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FOCUS ON MAJORS

FinTech

Given the role of technology in the business world, it’s not surprising that “FinTech” is an emerging new major at many colleges and universities. FinTech, short for financial technology, refers to the application of technology and innovation to improve and transform various aspects of financial services. FinTech has gained significant traction in recent years, revolutionizing how financial transactions are conducted, how people manage their money, and how businesses operate in the financial industry.

 

According to Columbia University, FinTech “is a catch-all term referring to software, mobile applications, and other technologies created to improve and automate traditional forms of finance for businesses and consumers alike. FinTech can include everything from straightforward mobile payment apps to complex blockchain networks housing encrypted transactions.”

 

FinTech majors typically cover a wide range of topics, including:

 

  • Financial Systems: Students learn about the structure and functioning of financial systems, the roles of various financial institutions, and the regulatory environment.
  • Technology Fundamentals: This aspect focuses on introducing students to core technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. Understanding these technologies is crucial for developing innovative FinTech solutions.
  • Digital Payments and Cryptocurrencies: Students explore the evolution of payment systems, including mobile payments, peer-to-peer transactions, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. They learn about the underlying technologies, security considerations, and potential implications for financial services.
  • Data Analytics and Machine Learning: FinTech relies heavily on data analysis and machine learning algorithms to extract insights, automate processes, and make data-driven decisions. Students learn to work with large datasets, perform predictive analysis, and develop machine learning models.
  • Financial Innovation and Entrepreneurship: This aspect focuses on fostering a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship within the FinTech sector. Students explore business models, startup strategies, venture capital, and the process of bringing new FinTech products and services to market.
  • Regulatory and Ethical Considerations: As FinTech operates within a highly regulated industry, students gain an understanding of the legal and ethical implications associated with financial innovation. They learn about compliance requirements, consumer protection, privacy, and ethical considerations in designing FinTech solutions.

 

In short, students studying FinTech learn how to leverage technology to create and improve financial services. They become familiar with machine learning, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain, digital currencies, and algorithmic trading.

 

Students graduating with a degree in FinTech can work as blockchain developers, crowdfunding specialists, quants, compliance experts, and app developers. And, they can expect to be well compensated: in 2020, the median salary for a blockchain engineer was $92,870, and for a FinTech financial analyst was $83,660.

 

Northeastern University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Seton Hall University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Creighton University all offer undergraduate majors in FinTech, while Fordham University and Lehigh University have FinTech minors. Many other colleges and universities, including New York University, offer FinTech courses for undergraduates.

 

Career Paths for FinTech Majors

    • Financial Data Analyst
    • Blockchain Developer
    • Risk Analyst
    • Financial Consultant
    • Cryptocurrency Trader
    • Compliance Officer
    • Quantitative Analyst
    • Financial Software Engineer
    • Payments Specialist
    • Digital Banking Manager
    • Financial Product Manager
    • Cybersecurity Analyst (with focus on FinTech)
    • Financial Technology Project Manager
    • Investment Analyst
    • Financial Operations Specialist
    • Regulatory Compliance Specialist
    • Data Scientist (with focus on financial analytics)
    • FinTech Entrepreneur
    • Wealth Management Advisor
    • Financial Technology Strategist

 

To learn more about careers in FinTech, check out the website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Business and Financial Occupations, and LinkedIn’s What is FinTech?