Fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors of the modern economy, not just in Singapore but globally. But most people do not have a clear understanding of how this sector works.
Fintech is a combination of the words "financial" and "technology". According to the World Economic Forum, it involves "the innovative use of technology in the design and delivery of financial services and products" including things like cryptocurrency, blockchain, and mobile and internet banking.
The sector's meteoric rise is largely due to fintech being developed not just by banks and established tech giants, but also by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Due to fintech's multi-faceted nature, companies typically recruit talents from different fields such as Computer Science, Finance, Engineering and Information Technology (IT).
If you are considering a career in this booming new sector, brush up on your knowledge with this handy guide:
The sector at a glance
Tech hubs all over the world, such as Berlin, Tel Aviv and Singapore, are seeing a proliferation of SMEs specialising in the development of fintech.
Meanwhile, larger banks and other financial institutions are also investing heavily in fintech, whether through in-house teams or customised solutions offered by an SME.
According to KPMG's Pulse of Fintech report, Singapore achieved a record high of US$229.1 million (S$309.8 million) of fintech funding last year. Our island nation is a rapidly growing fintech hub, especially in the areas of blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The Government is planning to grow the fintech industry further. The Industry Transformation Map for the finance industry unveiled in October last year detailed a target of 1,000 net jobs in fintech being created yearly.
Put simply, the future of fintech is bright - and it is a good time to be a part of the action.
Careers available in fintech
Expanding frontiers in the fintech world include increasing automation in areas like paying bills and making investments, a greater emphasis on cybersecurity, cryptocurrency and digital cash, and closer collaboration between banks and fintech start-ups to bring better and smarter financial services to consumers.
Thus, many potential careers are available. For instance, quantitative analysts (or "quants") - the brains behind complex financial models - create data-driven trading programmes used by investment banks and hedge funds to analyse risk and trade securities. If you are someone with a good head for numbers and a knack for spotting trends, this could be the perfect role for you.
With the rise of smartphones, apps are becoming increasingly common vehicles for financial transactions, especially among millennials (people in their 20s and 30s). Fintech companies, particularly start-ups, are always on the hunt for new developers. Savvy programmers, or those with the keen interest to learn, will find plenty of opportunities in this role.
Cybersecurity specialists are also increasingly necessary as more and more financial transactions take place using technology, hence the need to ensure that customers' cash is safe from hackers. Those with the ability to think out of the box, as well as good problem-solving skills, will be a good fit for this role.
Transitioning into fintech
If you have little prior experience in the fields of finance and technology, a career pivot into fintech might seem intimidating. In addition to the skills needed for the various jobs listed above, you also require a solid grasp of financial principles and technological know-how.
Fear not - there are ways for you to gain these skills and qualifications.
Kaplan offers several Bachelor's Degree programmes from Murdoch University that will prepare graduates for a career in fintech. It offers both full-time and part-time programmes that cater to a variety of needs.
The Bachelor of Business in Finance and Cyber Security & Forensics (Double Major) is tailored for finance professionals who want to gain skills in IT.
You will be able to take modules to learn more about systems analysis and design, cyber forensics and information technology, and information security policy and governance.
The Degree programme culminates in an IT Professional Practice Project that you will undertake to apply your knowledge to solve a substantive problem.
If you are a tech professional lacking in financial knowledge, the Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems and Banking is designed with you in mind.
With modules covering finance law, treasury management, commercial banking, and international financial markets and institutions, it will get you up to speed with the know-how needed to make an impact in fintech.
Other Double Major Degree programmes available include the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security & Forensics and Banking, and the Bachelor of Business in Finance and Business Information Systems.
These are all newcomer-friendly and do not presuppose prior knowledge in either IT or finance. They will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the fintech world with confidence.
Visit murdochatkaplan.com.sg/fintech to find out more about Murdoch University's programmes and which one is most suitable for you.