Blockchain Protocol Job Market Report (Q4/2022)

In the current scheme of things, with the gloomy clouds of mass layoffs hovering over the blockchain world, it may seem challenging to remain optimistic. However, it is still crucial to see past these events, and devise a positive strategy to venture through this phase successfully. Keeping this approach in mind, BlockchainJobsEurope has made an effort to help and guide the fellow Web3 community. 

What did we do?

BlockchainJobsEurope researched and analyzed the Blockchain Protocol Job Market for Q4 2022. Our research covered over 400 public job offerings by 40 leading blockchain development firms for the fourth quarter of 2022. Some of the noted Web3 firms analyzed under the research are; Ethereum Foundation, Parity Technologies, ConsenSys, IOHK, Dfinity, Ava Labs, Polygon, CasperLabs, and Gnosis

What did we find?

Our findings unravel current trends in Web3 recruitment. The infographic illustrates the structure of recruitment in the industry, disclosing the most in-demand roles, as well as the top desired skills for the same. The research aims to equip job-seekers with an accurate picture of the hiring needs, enabling them to appropriately prepare for professional opportunities in the Web3 market:

Infographic for Blockchain Protocol Job Market

Findings In-depth

Beginning with the structure of the hiring needs, the market is bifurcated into two segments; technical and non-technical (or business) roles. The technical role segment incorporates all the jobs which require a certain level of technical expertise whether theoretical, hands-on, or both. These jobs constitute the majority of the market accounting for approximately 65% of the total offerings. While non-technical jobs account for the remaining 35% of the market. 

The technical segment chiefly covers the areas of Full-stack Development, Frontend Development, Backend Development, QA/Testing, DevOps, Solution Architecture, Cloud Engineering, Mobile Engineering, System Engineering, Core/Protocol Development, Data Science, Technical Product Management, and Technical Support among others. While the business category encompasses the following functions; Marketing, Human Resources, Business Development/Partnerships, Sales, Legal/Compliance, Research and Writing, Business Analytics, Community and Social Media, Developer Relations (DevRel) and Ecosystem Development, Operations, Finance/Investment, (Non-technical) Product Management, and Project Management.

What are the most in-demand technical roles?

Among the technical roles, the demand for a few outshines the others. The top three most coveted role profiles are Full-stack Development, Backend Development, and DevOps, representing 16%, 9%, and 7%, respectively of the total technical hiring needs. The demand for (specific) Frontend and Core/Protocol Development takes the fourth and fifth spots with 6% each of the total requirement (It is to be noted that there will be instances of overlaps between Full-Stack and Frontend Development, as well as Backend and Core/Protocol Development, as the profile prerequisites do share identical traits.). While the remaining 56% comprises Data Science, System Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Game Engineering, and other areas.

Within these technical role profiles, there are certain skill sets which are most sought after, observed from the analysis of hundreds of job descriptions. For instance; we noted that Rust, C++, and Golang are the top three most in-demand programming languages for core blockchain development roles. Similarly, TypeScript and React come across as the most desired programming languages for frontend development, while (web-focused / full-stack) backend development does pre-suppose expertise in Node.js, and smart contract development with Solidity. 

What are the most in-demand business roles?

The one big misconception that may exist in the minds of non-techies is that blockchain as an industry has little to offer to people coming from backgrounds other than tech. This can not be further from the truth. Web3 offers ample career choices to people from all walks of life. This includes, but is not limited to: Marketing, Business Development, Human Resources, Finance, Investment, Legal and Compliance. 

Apart from these traditional vocations, blockchain protocol development firms are seeking a very exclusive niche of non-technical profiles which appear to stay at the top of the hiring pyramid – almost irrespectively of market cycles: These profiles being Community Management, Ecosystem Development and Developer Relations. Since the very aim of Web3 is to enable greater participation via decentralization, all major blockchain protocol development firms have dedicated teams focusing on building and managing their communities. Therefore, it comes across as no surprise that the percentage distribution for the five leading roles is as follows: Marketing (19%); BizDev (15%); Community (13%); Operations (9%); DevRel (9%). The remaining 35% is allocated to Writing/Research, Analytics, Legal/Compliance, and other non-technical functions.

Latest Trends in Web3 Recruitment

Finally, let’s shed light on some general trends that we observed while analyzing the 400+ job postings. Below listed trends are some of the common inclinations shared by the various blockchain protocols towards preferred work modes, Web3 tooling, and digital marketing channels.

Remote first: Remote work has been the norm in crypto way before Covid made it a trend for everyone else. Our research confirms it as the most preferred work mode in the industry followed by a hybrid structure, with very few positions requiring on-site presence. This has enabled companies to attract wider talents globally while also opening the door of possibilities for professionals irrespective of their socio-geographic status. The work flexibility prevalent in the Web3 space makes it one of the most attractive niches in the tech space. 

Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) & Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Even though the “crypto winter” is believed to be here, the euphoria around NFTs and DeFi isn’t cold yet. The sound functional knowledge of the NFT and DeFi ecosystem can provide an important edge in the current competitive job market. Experience with NFT and/or DeFi protocols is much sought after by many blockchain firms.

Community Management: The demand curve for community managers seems to be always pointing towards an upwards slope, quite unfettered by the conditions of the market. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the success of any Web3 project greatly depends on its reception by the crypto community. The industry recognizes the fact that inspiring and proactive community management teams can be the difference makers in this competitive market.

Discord/Telegram: Social Media is the most powerful marketing tool of the current era. Though Facebook and Instagram remain the leading platforms for social media marketing for the traditional internet industry / “Web2”, Discord, Telegram and Twitter upstage them completely to take the crown when it comes to Web3. Our research duly observed that the tech-savviness with Discord and Telegram is most in-demand.

Ethereum: Ethereum, unarguably, boasts about the biggest ecosystem in the whole Web3 space. Consequently, the demand for expertise with (and knowledge of) Ethereum tools and infrastructure (EVM, Solidity, Hardhat, Truffle, Ether.js, Geth etc.) ranges from “Nice-To-Haves” to “Must-Haves” constantly for the bulk of technical offerings.

Concluding Thoughts

Even though the hiring spree in the blockchain protocol recruitment space has stagnated over the past six months, the prospects are still ripe for the seekers. The industry is maturing at a pace faster than ever, offering a plethora of opportunities to professionals with the right skills and talents.