UW Blockchain Program Ranks Among Best in Nation

man standing in front of a screen with words on it
Steve Lupien

A student higher education resource says the University of Wyoming offers one of the top blockchain education programs in the nation.

UW ranks second among the top five cryptocurrency and blockchain programs listed by SuccessfulStudent.org, a website founded in 2014 by educators, data scientists and academics.

UW’s Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation (CBDI) began offering an undergraduate minor degree in blockchain in 2021.

Steve Lupien, CBDI director, differentiates the UW blockchain program from others listed by SuccessfulStudent.org because of its experiential approach for undergraduate students.

“It’s that experiential nature, where our students are actually working on real-world problems,” Lupien says. “When a student enrolls in the blockchain minor, one of the things they do is choose a problem to solve using blockchain. And they work on that problem as they go through the program.”

The CBDI is interdisciplinary in its offering of the blockchain minor. The center is shared by the College of Business; College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources; College of Law; and the School of Energy Resources. It also works with the state’s community colleges.

“We have business majors, computer science majors, psychology majors, marketing majors and many others,” Lupien says.

Lupien says the minor, which is designed around 15 hours of required and elective courses, is for students to become knowledgeable about various blockchain systems, digital assets and cryptocurrencies; understand how this technology is used to solve real-world problems; recognize how blockchain technology disrupts legacy systems; and comprehend the competitive applications and opportunities of blockchain in various industries.

Haley Neisen, a business economics major from Cheyenne, says she had no idea what blockchain was before enrolling in the “Blockchain Fundamentals” course as a sophomore.

“I was thoroughly surprised learning about how prevalent blockchain technology is in our world today, how this technology can change the future, and that Wyoming is a leader in this sector,” Neisen says. “I loved all of the classes in the minor, but getting the opportunity to work hands-on with a client and show them exactly how blockchain can change their everyday practices offered many areas of learning for myself and my group. I enjoyed the case studies course with Corey Billington (UW management and marketing professor of practice) the most.”

Neisen completed the blockchain minor degree program last fall and is set to graduate from UW this spring. She says the program has influenced her plans.

“The minor has opened several doors for my future career options,” Neisen says. “I plan to pursue and incorporate this technology in my future career field. Not only does the minor allow me to pursue blockchain-related jobs, but I now understand this technology that is present in several job sectors, and that puts me at a true advantage.”

She is exploring different opportunities in both the financial sector and blockchain.

To learn more about the blockchain minor degree program and the CBDI, visit www.uwyo.edu/cbdi.

For information about the criteria used to evaluate and rank blockchain and cryptocurrency programs, go to www.successfulstudent.org/the-best-colleges-blockchain-education.

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