Careers in Fintech

Future of Industry

Even in a pre-pandemic world, tech seemed to define our lives. Now, it’s become a suffix for the way we learn and work.

Fintech is a case in point.

Fintech as a career option? Find out.

Here’s what we’ll look at today:

  • What is Fintech?
  • How does Fintech work?
  • What is driving Fintech?
  • How can you pursue a career in Fintech?
  • Best universities in the world for economics according to QS Rankings 2020
  • Best universities in the world for finance according to QS Rankings 2020
  • Best universities in the world for computer science according to QS Rankings 2020
  • Career opportunities in Fintech
  • Potential Fintech jobs
  • The growing demand for Fintech

What is Fintech?

Simply put, Fintech is really the blend of finance and technology that aims to improve financial services and business operations (think e-loans). Technology not only automates processes but also helps organizations in better product and service delivery to customers.

Fintech companies have three primary goals:

  • Safety
  • Speed
  • Efficiency

Through advanced technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science, they aim to boost traditional operations by fulfilling these goals. Fintech, thus, seems to be one of the fastest-growing spheres from starting with payments and loans to making its way into a credit score and stock trading. It is safe to say that Fintech industry has stood the test of time.

With the giants seeing an upward growth curve and the newer players making it big, many young aspirants are inspired to choose Fintech as their career.

How does Fintech work?

Though Fintech is a rising industry, it is certainly not a new one. Technology has always made financial operations more efficient right from the introduction of credit cards in the 1950s.

In recent times, machine learning algorithms, blockchain, and data science are involved in almost all operations – be it processing credit cards or running hedge funds. With the growth of mobile internet and smartphones, technology has made its way into personal finance.

Some of the most popular Fintech services are:

  • Money transfers
  • Managing investments
  • Depositing a check with a smartphone
  • Raising money for a business start-up
  • Bypassing a bank branch to apply for credit

The best part is that Fintech has empowered people to a great extent, and they generally do not need any assistance to perform these functions.

What is driving Fintech?

FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Netflix) have a massive global outreach. They are utilizing Fintech in newer and more innovative ways to reach their target population. These Big tech companies provide services like digital wallets, payment processing, and online sale of financial products.

Next, a plethora of smaller Fintech firms have sprung up in various parts of the world to provide solutions for safety-related problems. These firms work relentlessly to ensure that user interfaces are navigable.

Moreover, the traditional banks don’t want to be left behind either. They are bracing themselves to embrace the world of difference brought forth by technology in the finance sector.

How can you pursue a career in Fintech?

What about career opportunities in Fintech? Fintech as such is a dynamic domain, and there isn’t a one-way road that ensures success. There are several pathways that aspirants can follow.

At the undergraduate level, not many universities in the world offer a specialization in Fintech. Yet, there are other courses that can equip you with the skill set needed to excel in the field. Undergraduate courses in Finance, Management, Economics, Commerce, or Technology can help a lot. On the other hand, if you have a creative bent of mind, you can also opt for courses like Graphic Design.

At the Masters’s level, students can opt for expertise in finance for the best career opportunities.

Best universities in the world for economics according to QS Rankings 2020

S.No University Name Location
1 Harvard University U.S.A
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology U.S.A
3 Stanford University U.S.A
4 University of California, Berkeley U.S.A
5 The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Princeton University
7 University of Chicago U.S.A
8 Yale University U.S.A
9 University of Oxford U.K
10 University of Cambridge U.K

Best universities in the world for finance according to QS Rankings 2020

S.No. University Name Location
1 Harvard University U.S.A
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology U.S.A.
3 Stanford University U.S.A.
4 The London School of Economics and Political Science U.K.
5 University of Oxford U.K.
6 University of Cambridge U.K.
7 University of Pennsylvania U.S.A.
8 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) U.S.A.
9 University of Chicago U.S.A.
10 New York University U.S.A.

Best universities in the world for computer science according to QS Rankings 2020

S.No. University Name Location
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) U.S.A.
2 Stanford University U.S.A.
3 Carnegie Mellon University U.S.A.
4 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) U.S.A
5 University of Oxford U.K.
6 Cambridge University U.K.
7 Harvard University U.S.A
8 EPFL Switzerland
9 ETH Zurich Switzerland
10 University of Toronto Canada

Career opportunities in Fintech

Fintech firms are quite different from Big Tech both in terms of their size as well as the functions that they serve. While the primary focus of Fintech firms is to integrate technology in financial products and services, it is only a small portion of what Big tech companies do. The specialization of Fintech professionals ranges across a vast arena. Let’s take a more nuanced look to gain a better understanding.

1. Data Science/Analysis/Visualization

Every year, a massive amount of online transactions flow through the banking system, and we are continually breaking records in the quantum of data generated. If this data is meaningfully analyzed, and actionable plans are devised according to the same, it is invaluable.

This is where the data science professionals come into the picture. Data generation is growing exponentially, and so is the demand for experienced professionals in the field. Thus, right from the tech giants and banks to the emerging start-ups, the opportunities for Data Science professionals are unhinged.

Data Visualization is one of the most exciting opportunities that this field has to offer. It integrates marketing with technical expertise. The professionals aim to use data insights to study the trends of consumer behaviour.

2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

With the development of technology, companies are investing in the development of machine learning. It is blurring the lines between rules-based algorithms and human thought. Though the risks are immense, the present makes the field look promising for aspirants. At the lower end, chatbots and rob-advisors suit well. However, as we move up the ladder, more advanced technology to efficiently analyse mountains of data will be required.

3. WealthTech and Robo-Advisors

Wealth Tech is an amalgamation of Financial Advisory companies with modern-day technology. These industries are mostly data-driven, and the success in the same majorly depends on the number of recommendations one can make to the client and the subsequent conversions.

The present generation is increasingly getting accustomed to interacting with a chat screen. Most people prefer it over calls or in-person meetings. The pandemic has further given an impetus to the field.

With the demand for 24*7 access and advanced data analytics tools, the growth of Wealth Tech and Robo-Advisory professionals is immense.

4. RegTech

The regulatory costs are only going up, and the rules are becoming more cumbersome with each passing day. RegTech simplifies the same with the help of advanced tools. Here, machine learning and algorithms are used to analyse scores of transaction data. With the right tools, frauds can be detected in milliseconds.

RegTech is vastly preferred by investors as it is not a competitor but a valuable tool for the banking system. Banks spend a large chunk on compliance, and by going by the problems that Regtech solves, the sky is the limit.

5. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a big concern for organizations, not just because of the potential financial loss, but also because of the loss of data and also reputational damage that a cyber breach can cause.

IoT has crossed the 20 million benchmark and a vast population now relies on digital devices more than ever before. Along with RegTech, this field is likely to generate a lot of demand for young talent in the future.

6. Product management

Product managers work towards extending strategic partnerships with financial institutions. Together, they come up with viable solutions. Further, these experts also work towards devising effective strategies to encourage the use of these products and services.

a. Blockchain and cryptocurrency

Blockchain is an umbrella term under which cryptocurrency falls. Regardless of how cryptocurrency performs, blockchain looks set to succeed in the future due to the enhanced transparency and robust security it provides to financial operations.

8. Mobile app development

Over 200 billion mobile apps are downloaded every year and an average person spends over 7 hours on his or her smartphone. It’s a sign of the size of the market. Organizations, thus, are pumping in millions of dollars every year to carve a space out for themselves in the area.

Besides downloads, the pandemic has made these apps the new hub for shopping, business, and other transactions. For the same, quality app development is the need of the hour. The demand in this field is skyrocketing and the ones that are highly skilled and competent command the highest compensations.

9. Social media marketing

As stated earlier, more and more people are gaining access to smartphones, and newer accounts are being created on social media apps with each passing day. The growing FinTech companies want professionals that can present them on these platforms in the best possible manner to attract a large customer base.

10. Payments/Billing/Money Transfers

This field is the low-hanging fruit of Fintech as the risk involved is dramatically less. The payment processors aren’t concerned about the creditworthiness and are just supposed to move the already existing funds.

Moreover, the nature of the job allows one to gain the trust of customers easily. Though credit cards are still the preferred mode of transactions, one-click payment processing options are also gaining popularity.

11. Sales

Because fintech companies rely on transactions, the sales team becomes a crucial component of the system. They strategize and come up with ways to attract the right customer base and increase awareness about the company, especially through online mediums.

Potential fintech jobs

Banks are pouring in a large quantum of investments for innovation and acquisitions – because fintech is only going to rise.

It’s a good idea to work for a Fintech company early on in your career. It will provide you with significant resources, larger teams to collaborate with, and the opportunity to learn the ropes while still working in the field.

You can also work in a start-up. It’s the best place to learn and grow. While the budgets can be tight, the learning opportunities can be great.  It will give you a chance to be part of something from the ground up.

The growing demand for Fintech

Fintech was almost non-existent two decades ago. Now, a wave of change has blended two of the most growing fields – Technology and Finance. The world is expanding at a rampant pace, and the economies are trading at a soaring scale, through it all convenience and efficiency form the backbone.

The future could go in a few different ways. On the one hand, the tech giants are likely to encroach the traditional operations of the banks. On the other hand, banks might seize back control and collaborate with the right parties to develop better solutions. Moreover, the FinTech companies are also on their way to carving out their own niche.

Either way, fintech ensures a bright career, and students with the right acumen will find themselves in demand. No matter which course the future takes, Fintech experts will win. So, if you have the inclination, this is a field you should definitely explore.

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