The fintech industry is booming. No one who has studied the trends can deny that fintech products are overtaking those offered by traditional financial institutions, thanks to the degree of convenience they offer customers. The industry also offers the possibility of good jobs in an exciting, growing field. Thus, it’s a great idea for young people and career-changers to consider structuring their education to make them more attractive to potential employers in the field.
This is particularly worth noting when one takes into account a recent survey of fintech businesses in China. Nearly 92% of companies participating in the survey reported that finding talent to fill key positions has been difficult. Many fintech companies need talented employees who are familiar with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other cutting-edge technologies. Also needed are people who, though they may not be engineers or developers, still understand how fintech products work and can communicate their particular benefits to customers.
The survey results above aren’t necessarily shocking. The fintech revolution has transformed the financial services industry relatively quickly, so it’s not surprising that there is currently a lag between the demand for talent and the supply of qualified job candidates.
That said, this report can also give young people a better sense of what subjects they can focus on in their studies if they want to start a career in fintech. Yes, there will almost always be a need for financial planners, advisors, and analysts at fintech companies, but these are not the only areas of expertise where startups are seeking talent. If you want to participate in this dynamic field, consider focusing on one of these key subjects:
Fintech products are successful for many reasons. However, as mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons they appeal to customers is because they offer convenient alternatives to traditional financial services from banks.
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology helps them do so even more effectively. Powered by AI, a fintech app can learn about a particular user by analyzing their past behavior. This will allow the app to customize its features for that specific user’s needs.
AI is also allowing fintech startups to offer non-human financial advising services. While this development is still in its infancy, there are firms that already use AI algorithms to identify smart investments in the stock market. Young engineers who have studied AI could therefore be valuable assets to many fintech startups. Few U.S. universities offer a major in AI per se, but some offer classes in the subject as part of a major in computer science or other related disciplines. More opportunities for learning and specialization are available at the graduate degree level as well.
Although fintech products have risen in popularity quickly, certain factors have limited their potential for rapid growth. When a company offers a financial service, it must comply with regulations. Navigating the regulatory landscape of the financial services industry can be complex. While some companies can work around this obstacle by partnering with existing financial institutions, not all startups will have this opportunity.
That’s why there will likely be significant demand for professionals who are familiar with the various finance industry regulations (and other legal frameworks) that may apply to a given startup’s needs. A student or young professional with an interest or background in both law and finance could make themselves extremely attractive to fintech companies by studying these regulations. Quite simply, all fintech companies will need to address compliance issues at some point. That means they’ll need people who can help them do so reliably.
This skill is one people often overlook when considering what they should study to get a job in fintech, but it shouldn’t be. The fact is, there’s a lot of competition in the fintech industry. New startups, products, and services are launched regularly, but this doesn’t mean that all will succeed. Creating a strong product is one thing. Making sure people know about it is something else entirely.
Fintech companies can’t only rely on the strengths of their products to attract customers. They also need marketing professionals who understand how to connect with people in today’s digital landscape. Traditional advertising methods may not be as effective as newer approaches, and studies show that younger customers have higher standards for the brands they support. In addition, trust and security are important values in an industry where customers are entrusting new technologies—and new companies—with their hard-earned money and personal information. It’s therefore incredibly important for fintech companies to establish a brand that conveys trustworthiness as well as convenience. Skilled marketing professionals are needed to help build companies’ reputations.
Marketing, law, and AI are three fields that can provide entryways into the growing fintech industry, but these aren’t the only ways to break into the field. Companies also need engineers, software developers, sales representatives, business analysts, project managers, and HR personnel, as well as financial professionals. There’s something for everyone in fintech.