Why do fintechs look for postgraduates who can cover specialties?

That Fintech companies are looking for graduates and postgraduates who can cover various specialties is nothing new. In parallel, business schools are racing to keep up with demand from neobanks and other technology-driven market disruptors.

What has happened in recent years in the financial sector?

That technological innovation has been shaking up finance for much of the last decade and that financial technology (fintech) companies, once the industry’s startups, are becoming an essential part of a new landscape. The data is conclusive, since the financing of Fintech companies doubled worldwide to 210,000 billion dollars in 2021.

The power of Online Banking and all its derivatives of new services with the appearance in the market of fintech that revolutionized the traditional financial landscape has meant that on the technical side, the skills that fintech employers need are rapidly evolving


And this has had consequences on the job market, as a number of fintech job opportunities (at online-only neobanks, payment firms, and robotic “investment tech” advisory providers) have sprung up non-stop in at financial and technology capitalization and investment organizations from around the world, from Silicon Valley to London, Beijing, Stockholm, and São Paulo. And it seems that innovators like Revolut, Stripe and Nubank are proving just as attractive to job seekers as they are to venture capitalists.

“We received more than 250,000 applications in the first quarter of this year for 576 positions, which makes getting a job at Revolut more competitive than winning a place at Harvard,” says Alexandra Loi, global head of human resources at the neobank. . “We look for top-of-the-class graduates from top universities in each of the more than 30 countries in which we operate.”

This enthusiasm for fintech has left universities and business schools racing to keep up with the knowledge, skills and competencies required. Some are rolling out specialized degrees in financial technology.

One of the first schools to offer fintech education in 2014, New York University’s Stern School of Business, was teaching a year-and-a-half master’s degree in fintech sciences starting in May 2022, with a very specific objective: to cover Topics ranging from data programming to platform strategy, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, machine learning in finance, and fintech leadership.

The director of the “Fintech Initiative of the Stern Fubon Center of the New York University, Kathleen DeRose, affirms that “we have designed the study plan to guarantee that executives are prepared with the most relevant knowledge and tools to immediately become disruptors in field”.

It’s clear that the decisions each of these companies make about what kind of young professionals they want to recruit diverge in some ways, as, for example, Alex Duffy, director of recruiting for the cloud-based banking software group, points out. “Thought Machine,” which says the company does not actively seek or recruit candidates with degrees or masters in financial technology. And this is because it is a company that is product driven, so they tend to hire people with technical backgrounds or technical qualifications, although for those non-technical functions they have selected people with a wide range of degree qualifications, including humanities, arts, sciences and social sciences.

Fintech is arguably one of the fastest-evolving fields of application for technological innovation, and the skills needed by fintech employers are rapidly evolving as well. So a solid understanding of blockchain along with data science skills and cyber security certifications is required. It is therefore important to focus on continuous learning and explore different ways to keep up with the latest developments.

A sector that needs young professionals with specializations in various areas of business and technology, a solid understanding of blockchain along with data science skills and cyber security certifications


Looking for talent in other areas

Fintech employers are also looking for tech talent in other areas such as payment technology, back-end and front-end for data analytics and UX (user experience). Although it is very important (we can almost say that it is a preference on the part of fintech employers) that candidates have knowledge of the traditional financial industry. Especially if they have experience in the traditional financial industry, risk analysis and business development, but are highly adaptable to an entrepreneurial environment and able to learn skills online.

Therefore, business schools are going to have to help meet the needs of fintech by closing an “obvious gap” that exists at the training level of this specialty. For example, helping people with a tech background better understand the financial environment with something like a “fintech for techies” program.

A characteristic that occurs in the education and training of this new sector is that there are few people in fintech who excel in both the financial and technological areas, hence it is important that postgraduates who have a solid understanding of the economics are also familiar with all these areas of technology. It is already evidence that fintech employers want people with good methodological skills, who know how to analyze complex situations and develop and test different solutions before implementation. No less important is the search for professionals who have strong communication skills so that they can confidently work with different professionals, whether it is someone in finance or a technical engineer.

It seems that while technical or financial skills and knowledge are important, they are not always the deciding factor, as fintech employers look for people who are extremely good at solving problems, especially the application of critical thinking and a healthy dose of talent for diagnosing and solving the problems they face on a daily basis.

Another relevant issue that fintech companies demand is that, beyond technical knowledge, candidates adapt perfectly to the type of corporate culture of these organizations.

Crypto-currencies fulfill the function of a currency, and hence they are known by that name. However, it is completely digital, using cryptographic methods to secure your financial transactions, control the creation of new units and verify the transfer of assets


Let’s look at a search for a company backed by venture capital

What are they offering? Young professionals performing part operations, part business analyst, and part product manager, coordinated roles that will help oversee, improve, and manage the payroll system that processes more than $200 million a year in payments. Next, the recruiter says that the candidate can choose what they like best and then specialize more and more to move on to products, operations leadership or crypto operations.

He also makes it clear to the company that this is not a role for someone who wants a comfortable job that stays the same; you are expected to help transform your role, process by process, working closely with product and engineering. He will have the opportunity to learn and invest in his own skill set. Therefore, the company is committed to matching your ambition with your training, education and opportunities. Self-motivation is key.

What do they expect from the candidate?

Ability and desire to reinvent operational processes for greater scale and quality.

Tenacious Creativity: Constant exploration to identify and lead automation/scale initiatives.

Desire to learn and deepen your technical expertise (eg SQL, Python, data visualization, etc.).

Interact and develop relationships with customers and partners to drive customer success.

Show initiative: an idea is just a thought, an idea + ownership + execution = rapid professional development.

Candidates are also asked to have a desire to make a social impact, improving the lives of people, from small business owners to struggling employees who simply want a more secure financial future for themselves and their families.

Robotics in banks as a financial advisor for certain routine operations is already a reality. Artificial intelligence (AI) is introducing innovation in many fields, and the financial sector is one of the sectors that can take the most advantage of this set of technologies


The new job profiles brought by Fintech

Have you believed what a professor told you that the fintech sector has a promising future for young postgraduates? Well you’ve done well, because it actually has it. In the first place, because this sector has assured growth in itself, due to its organizational, technological and market characteristics in which it plays as a serious and responsible operator. But, secondly, because the work teams are made up of people who have to have very good training and the ability to innovate, self-learn and make quick decisions. It is a sector that will drive the constant creation of new jobs throughout this decade.

The world of finance is at the service of technology through startups that increasingly demand more hybrid profiles. For example, there are professionals capable of creating algorithms that provide security to transactions, until they develop an efficient marketing strategy capable of reaching everyone.

All those workers or recent graduates, and especially postgraduates of an MBA, who coexist in the universe of financial startups become the preferred candidates to be sued by this cutting-edge technology sector that fintech represents. This means that the profiles of computer scientists, engineers, sales and finance experts within the digital environment make up the ideal configuration that this new industry brings.

The future of finance lies in the tintechs, since they eliminate the intermediary factor. But not only startups have a place in fntech, the banking sector in general seeks to specialize and offer personalized services.

Capturing young talent

In turn, this continuous innovation in the sector offers opportunities for junior profiles or candidates for their first job. Although at first they had to face the salaries offered by large companies, this circumstance has changed. In fact, according to a study carried out by Ebury, more than 94% of fintech workers surveyed agree that fintechs allow young people a well-paid experience compared to other sectors. Similarly, 84% are certain that it will open doors for them in the labor market.

The explanation for this statement is based on the work dynamics found for young people who decide to work in this sector, characterized by an agile and specialized environment that allows faster professional growth. It can be said that when it comes to networking, these professionals become the best mediators.

Thus, the first contacts that will form part of a professional agenda, the most useful tool for finding a new job, are formed. And in this scenario, startups undoubtedly become the best ally for these novice workers.

Business schools are racing to keep up with the demand from neobanks and other tech-driven market disruptors, which is why many business schools are focusing on specialized training for fintechs


The new profiles, in detail

Within the technical part, engineers and computer scientists are especially in demand to carry out the development of platforms that are becoming more and more multi-device. Professionals capable of programming for computer programs or applications for mobile phones and tablets.

In particular, cybersecurity together with cloud computing have become the sectors that most demand experts. This is because these areas are recent and technologically native, subject to constant change. Professionals must closely follow the transformations they experience and be aware of the new products and programs that are created.

Big data professionals

Undoubtedly, those graduates and postgraduates who are made by their training for the universe of data, are halfway between technical and analytical profiles. In fact, they fulfill that double function. Candidates such as mathematicians, physicists or statisticians, capable of mastering new platforms, usually fit here. They deal with tasks such as analyzing and interpreting the data obtained and making decisions based on the best business strategies. In other words, this surge in demand from fintech is due to the fact that these companies value the leading role of experts with analytical and risk assessment skills in each of the different areas that make up this sector.

Hybrid is the norm not the exception

The bank also takes this profile as a model, capable of making risk balances or evaluating the solvency of payments. Even so, the line between what is technological and what is not is becoming more and more blurred. And it is that, the current trend walks towards hybridization in all aspects capable of creating multidisciplinary teams.

All training must have a relationship with the digital world. In this way, to become an expert within the sector, it is necessary to acquire a hybrid profile. For this, it is recommended and useful to attend courses with programs that mix technology, finance and innovation.

This enthusiasm for fintech has left universities and business schools racing to keep up with the knowledge, skills and competencies required. Some are rolling out specialized degrees in financial technology


Analytical capacity, essential factor

The new profiles are not only focused on people capable of mastering numbers, communication has a more than assured site. Digital marketing is also present in fintech, and once again analytical capacity is essential, especially within this profile. Specialists in user experience, expert lawyers in compliance and strategic commercials close this list of new profiles. This last profile is one of the most recent, and it is important to point out that, in order to apply for it, it is necessary to have decisive and creative abilities. Without a doubt, fintech companies are led by active users (consumers) who demand personalized services, adapted to each case or need. And therefore, jobs must adapt to this trend, unique jobs for unique consumers.

More than technological experience

Most fintech employers are looking for more than just tech experience. The growth of the sector in recent years means that today’s potential candidate must also grapple with complex issues including regulation, project management, product management, and addressing points of trust, assurance, and security in the customer journey.

The demand for wide-ranging skills, from soft skills to programming proficiency, can be daunting if you’re trying to get started in the industry. So how can you prepare?

Experience with one of the massive computer languages ​​can be a great benefit.

Expectations for fintech candidates have changed significantly.

Roles are now fluid and integrated, with teams and individuals collaborating in smaller, more dynamic and highly incentivized ways.

The good news is that regardless of your background, you can participate from scratch, either by joining a new company or by selecting the more traditional paths offered by the larger financial services organizations. The latter can provide you with solid experience and a stable salary plus benefits, which may be preferable to the potential rollercoaster ride of startup culture. That said, smaller organizations can offer the opportunity for more innovation and disruption and are often more agile, tending to be early movers in new and exciting developments in the industry.

Save the basics and improve your skills

Beyond enthusiasm, energy, and a willingness to jump in with both feet, employers (whether new or corporate) look for the same areas of expertise when considering potential candidates:


– Analysis capacity.

– Financial knowledge.

– Business acumen.

– Programming skills.

– Knowledge of cybersecurity/data protection.

– Recognized qualifications (including degrees in subjects such as Computer Science and Software Engineering).

Examples of industry experience

Soft skills are also important, such as excellent communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, with an emphasis on thinking outside the box. Some experience in sales, marketing and working with promotional projects will add to your employability.

Code and collaborate

Depending on the role you consider yourself qualified for, knowledge of programming could also give you a decisive advantage. Experience with one of the massive computer languages ​​can be of great benefit. Examples include React, Java, and Swift, which have different applications depending on the platform you’re programming for.

If you can code, potential employers will want to see examples of your competition, so work on a portfolio that showcases your skills and innovative thinking. Although your training is related to finances, everything you can demonstrate about the ability to resolve critical situations and face challenges is already valued and will impress your bosses.

Familiarity with cyber security is also key, as fintech solutions must incorporate seemingly invisible security measures into fast and friendly interfaces without compromising on any aspect.

Collaborating on non-profit projects is another good way to get an edge.

“As a product-driven company, we tend to hire people with technical backgrounds or technical qualifications. For our non-technical roles, we have been joined by people with a wide range of degree qualifications, including humanities, arts, sciences and social sciences” according to a recruiting director at cloud-based banking software group Thought Machine


Training and being able to compete

It has been said that anyone can get into fintech if they are willing to work hard. This may be true, but having the desirable qualifications is still a must.

If a full degree isn’t practical, there are many short courses of study available online and offline, ranging from an 8-week online fintech program like Oxford to various orientations and specialties given by different schools. of business.

If you intend to take the corporate path to fintech, you can invest maximum time and effort in your qualifications, as big finance inevitably favors CVs from graduates, especially those who demonstrate post-bachelor’s learning (a postgraduate and very particularly if it is covering one or more specialties demanded by fintech).

The University of the West of England in Bristol offers a full MSc in Financial Technology, which is a postgraduate opportunity designed to enhance your current qualification with globally marketable skills.

The Graduate School of Business, with campuses across Europe, offers an international master’s degree in finance and digital innovation with an emphasis on young graduates who want to specialize in digital technology.

The Open University also offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees in IT, from communications and software to data science. All courses are online and can be further explored at open.ac.uk/computing-and-it.


Esta información ha sido elaborada por NUESTRA REDACCIÓN