So, you’re interested in a career in finance. But at the same time, you want to avoid the tedium of working with numbers all day—every day. You want to work in an industry that’s cutting-edge, innovative, and constantly evolving. And you want to be surrounded by people who are as passionate about their work as you are.
Fintech might be the perfect industry for you.
The tech industry is booming, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the financial technology (or “fintech”) sector. Fintech encompasses everything from mobile payments to cryptocurrency. And with the rise of new technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain, the opportunities in fintech are endless.
Every day, it seems like there’s a new startup or app that’s shaking up the financial world. And as more and more people turn to fintech solutions for their everyday financial needs, the industry will only continue to grow.
Most people transition into fintech from related fields such as business, finance, or tech. But whether you have a background in finance or not, there are several pathways you can take.
This guide will outline some of the most common pathways into fintech. We’ll also provide resources to help you along the way.
So, whether you’re just starting out or already knee-deep in the world of finance, read on for tips and advice that will help you make your mark in the fintech space.
Fintech Pathways—What’s the Best Fit for You?
As we mentioned, there are several pathways you can take to get into fintech. The path you choose will depend on your skills, interests, and experience.
Here are a few of the most common pathways into fintech:
If you’re looking for a crash course in all things fintech, bootcamps might be the right fit for you. Bootcamps are short, intensive programs that teach you the basics of coding, data analytics, and more.
Bootcamps are an excellent option for people who are already working in the tech industry and want to transition into fintech. They’re also a good choice for those with some coding or programming experience.
Most bootcamps are either full-time or part-time. Part-time programs generally take longer to complete than full-time programs. Still, they offer more flexibility for people who are already working or have other commitments.
Between the two, full-time programs will give you a more immersive experience. But if you can’t commit to a full-time program, a part-time bootcamp might be a better fit. Classes are held either in-person or online, or a combination of both.
With an online program, you’ll have the flexibility to complete coursework on your own time. But chances are that you’ll miss out on the opportunity to network and interact with your instructors and classmates face-to-face.
In-person programs, on the other hand, will give you the opportunity to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. But they’re not as flexible as online programs, and you’ll likely have to take time off work or other commitments to attend classes.
Bootcamps also include hands-on learning opportunities, which could be in the form of projects, internships, or guest lectures. Using these real-world experiences, you’ll be able to apply the concepts you’ve learned in class to real-world scenarios.
The curriculum for fintech bootcamps can vary, but most programs will cover topics like coding, data analytics, and financial modeling. Some bootcamps might also offer specialized tracks in areas like blockchain, cryptocurrency, or artificial intelligence.
Here are a few examples of courses you might take in a fintech BootCamp:
- Introduction to Fintech
- Coding for Financial Applications
- Data Analytics for Finance
- Financial Modeling
- Blockchain for Business
- Artificial Intelligence in Finance
- Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets
For those who want to build up their knowledge in a specific area, certifications might be the way to go. There are several fintech certifications available that will allow you to develop expertise in specific areas like blockchain, cryptocurrency, or artificial intelligence.
While they may not be expressly required, certifications can give you an edge when applying for jobs or internships. They also show that you’re serious about pursuing a career in fintech and are willing to invest in your own development.
Most fintech certifications are offered by online learning platforms, universities, or professional organizations. And many of them can be completed online, although some may require in-person components.
Fintech certifications generally range in length from a few weeks to several months. Some certifications can be completed in as little as 10 weeks, while others might take up to 6 months. You’ll also find programs that can be completed in a self-paced format, allowing you to complete the coursework at your own pace.
When considering a fintech certification, it’s essential to consider the time commitment and cost. It’s also important to ensure that the program is accredited and offered by a reputable organization.
Here are a few examples of fintech certifications that are available:
- Fintech Law and Policy—Duke University
- Introduction to Fintech—University of Hong Kong
- Advanced postgraduate certificate in fintech—The London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF)
- Fintech Certificate—New York University (NYU)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Fintech—National College of Ireland (NCI)
- Foundations and Applications Of Financial Technologies Specialization—The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
There are several other certifications available from professional organizations like the Blockchain Council, the Certified Financial Technician (CFTE), and the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when pursuing a fintech career, having a degree can give you a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. With a degree, you can secure various fintech roles, from entry-level positions to more senior ones.
There are several fintech degrees available—undergraduate and graduate programs. And while some programs might be better suited for those who are just starting out, others might be more appropriate for those with some industry experience.
When it comes to choosing a fintech degree program, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, consider your career goals and what you hope to get out of the program. If you’re looking for a specific skill set, make sure that the program you choose offers courses that will help you develop those skills.
Next, consider the cost of the program and the time commitment involved. While some programs can be completed in as little as a year, others might take two or more years to complete. If you’re working full-time, you’ll want to make sure that you can manage the workload.
Other things to keep in mind include:
- The accreditation of the program
- The reputation of the school
- The location of the program
- The curriculum
- The faculty
- The career services offered
Here are a few examples of fintech degrees:
- Bachelor’s degree in finance and technology—Seton Hall University
- Bachelor of Science in Fintech—The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
- Master of Science in Financial Technology—University of Glasgow
- Master of Science in Fintech—New York University
- MSc Financial Technology—University of Stirling
You’ll also find some online fintech programs, which can be a good option if you’re looking for a more flexible format.
Choosing the right fintech degree program is an important decision—one that will have a lasting impact on your career. Be sure to do your research and make an informed decision.
In addition to a degree or certification, it’s also essential to have some hands-on experience in the industry. This can be in the form of an internship, a part-time job, or even a full-time job.
While you might not have a lot of experience in the fintech industry, there are several ways to get your foot in the door.
Internships: Many fintech startups offer internship programs, which can give you the opportunity to learn about the industry and gain some hands-on experience.
Try checking with your local chamber of commerce or economic development office—they might have a list of fintech companies in your area that offer internships.
Part-time jobs: Yes, fintech is a fast-paced and ever-changing industry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for part-time jobs. In fact, many fintech companies are always looking for talented individuals to join their team—even if it’s just for a few hours a week.
Check out job boards or company websites to see if there are any part-time fintech jobs in your area.
Full-time jobs: If you’re looking for a full-time job in the fintech industry, there are several resources to help you find the right position.
Keep in mind that the best way to get into fintech is to start building your experience and knowledge base now. The sooner you start, the better your chances of landing a job in this exciting industry.
You can also transition into fintech from a related field, such as banking, accounting, or financial planning. With experience in one of these fields, you’ll likely have the skills and knowledge that fintech companies want.
Why Get into Fintech?
Whether you’re looking for a new career or just want to learn more about the industry, there are several reasons to get into fintech. You’ll have the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology, solve complex problems, and build the future of financial technology.
Some of the top reasons to get into fintech include:
- Fintech is a high-paying industry, with the average salary for fintech jobs exceeding $100,000 per year. In fact, some of the highest-paying fintech jobs can pay upwards of $150,000 per year. Top executives in the industry can earn even more.
- With the rapid growth of financial technology, there is a high demand for talented individuals with the skills and knowledge to help build the future of fintech. This demand is only expected to grow in the coming years, making now a great time to get into the industry.
- According to Fintech Futures, the global fintech market is projected to grow at over 20% annually as the years go by. As a result, more and more companies are turning to fintech solutions to solve their business challenges.
#4. Solving Interesting Problems:
- For those passionate about problem-solving, fintech offers a unique opportunity to work on some of the most complex challenges facing the financial industry today. From developing new ways to prevent fraud to improving access to financial services, fintech is all about finding innovative solutions to real-world problems.
#5. Building Future Tech
- Building the technology of tomorrow—that’s what fintech is all about. As a fintech professional, you’ll have the chance to work on cutting-edge projects that will shape the future of the financial industry.
#6. Making a Difference
- Fintech is not just about making money—it’s also about making a difference. Through a job in fintech, you’ll have the opportunity to help people access the financial services they need, make better financial decisions, and improve their overall financial wellbeing.
#7. Exciting Work Environment
- Lastly, fintech is an exciting industry to be a part of. From the fast-paced environment to the constantly evolving landscape, there’s never a dull moment in fintech.
The future of fintech is bright, with strong growth projected in the coming years. This growth will bring new opportunities for those looking to enter the industry and new challenges to be solved.
As the industry continues to grow, we can expect to see new technologies and solutions emerging to solve the challenges facing the financial sector today. We also hope to see fintech becoming more mainstream, with more businesses and consumers using fintech solutions in their everyday lives.
So, if you’re looking for an exciting and rewarding career, fintech is an excellent option to consider. With its high salaries, rapid growth potential, and the opportunity to make a difference, fintech offers something for everyone.