The emergence of fintech bootcamps fills a big void in the fintech space. The field is growing so rapidly that there is a shortage of well-qualified and experienced fintech practitioners. And bootcamps are a great way to get people trained with relevant experience quickly.
Currently, there are three popular ways to gain a fintech education. The first is a college education, either a four-year undergraduate degree or a master’s degree in financial services. While a university degree qualifies a graduate to work in the fintech industry, the downside is the expense and the number of years it takes to complete.
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Taking a fintech course is another way to learn the skills necessary to work in the industry. There are numerous fintech courses available online, and most are reasonably priced. However, these courses tend only to teach a specific skill or a small set of skills. Courses are more suited for a person already working in the industry who wants to improve their skillset.
A fintech bootcamp is the third and possibly the best choice for anyone who wants to start a new career in fintech. The reason is simple. Fintech bootcamps are intensive programs designed to teach a wide variety of skills in a short amount of time. Crucially, fintech bootcamps teach practical skills that graduates will need once they find work in the industry.
For example, some graduates have compared a fintech bootcamp to an internship. Both experiences allow a person to learn real-world skills that make them a more attractive job applicant.
Fintech Bootcamp Class Format
Fintech bootcamps are designed to meet the needs of students and can be taken full or part-time. Whichever format a student chooses, it’s important to point out that a bootcamp is an enormous responsibility and requires total commitment. Unlike Psych 101, students can’t skip classes and still do well.
Some students find that accountability is one of the better features of a bootcamp. Fintech bootcamps have a fast-paced schedule, so slacking off and not doing the work is not an option. Students who fall behind often find it difficult, if not impossible, to catch up again.
In addition to accountability, another great feature of a fintech coding bootcamp is that students learn by doing. Rather than just lessons and notes, many fintech bootcamps incorporate hands-on exercises where students solve real-world problems from the fintech industry. Some problems are solved individually, while others require group work.
Fintech bootcamps can be taken in-person or online. Some bootcamps also have a hybrid model, which combines in-person lessons with online learning.
Fintech Boot Camp Curriculum
A later section of this guide analyzes what students typically study in a fintech coding bootcamp. Presented here is only an overview of some of the topics typically included in a bootcamp’s curriculum.
Common topics in a bootcamp include,
- Blockchain and distributed ledger technology as it relates to finance
- Practical applications for machine learning
- Analyzing big data
- The implementation of financial algorithms
- Coding and computer science
What are the Requirements to Attend a Fintech Bootcamp?
Since dozens of fintech bootcamps are widely available, it’s impossible to state one definitive set of requirements. However, many bootcamps do recommend one of these two prerequisites.
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, business administration, or computer science
- Two years or more experience working in the financial services industry
Even though programming can be an important skill for someone working in the fintech industry, programming experience is not typically required for a fintech bootcamp.
What Skills do Students Learn?
Fintech is a big industry, and nobody can be a master in all areas. Fintech professionals specialize within the industry, and fintech bootcamps teach various skills. The following are five key skills that students may learn at a fintech coding bootcamp.
Basic programming is one of the most common skills taught during a fintech bootcamp. Students may learn Python, Structured Query Language (SQL), smart contract coding, and integrating computer networks with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
2. Machine learning
Machine learning is important since it can identify trends and make connections in big data that no human could notice. Some bootcamps teach the basics of implementing machine learning in finance.
3. Blockchain / distributed ledger technology
Blockchain is the future of finance. It’s unclear how public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum will be integrated into the financial system. However, blockchain technology itself will be widely used, and boot camps may teach blockchain topics such as:
- How to code smart contracts
- Proof of work vs. proof of stake
- How to integrate blockchains within a bank
- Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)
- Public vs. private blockchains
Trading algorithms and advanced modeling strategies are a key part of the fintech industry that students may learn about on a fintech coding bootcamp.
5. Job acquisition skills
Some bootcamps also teach soft skills like resume construction, how to succeed in an interview, and the best way to build a portfolio to showcase previous work.
Jobs and Careers for Fintech Bootcamp Graduates
According to Columbia University, fintech bootcamp graduates have skills that will enable them to fill multiple roles in the financial services industry. Some of those jobs include,
- Financial analyst
- Cryptocurrency expert
- Financial applications developer
- Blockchain developer
- Quantitative trader
- Data analyst
- Data scientist
- Business risk analyst
- Business intelligence analyst
- Research analyst
- Software engineer
- fintech regulatory
- Associate financial manager
- Business intelligence analyst
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of financial analysts is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. A growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regions are expected to lead to strong employment growth.”
The employment prospects are even better for fintech professionals. According to FintechFutures.com, “The global fintech market is predicted to grow at almost 25 percent annually over the next couple of years.”
Boot camps are a fast way for students to gain a meaningful amount of experience in the fintech industry. Fintech bootcamps offer several advantages.
- A bootcamp is cheaper than a college degree, especially since students are only paying for instruction in topics that apply to the industry
- Since bootcamps compete with one another, they tend to offer an excellent education that covers the latest fintech trends
- Bootcamps, especially the best online fintech courses, are often taught by excellent instructors
- Bootcamps are faster than taking a four-year undergraduate degree
All types of students attend fintech bootcamps. While some boot camps require industry experience or a degree in a related field, others have no such requirement. These fintech bootcamps are open to anyone who wants to join, even those with no fintech experience.
Typically students with no experience in the industry attend the more extended, introductory bootcamps. Professionals already working in the fintech industry may attend shorter bootcamps dedicated to teaching a specific skill.
Fintech bootcamps tend to have a wide array of favorable outcomes. Since fintech bootcamps teach practical skills, graduates are immediately qualified to work in the industry. The fintech learning curve is much shorter for a boot camp graduate than for someone with no experience.
Given their experience, boot camp graduates may find employment easier. In some cases, bootcamp graduates may also qualify for a higher starting salary.
Finally, bootcamps are also an excellent opportunity to meet people interested in fintech. Bootcamp graduates tend to find work in the industry, and these contacts may prove invaluable later on.
Fintech Bootcamp Cost
The following are the tuition costs for five different fintech bootcamps. All of the bootcamps are priced similarly.
- The University of Toronto part-time bootcamp costs $10,995*, and the full-time program costs $11,500. *Prices are in Canadian dollars and non-inclusive of a 13% HST tax
- Northwestern’s fintech bootcamp costs $11,995, and the price is the same for the full-time and part-time programs. Student loans may be available to cover the cost of the program.
- The University of Washington offers a 9 months bootcamp for $13,020.
- Arizona State University’s 24-week fintech bootcamp costs $11,995.
- Berkeley has one of the best online fintech bootcamps. The bootcamp takes 24 weeks to complete and costs $12,495.
While there are variations in program length, many part-time fintech boot camps last 24 weeks, and full-time boot camps last 12 weeks.