortage?
ELAD KOFMAN: The obvious absence of qualified talent spurring the candidate shortage we are witnessing around the world can only be combated by harnessing the best functions of the blockchain, which includes creating a safe, verified environment for all sides to participate. Because the blockchain has a near immutable record of events, students and employers can focus on creating and analyzing the work while bitJob handles the transaction, ratings, and payments.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: American programmers have been somewhat disintermediated by foreign competition. Is there a way they can transition their skills to these new industries?’
ELAD KOFMAN: The blockchain, by its decentralized nature, removes all barriers and boundaries. Geographical distances, cultures, languages, local currencies, and time differences will matter even less than they do now. Our goal at bitJob is to create that flat structure so that talented students located anywhere in the world can apply and work on a job. In a merit-based system, hard work wins, and that’s what we are interested in supporting and promoting.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: In your opinion, what are the top schools for those wishing to work in the blockchain/cryptocurrency industries?
ELAD KOFMAN: We think that every higher education institution will eventually launch a blockchain curriculum. There are already a number of leading institutions around the world that have developed such programs: in 2014 New York University started offering blockchain classes, Duke University launched its pioneer cryptocurrency course, “Innovation, Disruption and Cryptoventures”, The University of California-Berkeley offers an open-source undergraduate cryptocurrency course for their students, including the famous Blockchain at Berkeley (bitJob’s Affiliate) department and the University of Nicosia, as the largest independent university of Cyprus, offers the first Master of Science degree in Digital Currency available online.
bitJob has also collaborated with top Institutions, including Michigan Fintech (at University of Michigan, USA), McGill Cryptocurrency Club at Mcgill University (Montreal, Canada), the University of Florida Bitcoin Club (Gainesville, Florida) and many others. bitJob also joined the Blockchain program of the Dutch Government, expanding its networking to European students studying abroad.