If you’re interested in pursuing a career in finance, you may be wondering what degree you should earn. A growing field that combines finance and technology is fintech. But what is a fintech degree, and what can you expect to learn? We met with Dr. Theo Owusu and Dr. Donald DeSormoux, two experts in the field, to discuss the basics of fintech and why a degree in fintech is worth your while. So if you’re ready to learn more about this exciting field, keep reading!
What Is Fintech?
Fintech, short for financial technology, is a rapidly growing industry that refers to the use of technology to streamline and improve traditional financial services. Fintech companies typically use innovative technology to provide more convenient, secure, and affordable services to consumers and businesses than conventional financial institutions. In recent years, fintech has been one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with new startups popping up worldwide.
Many experts believe the global fintech industry will grow exponentially in the coming years and that fintech will revolutionize the financial sector as we know it. Already, fintech is disrupting traditional financial institutions and providing new opportunities for consumers and businesses alike. If you’re interested in the future of finance, fintech is definitely something you should keep an eye on. And as more and more people adopt digital devices and mobile apps for their everyday banking needs, it’s likely fintech will only continue to grow in popularity.
Examples of Fintech
Some of the most common examples of fintech include:
- Mobile banking
- Peer-to-peer payments
- Investment management apps
- Digital currencies
- Cryptocurrency exchanges
- Budgeting and personal finance apps
Fintech startups are constantly developing new and innovative ways to improve financial services. As the industry continues to grow, we can expect to see even more remarkable examples of fintech in the years to come.
How Fintech May Already Affect You
You may not realize it, but fintech is already impacting your life. From mobile banking apps to cryptocurrency, fintech is changing how we manage our money. Here are some ways that fintech may already be affecting you:
- If you’ve ever made an online purchase, you’ve used fintech. Online payments are processed using electronic means, such as credit cards or PayPal. This is a convenient way to pay for goods and services without having to carry cash.
- Mobile banking apps are one of the most popular applications of fintech. These apps allow you to check your balance, transfer funds, and pay bills from your smartphone. If you use a mobile banking app, you’re using fintech.
- If you’ve ever used a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft, you’ve used fintech. Rideshare apps use GPS technology to connect drivers with passengers. The fare is then calculated and paid for electronically without needing cash.
- Fintech is also being used to develop new types of currency, such as Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows users to make peer-to-peer transactions without needing a central bank or intermediary.
And while some aspects of fintech are still in the early stages of development, this technology will likely continue to impact our lives significantly. As fintech continues to evolve, we will probably see even more changes in how we manage our finances.
Fintech companies are quickly changing the financial landscape. From mobile apps that help you budget your spending to online platforms that make it easy to invest, fintech companies provide new and convenient ways to manage your finances. By providing clever solutions to common problems, fintech companies are making it easier than ever for people to manage their money. Some fintech companies you may already do business with include:
- PayPal is a popular online payment system that allows users to make payments and send money securely over the internet.
- Square is a mobile payment system that allows businesses to process credit card payments using their smartphones or tablets.
- Mint is a popular budgeting and personal finance app that helps users track their spending and save money.
- Robinhood is a commission-free stock trading app that allows users to buy and sell stocks without paying fees.
- Wealthfront is an automated investment management service that helps users save money on investment fees.
- Acorns is a mobile app that helps users save and invest their spare change.
- Betterment is an online investment platform that offers users a simple and convenient way to invest their money.
In many cases, fintech companies can offer these services at a fraction of the cost of traditional financial institutions. As a result, fintech companies are growing in popularity and will continue to significantly impact the financial industry in the coming years.
Types of Fintech Degrees
If you’re looking to get into the exciting field of fintech, you’ll need the right education. No matter what type of fintech degree you choose, make sure a reputable organization accredits it. This will ensure that employers in the industry recognize your degree and that you’re getting the quality education you need to succeed in this competitive field. Here are some of the different types of fintech degrees that can help you land a job in this growing industry:
Students interested in pursuing a career in the fintech industry may wonder whether they need to get an undergraduate degree in fintech. The answer is that it depends. Although having an undergrad degree in fintech can undoubtedly give you a leg up in the job market, many colleges have yet to develop such a program, and there are many ways to break into the industry without one. Many fintech companies prefer hiring employees with a finance, computer science, or engineering background. The important thing is to make sure you have the foundational skills and knowledge in the finance and technology sectors that employers are looking for.
A fintech master’s degree can provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in this rapidly changing industry. It will typically cover topics such as financial regulation, investment banking, risk management, and data analytics. In addition, students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, whether through internships or in-class lab assignments.
According to Dr. Owusu, this hands-on experience is vital to developing the practical knowledge students need to thrive in a fintech career. For example, in the data analytics course at Keiser University’s Master of Science in Financial Technology program, students have the opportunity to perform data analyses using the kinds of tools they will use in their future careers. There is a vast gulf between reading about how data analysis and visualization work in theory and actually doing it. A quality master’s program in fintech should therefore include these direct, active learning experiences.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in fintech, but don’t want the time commitment of a degree program, then you might want to consider getting a certificate in fintech. There are a few different ways to get a certificate in fintech, but one of the most popular is online courses. These courses can be taken at your own pace and typically cover topics like financial technology, digital banking, and blockchain. With a certificate in fintech, you’ll be able to demonstrate your knowledge of this rapidly growing industry and show employers that you’re ready to work in this exciting field.
One drawback to certification in fintech is that they quickly become outdated. As Dr. Owusu pointed out, certificates can expire every five years, meaning you would then have to reapply for certification. A degree, on the other hand, never expires. So while the upfront commitment of a certificate program may be attractive, remember to consider the long-term implications of this educational route.
Online Vs. In Person
There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether to earn a fintech degree online or in person. One of the most important factors to consider is your learning style. An in-person program may be a better fit if you prefer a more hands-on approach. On the other hand, if you’re the type of learner who prefers to work at your own pace, an online program might be a better option.
Another key consideration is your schedule. An online program might be more convenient if you have a full-time job or other commitments that make it difficult to attend classes in person. On the other hand, if you can dedicate the time to attending classes on campus, an in-person program can provide a more immersive experience.
Finally, it’s essential to consider your budget when making your decision. In general, online programs are more affordable than in-person programs. However, there may be some additional costs associated with an online program, such as computer equipment and software. Ultimately, whether to pursue an online or in-person fintech program depends on your individual needs and preferences.
Courses You Might Take in Fintech
A quality fintech program will offer courses covering the gamut of current and emerging technologies for financial services, so graduates are well-positioned for leadership roles in modern finance and digital currency environments. Standard courses you can expect to take in a fintech program include:
- Data Analytics
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
- Digital Payments and Marketplace Lending
- Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
- Data Visualization
- Fintech Law & Policy
- Technology Innovation
- Financial Security
Potential Jobs for Your Fintech Degree
The fintech field is growing rapidly, resulting in a growing demand for workers with skills in this area. Competition for jobs can be fierce, so preparing yourself with a thorough understanding of technology and how it can be applied to finance is vital. Fintech is an ever-evolving field, so you should be comfortable with change and adaptable to new technologies and trends. And many fintech companies are startups, so you should be prepared for a fast-paced work environment. With these things in mind, if you think a career in fintech would be a good fit for you, here are some common positions in fintech you could apply for:
- Financial technology analyst
- Blockchain developer
- Quantitative analyst
- AI developer
- Risk and compliance technology officer
- Chief technology officer
- And more!
Is a Fintech Degree Worth It?
As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for employees with both financial and technical skills will only grow. A fintech degree provides the perfect blend of training in both areas, making you a highly sought-after employee. As the finance and technology industries continue to merge, a fintech degree can be advantageous and lucrative.
There are many benefits to pursuing a fintech degree. Perhaps the most obvious is the earning potential. Fintech jobs are among the highest-paying in both the finance and tech industries, and as the demand for fintech workers grows, so too will salaries.
In addition to the earning potential, a fintech degree also provides excellent job security. As long as finance and tech continue to converge, there will be a need for workers with fintech skills. Even if you lose your job, finding another one in the same field will be easier than many other fields.
Finally, a fintech degree can be immensely satisfying. If you’re interested in both finance and technology, pursuing a fintech degree allows you to combine your two passions into one career. What could be better than getting paid to do what you love?
Keiser University offers an excellent graduate-level financial technology degree if you’re ready to launch your career in fintech. Graduates of our 100 percent online, hands-on graduate program are prepared to provide improved financial services to customers and businesses by leveraging new technologies, assisting financial firms with managing various financial aspects of their business, and providing strategic guidance regarding new technologies for companies in an array of industries. Contact us today to learn more about our master’s in fintech!