Careers in FinTech management: Your 2023 Guide
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022
Fintech is a worldwide growth sector attracting ever-increasing amounts of funding each year. In 2021, the world saw a record year for Fintech investment, an amount exceeding £85 billion, which marked a 182% increase from the previous year. The UK Fintech sector alone reached £9.6 billion in investment, a 217% increase on 2020.
The adoption of technology and AI-driven approaches in the financial sector has never been more of a priority.
With all this development investment, careers in Fintech, now more than ever, are providing lucrative opportunities for finance, tech and business experts.
Whether you’re already a skilled Fintech professional or pivoting into Fintech, below we outline the latest opportunities in the sector, salaries for the best financial technology jobs and how to upskill into specialist areas.
What is FinTech?
Financial technology is a rapidly expanding sector dealing with new and emerging technologies in the financial world. The aim of these technologies is to make financial services and their delivery more efficient for organisations and consumers. FinTech innovation includes online banking, electronic payments, digital currencies and peer-to-peer lending
Is FinTech a good career?
A Fintech career has the potential to be a satisfying, lifelong choice, with paths to success continuing to open.
Wondering if you are suited to a career in Fintech? Ask yourself the following:
- Are you interested in bridging the gap between finance and technology?
- Do you have a lifelong learning attitude?
- Do you have innovative ideas about innovating existing products and services?
- Do you like the idea of helping shape a rapidly developing industry?
- Would you like a career that spans multi-disciplinary skills in finance, tech, legal, marketing and business?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, a career in Fintech could be perfect for you.
What to expect from a Fintech career path
Getting high-paying financial technology jobs depends on your skill level and ability to showcase yourself to employers, unlike traditional banking which tends to focus on academic performance.
Fintech employees will be expected to keep pace with the latest developments in the industry and update their technical, analytical and business skills through further study. Specialised training will be especially useful when applying for top jobs.
Salaries in Fintech
According to date published by UK Talent in 2022, starting salaries for Fintech jobs stand at approximately £45,000, leaping to over £60,000 per year for confirmed Fintech professionals and £80,000 per year for the most experienced workers.
According to data collected by Indeed, the average base salary for data analysts in the UK is £33,700. For a business development manager, the base average is £38,000 and for a developer, it stands at £44,600.
Specialists earn the best pay, such as cyber security specialists who earn an average base salary is £53,400.
As well as a healthy salary, there are a number of other benefits in following a Fintech career path:
- Job security
- Strong career development
- Creative potential
- Start-up culture
- Team-oriented work
Fintech careers and graduate job opportunities
As a skilled Fintech professional, you could opt to work for a traditional financial organisation such as an established bank (think Lloyds or Barclays). Alternatively, you could compete with the established banking sector by working for a digital bank.
Beyond banking, Fintech careers are available at big tech firms or digital start-ups (sometimes referred to as ‘FinTechs’), as well as in emerging sectors such as blockchain and cyber security. It should be noted that Fintech firms are exclusively focused on tech for financial products and services, whereas big tech firms provide these products and services as a small add-on to their main services.
Some of the top Fintech career paths include:
- Data specialist
- Quantitative analyst
- Blockchain developer
- Cyber security specialist
- Risk and compliance expert
- App developer
- Machine learning engineer/analyst
- AI developer
Skilled managers with expertise in Fintech, such as leaders, strategists and consultants will benefit from a choice of the most lucrative positions. Roles such as director, vice president or equivalent are likely to receive the highest salaries.
Fintech career specialisms
Though it can be helpful to look at specific job roles, looking at specialist areas can help us gain a better understanding of the possible focus areas for Fintech experts.
Data science and analysis
Gathering and analysing data has become a commercial necessity in the modern age. Within Fintech, data analysis tends to focus on online transaction data – payments, transfers, trades, purchases and beyond – to pull meaningful discoveries on consumer activity.
Machine learning and AI
Within this career specialism, you’ll be working with algorithms and rule-based systems to create something akin to artificial intelligence. The potential (and risk) of these algorithms is near endless, as we step closer to creating machines that can think like humans. Data analytics is closely connected to this area.
Wealth management and financial advisory
Traditional wealth management and financial advisory services continue to create investment strategies for clients, but the addition of advanced technologies streamlines the entire process.
By implementing data analytics and 24/7 account access, ‘WealthTech’ provides straightforward wealth management for consumers and lucrative careers for professional advisors.
Governance, risk and compliance
‘RegTech’ – the application of technology in Fintech regulation – is a specialist area aiming to simplify the process of compliance through the implementation of advanced tech tools.
Tackling the huge threat of cyber crime is no mean feat for modern businesses and imperative to protect valuable data streams and maintain reputation. Cyber security is a high-growth area, serving to limit the chances of a data breach and find solutions for businesses.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency
The talking point of the financial world, blockchain is a core technology revolutionising how data and transactional information is stored, including for crypto transactions. The technology is destined to become widespread, applied for things such as payment, record and contract management.
Algorithmic trading (a.k.a high-frequency trading)
Algorithms that can process millions of transactions every second have taken over the trade floor and are now the future of finance. While computers take the bulk of the work, specialist traders with programming skills are needed to shape, manage and optimise these automated platforms.
With more time being spent online, app development is big business for established organisations and new start-ups alike, modernising shopping, banking, entertainment and a vast range of other services. Within Fintech, a strong app can help to attract and retain customers but requires skilled app developers to become a reality.
Integral to the financial system, payment processing is a low-risk career choice. Fintech currently competes with credit cards by offering one-click payments and instant payment processing. Big companies are best placed for careers in this area.
P2P lending is a potential disruptor for traditional banking, making it easier for consumers to borrow from their peers rather than resort to bank loans. Risk management and returns incentives are two big challenges for this niche field.
Similar to P2P lending, crowdfunding allows for the democratisation of investment funding but with added risk for consumers/investors.
What can I do with a Fintech Masters?
With a postgraduate degree in Fintech and some work experience, management positions will also be achievable.
The following Fintech careers (outlined by Finextra) have high potential for future growth and are well suited for graduates of FinTech Management:
- Compliance officer – as regulation for Fintech tightens and becomes more complex, the need for risk and compliance experts – covering financial law, best practices and data security – is more significant than ever.
- FinTech product manager – a key position in establishing and implementing product roadmaps in collaboration with tech teams to meet customer needs and agreed timelines. Learn more on the PwC website.
- FinTech consultant – a consultant (agency or freelance) helps deliver cost-effective technology solutions to diverse businesses.
- Centre of Excellence manager/director – this senior logistics role helps coordinate internal and external stakeholders, in partnership with FinTechs, to roll out innovative market solutions
How to find financial technology jobs
If you’re just launching your Fintech career, you will need to demonstrate expertise in both the financial world and tech. Getting experience in both can be challenging and a simpler route would be to gain a qualification in Fintech specifically.
Through postgraduate study or a training course, you’ll learn how the industry works and how to apply yourself within it. An added qualification will show potential employers you are interested in the field and possess the required skills to succeed.
After completing your studies, you’ll still need to find attractive openings. There are a whole host of specialist job sites advertising financial technology jobs in the UK and beyond, such as Otta and Oakstone, jobs boards on specialist sites such as WIBF (Women in Banking and Finance) or careers pages on established bank websites.
Boost your Fintech career with further study
Study at Ulster University
Ulster University is ranked 20th in the Accounting & Finance 2022 Guardian league table, one of the highest rankings among UK universities that offer Fintech programmes.
Based in Northern Ireland, Ulster University is a central institution benefitting from the region’s position as a global FinTech hub. The Fintech industry in Northern Ireland contributes £392 million to the economy with the potential to generate ‘thousands more jobs and over £25 million in Foreign Direct Investment over the next three years’ (Finextra). Ulster University programmes attract leading employers such as FinTrU, Danske Bank and AllState.
MSc in Fintech Management
Professor Daniel Broby, co-course director on the MSc FinTech Management, serves in the newly appointed position as Ulster University Business School’s Chair of Financial Technology. Daniel leads development and research within the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics to support the Fintech ecosystem in Northern Ireland. Discover what he has to say about the online Fintech Management course here.
The 100% online MSc FinTech Management programme is accessible from anywhere in the world and provides an industry-led curriculum for working professionals wishing to upskill and apply for management roles. The programme is unique in combining Fintech with leadership and business strategy, producing highly employable graduates with a sound business outlook on a technical field. Discover five reasons to study Fintech Management.