As the financial world continues to digitize, many people are finding that a career in fintech is an increasingly appealing option. However, if you still need to be employed in the financial industry, you may wonder how to become a fintech professional. We met with Keiser University’s Theo Owusu, D.Sc., and Dr Donald DeSormoux, Dean – of Graduate School. We asked them to assist us in better understanding how someone interested in becoming a fintech professional might proceed.
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Determine if it is the right career for you
It cannot be easy to decide whether to enter the world of fintech. On the one hand, it provides an opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and contribute to the future of financial services. It can, however, be a highly competitive and fast-paced industry. So, how do you know if a career in finance is right for you?
Attending industry events or meetups is one method of learning more about fintech. These are excellent opportunities to network with others in the field and gain a sense of the type of work done in fintech. You can also educate yourself on the most recent industry news and trends to better understand the challenges and opportunities that fintech firms face. If you still need to figure it out, why not talk to someone who works in fintech? They will be able to give you an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to work in this exciting industry.
Good Qualities of a Fintech Professional
The skillsets required of financial professionals evolve in tandem with the financial sector. With the rise of fintech, financial professionals must be comfortable with new technologies and adaptable to change. Here are some characteristics and soft skills that every fintech professional should possess:
Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
Any fintech professional must have strong critical thinking skills. With the ever-changing financial landscape, the ability to assess a situation quickly and accurately is critical. Furthermore, as technology becomes more prevalent in finance, identifying and diagnosing problems is more important than ever. To provide innovative solutions to complex problems, a fintech professional must be able to think both creatively and critically.
Patience is one of the most important qualities for any fintech professional. Getting caught up in the latest trend or shiny new toys is easy in a constantly changing and evolving industry. However, patient fintech professionals understand that taking the time to understand the underlying technologies and trends is the key to long-term success. Importantly, when working with clients and customers, you must be patient. They may need to familiarize themselves with the most recent technologies and may require some time to adjust. You can help them understand how fintech can benefit them and their business by being patient and taking the time to explain things.
Fintech is all about using technology to solve financial industry problems, which entails dealing with massive amounts of data. To succeed in fintech, you must understand and interpret data, identify trends and patterns, and apply that knowledge to develop solutions. Strong analytical skills are required for anyone wishing to pursue a career in finance.
Exception Interest in Finance and technology
While numerous fintech roles are available, they all require a solid foundation in finance and technology. A fintech analyst, for example, may use their financial knowledge to create new trading strategies, whereas a fintech engineer may create systems that streamline how financial institutions process transactions. A solid understanding of financial principles is required to develop new products and services. Simultaneously, fintech professionals must be at ease with sophisticated technical tools and systems. An interest in and aptitude for both is thus required.
To be successful in fintech, you must be able to adapt to change and embrace new ideas. A curious mind will assist you in staying ahead of the game and identifying new opportunities. Furthermore, being curious will assist you in developing a network of contacts and resources. You’re more likely to find the people and resources you need if you constantly ask questions and look for new information. So, if you want to dive into the exciting world of fintech, ensure you have a healthy dose of curiosity.
Excellent communication is one of the most important skills for a fintech professional. In a field where technology and finance intersect, it’s critical to clearly and concisely explain complex concepts to people from both backgrounds and technical and non-technical audiences. Effective communicators in the fintech industry can simplify complex topics and communicate clearly and concisely, both in writing and in person. They also have good listening skills and can understand the needs of their audience. Furthermore, they can establish trusting relationships, which is critical in an industry where data security is paramount.
Ability to adapt
Finally, a fintech expert should be adaptable. The fintech industry is constantly changing, and new technologies are always being developed. As a result, fintech professionals must be able to keep up with the latest trends and developments while quickly learning new skills. Successful fintech professionals must be willing to adapt to new situations and embrace change.
Earn a Formal Education
If you possess the characteristics of a successful fintech professional, your next step should be to pursue formal education. While there are numerous ways to learn about financial technology, the formal study provides a thorough understanding of the subject. Fortunately, there are now numerous opportunities to pursue such an education. Online courses, evening classes, and flexible programs are becoming more common, making it easier than ever to acquire the theoretical and practical skills required for success in this rapidly expanding industry.
Numerous fintech certification opportunities are available, but Dr Owusu believes that certification can quickly become obsolete. Certificates typically last up to five years, after which you must reapply for certification. Your financial technology degree will not only never expire, but it will also teach you the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the field. Those with an undergraduate or graduate degree, or both, will have more career opportunities, making these educational options far more valuable than certification alone. After earning your degree, pursuing additional certification can help you stand out when applying for jobs because it shows you’re committed to professional development and going above and beyond. However, it is best used in conjunction with a degree rather than in place of one.
Learn Common Software
There are specific software programs that professionals in the financial technology sector commonly use. These are just a few of the most commonly used software programs in the fintech world that you should get acquainted with:
Tableau is a data visualization software application that lets users create graphs, charts, and maps from data sets. Businesses and organizations use it to make better decisions by understanding their data. Fintech professionals can use Tableau to visualize data from various sources, including Excel files, SQL databases, and web data.
Power BI is a Microsoft software product that converts data from various sources into interactive insights. Power BI allows you to import data from databases, websites, and structured files such as spreadsheets and JSON files.
Excel is a program that allows you to enter data and create graphs and charts from it. It is one of the most widely used business software programs and an essential tool for any fintech professional.
R is a statistical computing programming language and environment. R includes a plethora of statistical and graphical methods that are highly extensible. One of R’s strengths is its ability to generate well-designed publication-quality plots, including mathematical symbols and formulae, as needed.
Python is a programming language that fintech professionals use for various purposes. Its design emphasizes code readability through extensive indentation. Python also does not require the user to define variables and automatically collects data after execution. It supports a variety of programming paradigms, including object-oriented programming, functional programming, and structured programming.
Splunk software is a platform for machine data analytics that allows users to search, monitor, and analyze data from any source. The platform can examine a wide range of data, including system logs, application logs, network traffic, etc. Splunk software is designed to be simple and can be deployed in minutes.