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In many cases, professionals choose to move to a new domain after working in an industry for years. Such changes are usually inspired by the need for personal growth, skill enhancement, higher salary, or new work culture. They seek new opportunities for new experiences and looking to grow professionally. One of the fastest-growing industries to explore while considering a successful career change is the FinTech industry.
During the pandemic, financial functions involving physical interactions were interrupted. This led to a paradigm shift in the working of the finance industry. It resulted in the emergence of new trends and growth opportunities in the fintech industry. According to a report, the global fintech market is expected to expand to $191k million at a 10.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2025. In this article, we will help you analyze the FinTech industry and what key aspects you should consider while moving to this industry.
1) Understanding the FinTech industry
To kick-start your career in FinTech, you will first need to know what it is about and clarify your expectations of working in this domain. The core is to leverage technological advancements, such as smart algorithms and secure cloud-based devices to enhance financial services. Here are some sectors that fall under the Fintech spectrum.
- digital transactions
- mobile stock trading
- digital loans
- bank currency exchanges
- retail banking
- investment management
Fintech integrates technology into financial companies’ products and services. Some of these technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and Blockchain. Below are examples of some applications that utilize Fintech.
- crowdfunding platforms
- mobile payments
- automation of compliance processes for financial institutions
We suggest doing a professional, in-depth evaluation of the FinTech industry before deciding to make the move. Start by asking yourself if you are inclined towards the financial aspect or the technological development aspect of the domain. Explore different job roles based on your preference. You may already know about some roles while others may be new and undiscovered. For instance, the role of a Blockchain developer is commonly known but that of a Compliance Expert is emerging.
2) What are the various career paths in FinTech?
Talking about 2019 and ahead, domains like cybersecurity, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and quantitative analysis have great future scope. Learn more about each domain and then narrow down to a couple of options that interest you. As you dive deeper into FinTech domains, look for professionals who have moved careers like you. Reaching out to someone with a similar industrial shift can help you evaluate your career change journey better. Additionally, we suggest performing a SWOT analysis on the industry to understand your alignment with it.
There are various job roles that you can take up, like a blockchain developer, investment consultant, or project manager. In fact, blockchain expertise and development is being categorized as one of the hottest job skills in FinTech, with a prediction to grow at a CAGR of 59.9% from 2021 to 2028. This is followed by machine learning, deep learning, applied statistics, cybersecurity, and infrastructural robustness expertise.
3) What skills do I need?
A successful career change is a lot more than just switching job roles. It involves learning, practicing, and showcasing new skills in a new work environment altogether. Irrespective of the domain you are switching from, you might have to learn a few basic finance and technological skills to thrive in FinTech. FinTech, being an evolving industry with new developments every year, you need to learn, unlearn, and relearn frequently. For instance, you need to be familiar with the following technical skills:
- basics of software development using Python or Java
- machine learning and data interpretation for data science
- working with APIs to develop the working platform
Finance reskilling includes knowledge about international finance laws, stock market, risk compliance, and investments to help you come up with better solutions for your platform. Other business skills like developing systems and processes and hiring the right team are good to have if you plan on running a FinTech business. Considering FinTech is a blend of Finance and Technology. Being a generalist who knows a bit of everything is better than specializing in one particular thing.
For any job, soft skills are equally important as technical skills. In the FinTech industry, you will be required to have keen observational skills and accurate analytical skills. These skills are critical in monitoring market trends, interpreting statistical results, and forecasting performances. Working in the Fintech industry requires making challenging financial decisions, working efficiently under pressure, and managing a finance team. Thus, polishing your calculated risk assessment, critical thinking, and leadership abilities is imperative.
4) How do I go about it?
Assuming that you need to re-skill to enter the industry, the most efficient option would be taking up concept-centric courses from websites like Coursera and Udemy. For instance, you can take up the Blockchain Specialization at the University of Buffalo which teaches everything about Blockchain right from the basics. Once you master the theoretical basics, you can freelance on a few finance and technical projects to know what working in FinTech actually feels like. Then, shift your focus to portfolios. For example, you can work on a complete mobile payment system that easily integrates with an existing eCommerce website. This will not only make it easier for you to get a job, but it will also make it easier for you to adapt to the corporate FinTech settings.
Top employers in the industry
That’s not all. Make sure you know the key employers of the industry before stepping in. According to Forbes, the three biggest FinTech companies of 2021 are Stripe, Klarna, and Kraken. Other than these tech giants, you can consider Braintree, Brex, Blend, Varo Money, and Chime. The industry is also seeing new startups in the arena, like SoFi, a student loan refinancing startup, and Plaid, an app smoothening bank transactions.
Once you have prominent companies on your list, start reaching out to professionals working under them to gain first-hand insights into what working with them looks like. Building a network with people already in the FinTech industry will open new opportunities for you. This will include an introduction to new job openings and referrals. Additionally, your technical skills will give you a competitive edge in your job search.
This is a great time to consider a career change to FinTech. Apart from lucrative salaries, the FinTech industry will provide you with remarkable personal and professional growth. However, working in a particular industry for years can take a significant amount of time and effort to adapt to a new way of thinking, functioning, and living in a new domain of work. We can help you overcome such challenges. If you want to know more about networking tools, career change red flags, and interview tips, feel free to reach out to us today!