Technology is changing processes and workflow in the financial services field. Transactions that once were handled with paper money, human interaction and computers are now being done entirely with digital interfaces. Almost every kind of financial activity from payments to banking to wealth management will be affected by financial technology (FINTECH).
With a financial technology degree, you will have the skills and knowledge to work in a variety of financial positions that deal with all types of new financial technology.
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What Is Financial Technology?
FINTECH refers to technologies that are used and applied to the financial services sector. For the most part, financial technology is used by financial companies on the back end of the business. But these days, FINTECH is starting to represent new technologies that are disrupting regular financial services, such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, mobile payment systems, asset management and fundraising.
Fintech deals with not just the financial services industry but every business that financial services deal with, which is really all of them. Many financial technology startups are very small and agile and they are able to able to disrupt the large financial service companies and banks, and many businesses can use this to their advantage – if managers in the organization have Fintech skills.
Fintech will have positive effects for consumers, including more competition, faster service, more privacy, lower prices and generally wider access to financial services for people often underserved.
The growth of Fintech in recent years has been dramatic, and professionals with this type of degree will be very well served and enjoy a great career. Fintech companies have dramatically increased in number from 1,000 in 2005 to more than 8,000 in 2016. These companies have been harnessing new, bleeding edge technologies to offer extensive financial services to millions of people while getting around the regulatory hurdles and costs structures of the big banks.
As a whole, Fintech companies are offering services now that cover many of the regular business lines of banks and retail, from credit cards to payments to loans. Cross border, instantaneous money transfers and digital currency payment.
Fintech funding is also increasing at a rapid rate. The total funding of 2005 was only $5.5 billion and it has now risen to $78.6 billion. Since 2011, six non-public companies, including SoFi, Avant and Square, have invested more than $500 million in Fintech. There is no doubt that Fintech is here to stay and is being driven by three major investment categories: financial transactions and payments, lending and crowdfunding and data and analytics.
The rapid growth of Fintech means that most financial related occupations will see strong growth in coming years. Financial managers, for example, will see 19% job growth by 2026. Professionals with a Fintech degree will be sure to have their pick of some highly lucrative positions.
As of 2017, financial managers held 580,400 jobs, and Fintech will likely cause those numbers to rise quickly. Financial managers work in the following areas:
- Finance and insurance: 29%
- Professional, scientific and technical services: 12%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 11%
- Government: 7%
- Manufacturing: 7%
Financial professionals with Fintech skills may also find work with these job titles:
- Budget analyst
- Financial analyst
- Insurance underwriter
- Loan officer
- Personal financial advisor
According to BLS, the median salary for financial managers with Fintech skills and training have a median salary of $125,000, and the top 10% with the best training and experience earn more than $200,000 per year. Salaries for financial managers break down according to these industries:
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $147,000
- Management of companies and enterprises: $141,800
- Manufacturing: $124,000
- Government: $110,000
Professionals in Fintech who want to enjoy the highest salaries may want to check out these cities:
- Atlanta: This has been a major financial hub for years. It now is the host of many Fintech startups and technology accelerators. Firms such as BitPay and Ingo Money are located here – big startup players in Fintech.
- Austin: This central Texas city is home to many older Fintech companies, such as Kasasa, Malauzai and Q2 Holdings.
- Miami: This is another hot Fintech market that has startups such as Waleteros, a banking app, and ClassWallet that is geared to assist schools with financial transactions.
- Omaha Lincoln: Omaha has a booming banking sector that is anchored by First National Bank of Omaha, which is the largest privately held bank.
With your financial technology degree, you may be able to find lucrative work for many large and small financial companies. Some of them are small startups called ‘unicorns’ that have a value of at least $1 billion:
- Credit Karma
A bachelor’s degree in financial technology provides students the opportunity to apply statistical, mathematical and programming tools to the risk management, financial and actuarial disciplines. These undergraduate degrees have been mostly designed to meet the booming need for quantitative modeling and analysis, risk management and actuarial science. This bachelor’s degree is appropriate for a financial professional or student who wants to attain an entry level or midlevel position in Fintech.
Master’s or MBA Degree
There also are master’s degrees in Fintech, such as the Master of Science in Digital Innovation for Fintech at Brandeis University. This advanced degree in Fintech will teach you how to design cutting edge financial solutions with emerging technologies; measure and communicate the value of Fintech solutions to major stakeholders, and apply new financial theories to solve complex investor problems.
Fintech degree programs will have all types of requirements. However, you may expect these kinds of standards when applying for master’s degree in financial technology:
- Bachelor of science in finance or business
- Updated transcripts
- Prerequisite courses in mathematics, calculus and accounting
- GMAT or GRE scores may be required
- Two or three letters of recommendation
- GPA of at least 3.0
Required courses in the above Brandeis University master’s program are:
- The New Economy: Global Disruption and the Emergence of FinTech
- FinTech: The Evolution of Technology for Financial Services
- Analysis for Professionals: Financial Reporting in the Digital Age
- Launching FinTech Ventures
- Python Programming
- Innovation and User-Centered Design
- Digital Innovation for FinTech Capstone Project
Professionals and students who want to study Fintech can often find grants and scholarships that can help to fund their educational journey:
- MoneyStrands FinTech Scholarship – $1250
- AXA Achievement Scholarship – $10,000
- Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship – $12,000
- Financial Women’s Association Graduate Scholarships – $10,000
- FWSF Scholarship Fund – $10,000
- George Harding Scholarship Program – $1000
- J.P. Morgan Launching Leaders Scholarship – $15,000
You can enhance your career prospects in Fintech if you earn these popular financial certifications:
- Chartered Financial Consultant
- Certified Investment Management Analyst
- Certified Fund Specialist
- Chartered Investment Counselor
- Chartered Market Technician
- Certified Public Accountant
Interested in a financial technology career? Be sure to check out these popular associations and organizations in the financial industry.
- Global FinTech Association
- FinTech Professionals Association
- FinTech – American Bankers Association
- Association for Financial Technology
- FinTech Association – Digital Finance Institute
Fintech is a red hot field, and professionals with a degree in Fintech will have ample job opportunities for many years to come in various financial professions in both small and large employers.
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to FinTech in 2017. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/02/10/a-complete-beginners-guide-to-fintech-in-2017/2/#616d3fb55b25
- The Rapid Growth of Fintech: A Revolution in the Payments Industry. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/280402
- 5 Things You Need to Know About FinTech. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-fintech/
- Financial Managers. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm#tab-6
- Top 5 Fintech Hubs in the US. (2017). Retrieved from https://bankinnovation.net/2017/08/top-5-emerging-fintech-hubs-in-the-u-s-page-4/