6 tips for getting into Fintech: A guide to entry-level jobs in Fintech
Friday, July 28th, 2023
The rapidly evolving Fintech industry requires agile and forward-thinking professionals to keep pace with technological developments. If you’re looking for entry-level jobs in Fintech, it will pay to be similarly agile, constantly updating your knowledge to stay abreast of new opportunities in the sector.
Whatever your dream Fintech job role, there are several ways to boost your employability. In this blog, we discuss how to position yourself for entry-level jobs in Fintech, looking at available Fintech jobs, key skills, professional Fintech qualifications and steps to follow.
If you’re wondering how to get into Fintech, you can fast-track your career with the part-time, online MSc FinTech Management with Ulster University.
Why work in Fintech?
Early-career professionals entering the Fintech industry have a multitude of new and emerging career pathways they can follow.
Entry-level jobs in Fintech have great scope for professional development, meaning it’s possible to rise the ranks of your organisation much faster than the traditional finance sector.
Other benefits of working in Fintech include:
- High profits
- High job security
- Wide-ranging job roles and opportunities
- Ability to lead innovation
- Opportunity to work in a start-up setting (e.g. developmental lab)
- Keep an up-to-date knowledge of the latest processes and technologies.
- Transferrable skills development (e.g. complex problem-solving and adaptability)
Women in Fintech
Though diversity in the field falls behind other more established industries – with women representing only 14% of Fintech board positions – initiatives such as PwC’s FinTech For All Charter are making strides towards increasing inclusion.
What qualifications do you need for Fintech, if any?
Being technologically minded with an interest in finance is a great basis to pursue a career in Fintech, but additional qualifications may also be required, depending on the position you wish to hold.
A technology-related degree such as computer science, engineering, physics and mathematics can be a necessary condition for technical roles, but there will also be plenty of opportunities for graduates of subjects such as business, finance or accounting.
Specialist interests in cyber security, data science, AI and machine learning are looked upon even more favourably by hiring managers, as are extracurricular interests in coding and programming languages.
To learn more about your Fintech course options, see our guide to How to choose the best online Fintech Course.
Essential skills for jobs in Fintech
These key applied skills can make you an exceptional candidate for many financial technology jobs:
- Analytical abilities are valued in Fintech due to the ever-growing importance of data analysis in the field. Being able to manage and interpret data is vital for accurate programming and strategy based on real data insights.
- Financial knowledge is another strong asset for Fintech job candidates, allowing an understanding of a business’s foundational workings. This knowledge is particularly useful for employees on the business side of Fintech to ensure financially sound business processes.
In addition to the hard skills above, employers will also look for candidates who showcase leadership and industry experience. Valued soft skills include:
- Problem solving
- Flexibility and adaptability
While you can gain all of this on the job, studying at graduate level can equip you faster and more comprehensively with the practical skills and experience to succeed.
Consider studying the part-time, online MSc FinTech Management at Ulster University to propel your management career in financial technology forward.
6 top tips for getting into Fintech
Read on for our top recommendations on how to get into Fintech.
1. Network with Fintech industry professionals
As a Fintech professional, you’ll benefit from being aware of industry news and trends. Having a friendly group of Fintech professionals to call on for career advice, industry insights and new job opportunities will also be invaluable.
Build your network in any way you choose, tapping into online and offline networking groups to socialise with and learn from professional peers. Befriending Fintech decision-makers could also boost your employability.
Consider attending in-person events such as the regional FintechNation conference and the Digital Innovation Summit: NI. Top fintech events across the UK include those organised by FintechNorth or the established Fintech Connect in London. Alternatively, you can connect virtually via LinkedIn, Facebook community groups or a Fintech subReddit.
2. Think outside the box
Unlike traditional finance jobs, Fintech jobs are constantly evolving. New roles are created every day to fill workplace gaps in a developing market and some of these roles may not sound familiar to you.
Applying for positions with unknown titles and varied job descriptions could set you down a new path with endless growth opportunities.
Fintech careers with high growth potential:
- Data engineer / Data specialist
- Machine learning engineer/analyst
- Risk and compliance expert / Compliance analyst in Fintech
- Blockchain developer
- Cyber security specialist
- AI developer
- Business development associate
- Quantitative analyst
- Financial operations specialist
- Fintech operations associate
- Fintech project coordinator
- Financial technology consultant
3. Showcase your ambition
In addition to relevant Fintech qualifications, Fintech employers are looking for candidates who show passion and initiative in the world of financial technology.
You may not hold a degree in computer science, but perhaps you can showcase your extracurricular interest in areas such as app development, programming or blockchain.
A personal project such as building an app or blockchain-based platform is a great addition to any Fintech CV, proving you have a genuine interest in Fintech and a great attitude to lifelong learning.
4. Take on a Fintech Internship
Fintech employers often look for candidates with not only theoretical knowledge but also practical exposure to the industry. Internships offer a practical and hands-on approach to complement theoretical knowledge, allowing you to apply what you know in real-world scenarios.
Chair of Financial Technology at Ulster University, Professor Daniel Broby, explains that taking up an internship alongside a part-time course such as the FinTech Management MSc is a great way to reinforce your learnings.
“The benefits of engaging in a local fintech internship are many. By working on real projects and tasks, you will be able to apply the principles, tools, and strategies learned in the course to solve actual challenges faced by fintech companies.
This will reinforce your understanding and boost your confidence in handling real-world situations. Having practical experience through an internship adds significant value to your resume.”
– Professor Daniel Broby, Course Director of the online FinTech Management MSc at Ulster
If you choose to undertake an internship alongside your studies, Professor Broby recommends choosing internships that align closely with the topics covered in your course. Students of the FinTech Management MSc, for example, might focus on intern opportunities within the following areas:
- Digital payment systems and mobile banking applications
- Peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding platforms
- Payment exchanges and blockchain-based projects
- Personal finance management and robo-advisors
- Data analytics and AI-driven financial services
As you explore potential Fintech internship opportunities, we encourage you to discuss with your mentors or instructors to seek guidance on selecting the most suitable placements for your individual learning goals.
5. Apply for entry-level Fintech jobs
If you’re considering pivoting into Fintech, you may start by applying for entry-level Fintech jobs. Even if it means taking less pay at a lower-level, this may be the best way to pursue a career more aligned with your ambitions.
Luckily, however, career development in Fintech may come much easier than in traditional finance, as top Fintech talent can earn promotions and salary rises at a much faster rate.
“Fintech is very different from a traditional finance sector as the industry is still young, fast-growing and innovative. True talents are quickly seen and there are great opportunities to grow within these Fintech companies.”
Junior roles in Fintech are wide-ranging and allow career switchers to gain entry into the sector.
- Junior software developer
- Entry-level product manager
- Junior cybersecurity analyst
- Entry-level Fintech analyst
- Fintech customer service representative
- Fintech internship opportunities
Non-technical entry-level jobs in Fintech could also be a starting point for your Fintech career. Roles include:
- Fintech customer service representative
- Fintech marketing assistant
- Other Fintech support roles
6. Study Fintech further to gain core skills
Getting into Fintech is about having an open mind and an eagerness to learn. Nevertheless, if you wish to rise fast up the ranks and lack confidence in your abilities, postgraduate study is a great way to gain the skills and experience needed for Fintech jobs without spending years working entry-level roles.
Ulster University’s Masters in FinTech Management is a part-time, online programme allowing you to upskill in the Fintech sector, without the need for a career break.
This Fintech MSc is designed in collaboration with the local Fintech industry in Northern Ireland and taught by internationally recognised faculty, equipping you with core skills in Fintech and leadership, covering the most important Fintech specialisms through theory and practical project-based assignments.
While entry-level Fintech jobs may not start out as especially lucrative, the more specialised you become, the more money there is to be made.
According to data published by UK Talent in 2022, the average starting salary for Fintech jobs lies 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. Learn more about Fintech salaries on our Fintech careers blog.
Not necessarily. Although programming and engineer roles will necessitate sound coding skills, other less technical roles such as project coordinator or analyst roles may not need coding skills. Nevertheless, some knowledge of coding is likely to be beneficial in any role as it will enable you to communicate clearly across business functions.
Read more about essential skills in Fintech.