FinTech is growing faster than we used to expect. In 2010, the value of FinTech investments was 10 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. For 2018, Statista predicts 35 billion with growing up to 46 billion in the next two years. The industry unites finance and technology and puts into effect new-age banks, money management tools, crowdfunding programs, and more. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
The number of jobs in FinTech increases with the market itself, and there are vast number of tasks expected for technical experts. But what about non-technical workers; are there any opportunities for them as well? The point is there are lots of both technical and non-technical roles available.
For inspiration, let’s start with a few words about FinTech and its impact on society: “I want to talk about people because anything tech is dead without them. We will talk about people who dare to be different and dare to be innovative. If they succeed, they will cover the space and provide you with better solutions. Most banks know this is the future.” – Spiros Margaris, a venture capitalist and advisor on TEDxAcademy.
Personal qualities and knowledge
Learn the ropes of the industry
Global financial crisis 2007-2008 gave a boost to FinTech that started to combine the old and conservative financial system with innovations and imagination. The industry is changing quickly and regularly, so it’s critical to understand all internal processes as well as keep up with the changes. If you don’t show the deep understanding of the industry during an interview, it is quite possible an employer will not interest in hiring.
Maybe it is obvious to talk about research before an interview, but we do not mean just to find out more information about the company you chose, not only. You should learn the ropes of the industry itself. How to do that? You can read articles and the news on specialized FinTech resources, The FinTech Times, for example; talk to people who work in the industry; watch videos; etc. Try to understand, how and why it works.
Everyone needs experience
We know how this paradox could be annoying: you can get a job if you have an experience, but to have some experience you need a job. Is it possible for newcomers to start a career here?
FinTech is more difficult than technology or finance by themselves because you should know how both of them work. To get a job, you need to demonstrate the ability to survive in this constantly changing environment. It is difficult, but it is not impossible. If you don’t have working experience, education can help you. A lot of stationary and online programs and qualifications will give you a necessary level of industry understanding. Pay attention to Oxford Fintech Programme or Professional Certificate Program on edX, for example.
What you should know
As we previously said, in FinTech you should understand how both finance and technology work, but you do not have to be an expert in both of them. There are a lot of different positions in the industry, so you can choose something more appropriate for you, something that will make you excited. Having the core knowledge of tech and finance, you can choose a more specific direction and evolve in it.
FinTech is a very young industry, so there are will be a place for everyone who is attracted by it. The industry needs marketers, analytics, project managers, etc., the question is which of them will be perfectly fit to your skills.
A few words on how to find and do work you love.
What is the most popular positions in the industry these days? In which of them technical knowledge will be necessary?
Do you have an extraordinary idea and entrepreneurial ambitions? Everyone can break the market with a good preparation and understanding of needs in the particular area. FinTech is greedy to new ideas, so why it couldn’t be yours? Entrepreneurship is the way for a strong in spirit people, but in the case of success, the rewards are well worth it. Still, you will need a team.
Of course, FinTech is based on unordinary technological decisions, and developer’s task is to make them real. Mobile wallets and personal payments system are driven by the millennials’ appetite. According to Visa, over 53% younger people prefer mobile banking. Based on that, we shouldn’t wait for the market decline, smartphones make the way forward for FinTech. Traditionally, most popular programming languages for FinTech are Python, Java, C++, C#, C, and Ruby.
Data is synonymous of the effective digital economy. Companies that can successfully work with a big amount of data have a competitive advantage on the market, so experts in analytics will be popular, too. Analytics need more non-technical knowledge, they must be good at finance and accounting, first of all. It is a good way to start your career in FinTech because here you can pick up a methodology, project and program management skills, etc..
Without qualitative management, even the most groundbreaking idea may fail. The developing process must be kept on the track, and that is why every project needs a Product Manager. He must have a general understanding of FinTech industry and adapt quickly to the changes. Good Product Manager is a person who should understand clearly a product, client’s business, and how your technology can solve its problems.
Sellers and Business Developers
Sure, it is not enough to create a FinTech product. There must be a person who will make a business from it. Every company can be moved forward by new partnerships and deals that will help your product to take its place on the market. This position requires a deep understanding of the technology because Business Developer basically plays the role of intermediary between the business side and developers.
How to start
Homework is waiting for you
You have already found out that you need to learn the ropes of FinTech before making a decision about your future career. For another thing, you should make a list of the companies that work in the area. Numbers of them are starting up every year, all with the different products and focus on the different market gaps. Before applying on a position, try to learn more about solutions the company purpose and people who lead the team. In the case of startups, try to find out if the company has solid financial backing.
Start with something you know
Choosing a job, try to look for something you already know. For example, if you have experience as an accountant, it will be easier to enter the market as an analytic. Do you want to be a Project Manager? With some experience in the area, it would be easy to achieve. In CV, you can describe an experience you already have even if it does not apply directly to the position you request. It can be volunteer experience that will show your ability to work with people, school projects you have been involved in, conferences you have visited, etc.. Try to think what do you know and then align those skills to the job description.
In the case you don’t have any experience at all, there is another thing that will bring you success. That is motivation. It is a good idea to realize what drives you and use it as your advantage. If you have a strong motivation, you will be able to do more than you think, and employers know that. They are looking for people who are self-motivated, who have the willingness to listen and learn.
No, seriously, talk. Talk to people who have experience in the area, who launched successful FinTech projects, visit issue-related conferences and workshops. Do not hesitate to ask for advice or referrals. Use your social networks to expand the circle of contacts, and to join LinkedIn is the best first step for it. Start to build professional connections and develop your own personal brand with a focus on FinTech. And one day, who knows, we may be working together.
Check Ralab’s open positions here.