Fintech is a term used to describe the intersection of finance and technology. In recent years, it has become a buzzword in industries such as banking, insurance, and investments. Fintech can include anything from mobile payments to blockchain-based currencies. Fintech is often associated with developing new financial products and services that use technology, such as mobile payments, machine learning, P2P lending, and AI advisors. While some incumbents in the traditional financial sector have been slow to adopt fintech innovation, over the past few years, fintech has exploded in popularity as people search for faster, safer, and more efficient ways to conduct their finances. Fintech can make it easier for people to access financial services and products and help businesses manage their finances more efficiently. If you’re interested in learning more about fintech as a profession, this article is for you!
What Is a Fintech Professional?
Fintech is a rapidly evolving industry, and fintech professionals play a vital role in keeping up with the latest developments. A fintech professional is a specialist in financial technology who uses their knowledge to develop new ways to make financial transactions more efficient and secure. They may work in various settings, including banks, accounting firms, and startups. Fintech professionals use their skills to create products that make it easier for consumers and businesses to manage their finances. They may also work on developing new technologies for the detection and prevention of fraud.
Fintech professionals typically have a background in either finance or technology, and many have experience working in both industries. They are often creative and entrepreneurial and always look for new ways to improve the financial system. As the world of finance becomes increasingly digitized, fintech professionals will continue to be in high demand. If you have the skills and experience necessary to work in this exciting field, then a career in fintech may be right for you.
How to Become a Fintech Professional
As the financial world continues to digitize, a career in fintech has become an increasingly attractive option for many people. But if you’re not already working in the financial sector, you may wonder how to become a fintech professional. We met with Theo Owusu, D.Sc., and Dr. Donald DeSormoux, Dean – Graduate School at Keiser University. We asked them to help us better understand how a person interested in becoming a fintech professional might go about it.
1. Figure Out if It’s the Right Career for You
Deciding whether to enter the world of fintech can be difficult. On the one hand, it offers the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and help shape the future of financial services. On the other hand, it can be a highly competitive and fast-paced industry. So, how can you figure out if a fintech career is right for you?
One way to learn more about fintech is to attend industry events or meetups. These provide an excellent opportunity to network with others in the field and get a feel for the kind of work that goes on in fintech. You can also read up on the latest industry news and trends to help you understand the challenges and opportunities that fintech companies face. And if you’re still unsure, why not reach out to someone who already works in fintech? They’ll be able to give you an insider’s view of what it’s like to work in this exciting industry.
Good Qualities for a Fintech Pro
As the financial sector evolves, so too do the skillsets required of its professionals. With the rise of fintech, those working in finance must be comfortable with new technologies and able to adapt to change. Here are some qualities and soft skills that all fintech professionals should have:
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Strong critical thinking skills are essential for any fintech professional. With the ever-changing landscape of finance, being able to assess a situation quickly and accurately is crucial. Furthermore, with the increasing use of technology in finance, identifying and diagnosing problems is more important than ever. A fintech professional should be able to think both creatively and critically to provide innovative solutions to complex problems.
Any fintech professional worth their salt knows that one of the most essential qualities to have is patience. Getting caught up in the latest trend or shiny new toy can be easy in a constantly changing and evolving industry. However, patient fintech pros know that lasting success comes from taking the time to understand the underlying technologies and trends. Just as importantly, you need to be patient when working with clients and customers. They may not be familiar with the latest technologies and may need some time to adjust. You can help them understand how fintech can benefit them and their business by being patient and taking the time to explain things.
Fintech is all about using technology to solve problems in the financial industry, which means working with large amounts of data. To succeed in fintech, you need to understand and interpret data, identify trends and patterns, and use that information to develop solutions. Strong analytical skills are essential for anyone looking to forge a fintech career path.
Strong Interest in Finance & Technology
While there are many different fintech roles, they all require a strong foundation in both finance and technology. For example, a fintech analyst might use their financial knowledge to develop new trading strategies, while a fintech engineer might build systems that streamline how financial institutions process transactions. A solid understanding of financial principles is essential for developing new products and services. At the same time, fintech professionals must be comfortable working with sophisticated technical tools and systems. An interest in and aptitude for both is, therefore, essential.
To succeed in fintech, you need to adapt to change and embrace new ideas. A curious mind will help you stay ahead of the curve and identify new opportunities. In addition, being curious will help you build a network of contacts and resources. If you’re always asking questions and seeking out new information, you’re more likely to find the people and resources you need to be successful. So if you’re looking to enter the exciting world of fintech, make sure you have a healthy dose of curiosity.
One of the most critical skills for a fintech professional is excellent communication. In a field where technology and finance intersect, it’s essential to explain complex concepts clearly and concisely to people from both backgrounds and to technical and non-technical audiences. Effective communicators in the fintech industry can distill complex topics down to their essence and communicate clearly and concisely, both in writing and in person. They also have strong listening skills and can understand their audience’s needs. Furthermore, they are able to build relationships of trust, which is essential in an industry where data security is of paramount importance.
Finally, a fintech professional should be adaptable. The fintech industry is constantly evolving, and new technologies are continuously being developed. As a result, fintech professionals need to be able to keep up with the latest trends and developments and learn new skills quickly. Successful fintech professionals must be ready to embrace change and adapt to new situations.
2. Earn a Formal Education
If you have the qualities of a successful fintech professional, the next step is to pursue formal education in the field. While there are many ways to learn about financial technology, a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter can be gained through formal study. Fortunately, there are now many options for pursuing such an education. Online courses, evening classes, and flexible programs are increasingly common, making it easier than ever for you to gain the theoretical and practical skills that are essential for success in this rapidly growing industry.
An undergrad degree in information technology, computer science, or engineering will give you the technical skills to start your formal education in the field of fintech. A business, economics, or finance degree will provide you with the financial knowledge you need. Alternatively, some programs now offer a specific focus on financial technology. These programs will provide you with the skills and expertise you need to succeed. No matter what route you choose, make sure you select a program that is accredited by a reputable organization.
Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, you may want to consider pursuing a master’s degree in financial technology. Dr. Owusu stresses that a quality master’s program will emphasize hands-on experiences that will help the development of practical skills, including lab assignments, research, and direct collaboration with experienced faculty members. Graduate-level programs in financial technology, such as the one offered at Keiser University, cover topics vital to professionals in this field, including data analysis, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, financial modeling, and more.
Various fintech certification opportunities exist, but according to Dr. Owusu, certification on its own can quickly become outdated. Certificates tend to only last for up to five years, at which point you would need to reapply for certification. Your degree in financial technology will not only never expire, but it will also teach you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the field. There will be more career opportunities for those with an undergraduate or graduate degree or both, making these educational options much more valuable than certification alone. Once you have earned your degree, seeking additional certification can undoubtedly help you stand out when applying for jobs – it demonstrates you are committed to professional development and going the extra mile. However, it really is best as an addition to a degree rather than in lieu of one.
3. Learn Common Software
When working in the financial technology sector, there are specific software programs that professionals commonly use. These are just a few of the most widely used software programs in the fintech world that you should prepare to familiarize yourself with:
Tableau is a data visualization software program that allows users to create graphs, charts, and maps from data sets. Businesses and organizations of all sizes use it to help them make better decisions by understanding their data more clearly. Fintech professionals can use Tableau to visualize data from various sources, including Excel files, SQL databases, and web data.
Power BI is a software product created by Microsoft that transforms data from various sources into interactive insights. With Power BI, you can input data directly from databases, webpages, and structured files such as spreadsheets and JSON files.
Excel is a program where you can type in data and make graphs and charts from it. It is one of the most commonly used software programs in the business world and is an essential tool for any fintech professional.
R is a programming language and environment for statistical computing. R has many statistical and graphical methods that are highly extensible. The ability to generate well-designed publication-quality plots, including mathematical symbols and formulae where needed, is one of R’s strengths.
Python is a language fintech professionals use for multiple purposes. Its design focuses on code readability through significant indentation use. Python also does not require the user to define variables and collects data automatically after execution. It supports different paradigms, such as object-oriented programming, functional programming, and structured programming.
Splunk software is a machine data analytics platform that enables users to search, monitor, and analyze data from any source. The platform can be used to investigate a wide variety of data, including system logs, application logs, network traffic, and more. Splunk software is designed to be easy to use and can be deployed in a matter of minutes.
4. Join the Community
The competition in the financial technology industry is fierce. It’s vital to join the fintech community to succeed as a professional in this field. Many of the leading figures in fintech are active community members, so you’ll have a chance to learn from the best and brightest minds in the field. By connecting with other fintech professionals, you can stay up to date on the latest industry trends, find new business opportunities, and build valuable relationships.
There are many ways to get involved in the fintech community. One of the best ways is to attend fintech events. These events bring together professionals from all over the world to discuss the latest industry trends and innovations. Some of these events are free to attend, so there’s no excuse not to get involved.
Another great way to get involved in the fintech community is to join an online forum or discussion group. These groups provide a great way to connect with other professionals, share ideas, and stay up to date on the latest industry news.
Several professional organizations cater to fintech professionals, such as the Financial Technology Association (FTA) and the Fintech Innovation Lab. These organizations offer many benefits, including networking opportunities, educational resources, and access to industry news and research.
There are many influential fintech leaders you can follow on social media. This is a great way to stay up to date on industry news and insights. Twitter is a particularly useful platform for following fintech leaders, as many of them are active users of the site.
Finally, you can also get involved by contributing to fintech publications. There are a number of online publications that accept submissions from industry experts. By writing for these publications, you can share your insights with the fintech community and build your reputation as a thought leader.
5. Find a Job & Continue Growing
Now that you have the skills and experience necessary to enter the fintech field, it’s time to start searching for a job. The first step is to identify the type of position you’re interested in. Do you want to work in a bank, an insurance company, or a fintech startup? Once you’ve decided on the type of employer you’re looking for, you can begin searching for specific job openings. You can search for fintech positions on online job boards, but another option is to reach out to your professional network. If you know someone who works in fintech, they may be able to put you in touch with a hiring manager or help you land an interview.
If you land a job in the burgeoning financial technology field, congratulations! You’re currently riding the wave of one of the hottest industries around. But don’t get too comfortable – as with any rapidly evolving field, the landscape of fintech can change quickly, and it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve if you want to keep your job.
That means continuously learning and growing your skillset. Whether taking an online course or attending industry events, it’s crucial to ensure you’re always up-to-date on the latest developments. By committing to lifelong learning, you’ll ensure that you always have a place in the ever-changing world of financial technology.
Start or Advance Your Career with Keiser
Whether you’re just starting out in your fintech career or looking to take it to the next level, Keiser University can help you reach your goals. Our Master of Science in Financial Technology can give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this rapidly growing field. Our experienced faculty members have industry experience and can provide you with practical, real-world insights and a hands-on learning environment that will allow you to put your skills to the test. Keiser University is the perfect place to start if you’re ready to take your fintech career to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our fintech program and how we can help you reach your full potential.