There’s no doubt about it—the fintech industry is booming. Fintech is one of the hottest trends in the tech world right now. And as more businesses move towards digital transformation, the demand for qualified fintech professionals will only grow.
Every day, new and innovative technologies are changing how we bank, invest, and manage our money. According to a 2022 report, the global fintech industry is expected to reach a market value of $326 billion by 2026, growing at a compound rate of 25.18 percent between 2022 and 2027.
As the industry evolves, there will be an increasing need for qualified fintech professionals who can help businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape. With a fintech associate degree, you can position yourself to take advantage of the growing demand for fintech expertise.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about a fintech associate degree, including what you can expect to learn, the career options available to you, and how to choose the right program for you.
What Is a Fintech Associate Degree?
A fintech associate degree is an academic credential that indicates you have completed a two-year study in financial technology.
Fintech is a rapidly growing industry that uses technology to improve financial services and products.
In recent years, fintech has transformed how we interact with our finances, making it easier and more convenient to manage our money.
Imagine being able to do your banking from your smartphone, transfer money to friends and family with the push of a button, or invest in stocks and cryptocurrency without going through a broker. That’s the power of fintech.
Fintech associate degree programs prepare students for a career in the financial technology industry. Through computer science, mathematics, and finance coursework, students develop the skills and knowledge to succeed in this rapidly growing field.
While it may be tempting to think of a fintech associate degree as simply a “tech-focused” version of a traditional finance degree, that’s inaccurate. Fintech degrees go beyond financial theory and practice basics to provide students with a deep understanding of how technology changes the financial sector.
And although you can indeed learn a lot about fintech without pursuing a formal education, there are several benefits to getting a fintech associate degree. Some of which include:
- The opportunity to develop a strong foundation in essential fintech concepts.
- A well-rounded education includes computer science, mathematics, and finance coursework.
- The ability to network with other fintech professionals and build valuable industry connections.
- Job security and the ability to earn a competitive salary.
- The opportunity to advance your career and take on leadership roles within the fintech industry.
Online Associates in Fintech
Whether you’re just getting started in your fintech career or looking to take your skills to the next level, an online associate degree in fintech can give you the edge to succeed.
Online programs offer a flexible and convenient way to earn your degree, allowing you to study on your schedule and from the comfort of your own home.
Not sure if an online program is right for you? Here are a few benefits to consider:
#1. Flexibility and Convenience:
One of the most significant benefits of an online program is the ability to study on your schedule. If you’re working full-time or have other commitments, you can independently take classes and complete the coursework.
In addition, online programs are often more affordable than traditional on-campus programs because you won’t have to pay for things like room and board, transportation, or other campus materials.
#2. Self-Paced Learning:
With online fintech associate programs, you can learn at your own pace. That means you can take as long as you need to complete your degree without the pressure of meeting deadlines or keeping up with a set class schedule. Do you want to take a semester off? No problem. Need to speed up your studies? Most online programs offer the flexibility to do that as well.
#3. Career-Focused Education:
Since online programs are designed for working students, the coursework is often more focused on practical applications than theoretical concepts. So, you can rest assured knowing that the skills and knowledge you’ll gain from your online associate degree program will be immediately applicable to your career.
And, if you’re looking to advance your career, many Fintech online associate programs offer the opportunity to continue your education and earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
#4. Reputable Programs:
There’s no shortage of “diploma mills” or low-quality programs for online education. However, many reputable and accredited online schools offer high-quality fintech associate degree programs. So, how can you tell the difference?
Here are a few things to look for:
- An accredited program from a well-respected institution.
- A curriculum that industry experts design.
- Flexible course options allow you to tailor your degree to your career goals.
- Supportive student services, like career counseling and academic advising.
While there are many benefits to getting your fintech associate degree online, there are also some potential disadvantages.
- You won’t have the opportunity to build face-to-face relationships with your professors and classmates.
- You’ll need to be highly self-motivated and disciplined to succeed in an online program.
- Some employers may prefer candidates with on-campus degrees.
So, weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding if an online fintech associate degree is right for you.
It’s hard to say how common online associates in fintech programs are because there’s no centralized data on the subject. However, online education is becoming increasingly popular in various disciplines, including fintech.
According to the Online Learning Consortium report, over 6 million American students are enrolled in an online program. Another data from Inside Higher Ed revealed that undergraduate students are more likely to complete part of their education online.
Fintech Associate Degree Programs vs. Bachelor Degree Programs: Which Is Right for You?
So, what’s the difference between a fintech associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in fintech?
The main difference is that an associate degree program gives you the basic skills and knowledge to enter the workforce. In contrast, a bachelor’s degree program is designed to provide you with a more in-depth education to help you qualify for higher-level positions.
Here’s a more detailed look at the differences between fintech associate and bachelor’s degree programs:
Fintech Associate Degree Programs:
- Typically take two years to complete
- Require 60-70 credit hours
- Focus on providing students with the basic skills and knowledge they need to enter the workforce
- Can be completed entirely online
Fintech Bachelor’s Degree Programs:
- Typically take four years to complete
- Require 120-130 credit hours
- Focus on providing students with a more in-depth education that can help them qualify for higher-level positions
- May require some on-campus coursework.
Although these differences exist, there are also some fundamental similarities between both degree programs.
For instance, both associate and bachelor’s degree programs in fintech will typically include financial accounting, economics, and business law coursework. You’ll also gain critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication skills.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when deciding which program is right for you. Ultimately, it will depend on your unique career goals, needs, and circumstances.
For example, if you’re looking to make a quick career change, an online fintech associate degree could be good. With this program, you can complete your studies and start working in as little as two years.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to advance your career or move into a management role, a bachelor’s degree may be better. You’ll have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of fintech and gain the advanced skills and knowledge that employers are looking for.
We recommend speaking with a career counselor or an admission advisor at the school you’re interested in to get more specific advice on which type of program is right for you.
Fintech Associate Degree Programs: Sample Coursework and Specific Degree Requirements
The coursework for an online fintech associate degree will vary depending on the program and school you choose. But in general, you can expect to complete coursework in financial accounting, economics, business law, and computer science.
A typical fintech associate degree program will require 60-70 credit hours of coursework, which can be completed in two years. And although each school has different admissions requirements, most will require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Not all fintech associate degree programs include internships or practicums. But if your program does, it’s a great way to gain hands-on experience in the field and make industry connections that can benefit you after graduation.
Some specific courses you can expect to take in a fintech associate degree program include:
- Computer Programming and Application Development
- Essentials of Financial Technology
- Database Management Systems
- Financial Technology Project
- Business law
- Financial Planning
- Blockchain Technology and Applications
- Principles of Financial Management
- Mobile Computing
- Creative and Social Media
- Essentials of Sociology
- Introduction to Media and Communication
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Marketing Principles
- Principles of Microeconomics
- Professional English for the Media
- Text and Image: A Critical Analysis
- English for Professional Communication
- The Art of Persuasion
These courses offer a well-rounded education that will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to enter the workforce.
Degree Cost: How Much Would Tuition Cost?
Depending on the school you choose, an online fintech associate degree can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000.
In addition to tuition, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of textbooks, course materials, and technology fees. And if your program requires you to complete an internship or practicum, you may need to cover the cost of transportation and housing.
Rather than paying for your degree all at once, most schools offer tuition payment plans that allow you to spread the cost of your education over several months or years.
Financial Aid: What Are My Options?
If you’re struggling to cover the cost of your degree, there are several financial aid options available to you.
Scholarships: Many private organizations, schools, and foundations offer scholarships specifically for students enrolled in fintech programs. You’ll usually need to meet specific criteria to qualify, such as having a minimum GPA or being from an underrepresented group.
Grants: Unlike loans, grants don’t need to be repaid. Federal, state, and local governments offer grants to students who demonstrate financial need. Some private organizations and foundations offer grants, typically awarded based on merit.
Loans: If you don’t qualify for grants or scholarships, you may need to take out a loan to cover the cost of your degree. Federal loans usually offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than private loans.
Employer reimbursement: Already working in the financial technology field? Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs that can help offset the cost of your degree. Check with your HR department to see if your company offers this benefit.
What Can I Do With A Fintech Associate Degree?
So, what can you do with a fintech associate degree? The answer—a lot!
With your degree in hand, you’ll be qualified for entry-level positions in several different industries, including:
- Financial planning
- Information technology
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Several other industries, including insurance, real estate, and accounting, are also starting to use fintech in their day-to-day operations.
The skills you’ll gain in a fintech associate degree program will prepare you to pursue a variety of roles within these industries, including:
- Financial Analyst
- App Developer
- Innovation Analyst
- Quantitative Analyst
- Product Manager
- Tech Sales
- Data Specialist
- Blockchain Developer
In addition to traditional full-time positions, several contract-based and freelancing opportunities are available in the fintech field. And with the global fintech industry expected to reach $326 billion by 2026, the job market will only get bigger and better.
In a case where you’re not quite ready to enter the workforce, you can also use your fintech associate degree as a stepping stone to earning a bachelor’s degree.
Many schools offer articulation agreements that allow you to seamlessly transfer your credits so you can continue your education without missing a beat.
Salary Outlook: How Much Can I Expect to Earn?
According to Talent.com, the average salary for an entry-level Fintech position is $85,000 per year. But, your salary will vary depending on factors like your experience, location, and education level.
For example, entry-level positions in Nevada pay an average of $110,625 annually, while those in Wisconsin earn only $80,625 per year.
Similarly, positions at small organizations pay less than positions in large companies.
The bottom line is that your earning potential is dependent mainly on your circumstances. However, with the fintech industry growing rapidly, there’s no doubt that pursuing a career in fintech is a smart move—both for your wallet and your future.
Fintech Associate Degree FAQs
Fintech Associate Degree Programs are becoming increasingly popular, which means they’re also becoming more competitive. Admissions requirements vary from school to school, but most programs require a high school diploma or equivalent.
Your salary will vary depending on your experience, location, and education level. However, the average salary for an entry-level fintech position is $85,000 per year.
Yes, there are several online Fintech Associate Degree Programs available. These programs offer the same quality education as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. But they’re also more flexible. That means you can complete your coursework online.