IMDA, MAS to push career development of fintech professionals

The Memorandum of Intent (MOI) was signed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday.
The Memorandum of Intent (MOI) was signed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday.PHOTO: TWITTER/MAS

By Wong Kai Yi

SINGAPORE - Industry and academia are joining forces to help equip Singaporeans with the skills to take up infocomm technology jobs in the financial industry.

The Memorandum of Intent (MOI) was signed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday and is part of the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) FinTech Collective.

It involves six local universities and five financial associations coming together to do research in fintech, draw up new courses, provide mentorship and make university curricula more industry-ready.

The partners include Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, General Insurance Association of Singapore and The Association of Banks in Singapore.

IMDA chief executive Tan Kiat How told the Singapore Fintech Festival on Thursday that over 42,000 additional information and communications technology professionals will be needed over the next three years, including in industries like finance, healthcare and logistics.

The new partnership will include fintech research collaborations with the universities, new courses in fintech specialisations, mentorships and hackathons with finance professionals to help students understand fintech trends. It will cover popular areas such as blockchain, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and data science.

It will also help align university curricula to be more industry-ready, allowing students to benefit from professional education training. Polytechnic graduates and ICT professionals will also gain from continuing education initiatives.

There will also be outreach efforts to expose students and professionals to emerging fintech trends and guide their skills development.

"This unprecedented, large-scale collaboration among the government, financial industry and universities will help to build a deep fintech talent pool in Singapore," MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh said.

Mr Tan added: "We are very encouraged by the support from all six local universities and the industry associations to ensure that we have the right talent to accelerate the growth of the fintech sector, a key part of Singapore's digital economy."

The financial sector employed 24,300 ICT professionals in 2016, up more than 25 per cent from 19,100 in 2015. Total demand for ICT jobs in the financial sector also hit an all-time high of 26,200, according to the joint media release.

The TeSA Fintech Collective was announced at the Singapore FinTech Festival on Monday.