Technology and Data News and Events

Fintechs are seeking graduate talent with a range of specialist skills

by Mike Jones in Data Analytics, finance 15/06/2022

Education and Business schools are trying to tackle the rising demands from new finance and other technology-focused market influencers.

Innovation in the tech industry has been disrupting finance for many years resulting in many of the new fintech companies becoming mainstream. Fintech venture funding has accelerated significantly in the last year and caused a spike in new job opportunities. New businesses, invest-tech companies and other neobanks are emerging in financial hubs worldwide. Studies show that leading tech innovators such as Revolut and Stripe appeal to many job seekers. For example, Revolut received over 250,000 applications during Q1 this year for 576 open positions. This number equates to well over 430 applications per job. Fintech companies like Revolut are actively looking for graduate talent worldwide.

The interest in fintech has left universities and other business schools racing to maintain a grasp of the skills and competencies required to fill these roles. Some schools are introducing specialist fintech degrees to attract and train the next-gen of fintech talent. For example, New York University Stern School of Business is launching a one year Master of Science in Fintech. The program will include data programming, blockchain, machine learning in finance and fintech leadership. Course representatives explain that the curriculum ensures people are prepared with the most relevant skills and tools to become instant disrupters in the fintech industry.

Some recruiters believe it isn’t all about finding candidates with fintech-related degrees. Some agencies prefer to recruit people based on their technical background or qualifications. For non-tech roles, people could potentially join with different skills. From a technical perspective, the skills required for new positions are evolving very quickly. Career industry specialists recommend acquiring a good understanding of blockchain, data science and cyber security as critical areas that set you apart from the competition. Continued learning and exploring the latest developments in fintech is vital to maintaining your competitive edge.

Fintech employers are also looking for technology talent in other fields like payments technology, data analytics and user experience. Finance business experts highlight that an understanding of the financial industry continues to be very important. Fintech employers are seeking professionals with a background in the traditional finance industry, including knowledge in risk analysis and business development, but have the potential to learn new skills virtually. Business schools could support the requirements in fintech by capitalising on this knowledge gap. There is an opportunity to assist people from tech backgrounds to gain a deeper understanding of the financial industry with a dedicated fintech for tech professionals programme. There are very few people in fintech that are capable of excelling in both finance and technology.

The ideal graduate is somebody that appreciates business and technology, and this can be hard to find. There is rising demand for individuals that can programme in multiple languages, but at the same time, graduates with skills in economics and user behaviours are also very important. The focus is now on shaping graduates with broader skills across these areas. Fintech businesses want graduates with strong communication skills and are capable of working confidently with other industry professionals, whether this is in finance or an engineering discipline. The single, most important attribute boils down to their ability to problem-solve. Candidates that can show critical thinking and problem-solving skills are highly desirable. Candidates may be technically capable and have the experience, but if they are difficult to manage or lack the communication skills, then this person may not be a good match for the culture of a particular company.