How to get into FinTech
Thursday, September 8th, 2022
The rapidly evolving FinTech industry requires agile and forward-thinking professionals to keep pace with technological developments. Career starters wondering how to get into FinTech should be equally agile, seeking to constantly update their knowledge to stay abreast of new opportunities in the sector.
Whatever your dream role in FinTech, there are a number of ways to boost your employability. In this blog, we discuss how to improve your prospects in the FinTech industry, looking at key qualifications, skills and steps to secure a job in the sector.
If you’re looking to pursue a career in financial technology management, fast-track your learning with the part-time, online MSc FinTech Management at Ulster University.
What qualifications do you need for FinTech?
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.
How to get a job in FinTech
Three key applied skills can make you an exceptional candidate for any role in financial technology:
- 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.
See below for our top recommendations to help launch your FinTech career.
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 Manchester’s new Ethical FinTech Forum or London’s more established FinTech Connect, or otherwise 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
- Machine learning analyst/engineer
- Risk and compliance officer
- Blockchain developer
3. Study further to gain core skills
Studying at graduate level is a great way to gain the skills and experience needed in FinTech jobs without spending years working in entry-level roles. As a distance learning student, you can balance your studies alongside existing responsibilities, without the need for a career break.
The part-time, online MSc FinTech Management at Ulster University is one of a handful of FinTech qualifications specifically designed to help students build their core skills in FinTech and leadership, focusing on employability and industry relevance.
On the course, you’ll develop in-depth knowledge of the most important FinTech topics alongside practical project-based assignments so that you can pivot into management roles without the need for extra work experience.
This Fintech Masters programme was developed in collaboration with the local FinTech industry in Northern Ireland and taught by internationally recognised FinTech professionals.
4. Showcase your ambition
In addition to relevant FinTech qualifications, FinTech employers are looking for individuals who show passion and initiative in the world of financial technology.
Candidates with a demonstrable interest in this world will be more attractive to hiring managers.
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.
5. Don’t be afraid to take an entry-level role
If you’re considering pivoting into FinTech, starting out again in an entry-level job is not such a bad thing. Career switchers may find themselves taking less pay and lower-level roles in order to pursue a career more aligned with their passions.
However, due to the fledgling nature of the FinTech industry, FinTech workers may find career development easier than in traditional finance, earning promotions and salary rises at a much faster rate.
“[Young professionals and graduates shouldn’t] be afraid of entry-level positions,” Jolanta Jurgaityte, Head of HR at UK FinTech company TransferGo tells TotalJobs. “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.”
Ultimately, getting into FinTech is about having an open mind and an eagerness to learn. If you’re still unsure of your abilities, consider building your confidence on the MSc in FinTech Management.