Anyone who is familiar with fintech would likely agree that the industry has grown at a fairly rapid pace. That said, there are some factors that can limit the progress of any technological revolution. As this blog has pointed out before, one of those key factors is regulations. Because governmental regulations naturally apply to fintech products, it can take a relatively long time to bring them to customers. This is a major reason why traditional financial institutions should partner with fintech startups. The banks can use the new technology to improve their services, while the startups can benefit from the banks’ familiarity with the applicable regulatory factors.
That said, regulations represent just one reason why the fintech revolution hasn’t even fully begun yet. A lack of talent is another major element in the equation. The simple fact is that these technologies are still relatively new. Finding people who understand both the relevant technology and financial issues isn’t easy.
That’s why it’s encouraging to learn that educational institutions throughout the United States are recognizing the opportunities that this sector can offer students who may soon be entering the job market. As fintech continues to grow in popularity, there will be many roles to fill in the industry.
Preparing Students for Fintech-Based Jobs
Thus, institutions like the University of South Florida (USF) are giving students the opportunity to develop the skills they’ll need to work in fintech. USF recently partnered with Citigroup to design and implement a specialized curriculum that would prepare students for fintech-based jobs with the bank. Coordinating with a major financial institution may also help the university to place students in jobs after they graduate.
This is not the only example of a major university expanding its fintech curriculum. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia recently announced its Georgia FinTech Academy initiative, as well. The academy will have two locations on the campus of Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, as well as executive offices and a nearby center for professional education. Students will benefit not only from the education they receive, but also from their proximity to nearby fintech companies and incubators. The team behind this project recognizes the potential for Atlanta to become a major fintech hub in the United States. They’re taking action now to give students the opportunity to join the industry at a fairly early stage.
It is worth noting that many of the universities creating these types of academic programs are doing so in direct response to student demand. True, the educators involved in designing these programs most likely already appreciate the opportunities that the fintech sector can offer students. That said, officials from several major universities have also reported that their decision to embrace fintech and to offer courses on the subject is partially the result of listening to what students want. Speaking with Reuters, Reena Aggarwal, director of the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy, said, “Ten years ago everyone wanted to go into investment banking or in the trading side. Now the students are much more interested in innovation.”
Demand for a Fintech Curriculum
The increased demand for a fintech curriculum reflects the industry’s overall growth in recent years. Young people who are preparing to join the workforce are actively looking for sectors where they can potentially land lucrative jobs after graduating. Thus, it should come as no surprise that after New York University began offering an undergraduate fintech course, the actual enrollment was double what was expected.
Of course, schools and educators have faced challenges in designing fintech programs. That’s mainly due to the newness of these innovations. Additionally, new fintech innovations continue to emerge at a very rapid pace. Another challenge is that the term “fintech” applies to a wide range of technologies, from cryptocurrencies to emerging investment and trading technologies. Identifying the specific topics that a fintech curriculum should cover has been somewhat difficult.
Opportunities for Growth and Advancement
This doesn’t mean that universities should be reluctant to develop these types of programs. In fact, the opposite is true. When more educational institutions begin offering fintech courses, they can learn from one another by studying what does and does not work. This makes it easier to identify the necessary components of an effective fintech curriculum. Students can also share their own impressions in order to guide universities in the right direction.
Either way, the right direction for many young people today is one that leads to jobs in fintech. All trends indicate that the fintech revolution is not going to slow down any time soon. Those who become involved in the industry at this stage have an opportunity to join a dynamic field that offers tremendous opportunities for growth and advancement. Universities throughout the country are beginning to do their part to ensure that students interested in this sector have the necessary education and training to succeed.