It’s no secret the fintech industry is growing fast. New startups are going to need qualified workers to fill a variety of roles.
There’s good reason to believe such employees won’t be too difficult to find in the near future. In response to the fintech revolution, universities and other organizations have made strides to prepare young people for jobs in the field and to support entrepreneurs in the industry. This serves as yet more evidence that fintech isn’t going anywhere.
The following examples illustrate just a few of the ways schools are making fintech-related courses more available to students. Whether you’re interested in working in fintech, or you’re considering where to look for future employees at your fintech company, they’re worth keeping in mind.
Creighton University Offers a Fintech Degree
Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska, is by no means the first college to offer fintech courses. Several other schools already do, but many of these classes are one-off electives that are part of broader finance or business degree programs.
That’s what makes Creighton University unique. It’s among the first colleges to offer a degree in “Finance and Technology.” This new program indicates that fintech isn’t just a minor niche component of an overall business program. The subject deserves its own focus.
Students enrolled in the program take a variety of courses designed to prepare them for jobs in the fintech industry. These include courses on SQL and Python programming, blockchain, and financial skills.
The decision to offer a fintech degree was simply a natural reaction to recent developments. Lee Dunham, an associate professor of finance who originally conceived of the idea for a fintech program at Creighton, told Forbes, “Compared to five to ten years ago, the finance field has become far more data-driven in all sub-disciplines of finance, including investments, corporate finance, banking, risk, and insurance.”
Some financial services firms have struggled to adapt to these relatively sudden changes. The skills they traditionally sought in potential employees are no longer sufficient. It’s become increasingly important to find employees who understand data analytics and computer programming as much as the principles of accounting, corporate finance, and other traditional subjects. Creighton University’s new program will help supply workers with these qualifications.
The degree will also prepare students who want to work in finance in general. Even traditional financial institutions are embracing technology in order to stay relevant. That means the qualifications necessary to get jobs at those institutions are changing. A fintech degree ensures a young job-seeker understands the current landscape of the finance industry and can confidently navigate the changes.
University of North Georgia Partners with Georgia Fintech Academy
Developing a new degree program at a university can be a time-consuming process. Schools may be slow to offer such programs due to lack of money and resources.
Luckily, there are other solutions when this is the case. The example of the University of North Georgia illustrates one. The school recently announced plans to collaborate with the team at Georgia Fintech Academy, which itself began as a collaboration with the various institutions that comprise the University System of Georgia.
The Georgia Fintech Academy’s purpose is to train students for jobs in fintech. It came about as a result of growing demand for qualified job candidates. With this new partnership, students enrolled at the University of North Georgia will also be able to take fintech courses offered through Georgia Fintech Academy. This represents a scalable and efficient way to begin the process of developing a fintech degree program.
Officials involved in the partnership also pointed out that offering courses via another institution helps the school more effectively measure the degree to which students are interested in them. Rather than devoting time and money to developing its own courses, only to find there’s little demand, the university can essentially run a test. If students respond positively, it’s likely more fintech courses will be offered directly through the university in the future.
A “Fintech Village” in Connecticut
At the University of Connecticut’s former West Hartford campus, plans are underway to transform the property into a “Fintech Village.” Ideanomics, a fintech company, is spearheading the project. The University of Saint Joseph sits adjacent to the site, and the two organizations announced the project at a joint press conference. With the university situated next door, there’s great potential for companies in the village to offer students internships and other practical educational opportunities.
Fintech Village will serve as a regional innovation hub, offering fintech entrepreneurs (and those in other industries) the ideal environment for growing companies, developing new products or services, and collaborating with others. To make Fintech Village even more appealing to area residents, in addition to the facilities designed to support innovation and development, the site will feature such amenities as an art gallery and public walking trails.
The main point to take away from these examples is that institutions of higher education and other organizations are responding to the increased demand for workers with fintech expertise. That means the fintech revolution may be just beginning.