Fintech is a rapidly growing industry, it requires a range of skills and currently suffers from a global talent shortage, a perfect opportunity for ambitious candidates.
So whether you are looking to advance your career or improve your salary, read on to discover the most desirable skills in Fintech.
This one is a no brainer to many with knowledge of Fintech, after all any industry reliant on digital technology is only as advanced as the programming keeping it afloat. Programming languages such as Java, Python and C++ and C# are still breadwinners in this industry, with few investment banks or hedge funds likely to change programming language according to Jared Butler, Executive Director of Fintech for Selby Jennings.
The demand for Blockchain expertise can be tied back to the surge in popularity of crypto currencies. Bitcoin, XRP and Ethereum. Blockchain is the foundational software on which these disruptive currencies are built. Blockchains ‘chain’ blocks of data together to create a single logical ledger system to keep track of transactions. In the case of Bitcoin Blockchains are decentralized, preventing any single party from gaining control of the market. They are also permanently recorded and visible to anyone.
Of course this is a drastic oversimplification of Blockchain, which is why the skill is in such high demand. To get specific, demand rose by over 2000% between 2017 and 2020! Blockchain isn’t only limited to cryptos either with nearly 70% of banks integrating Blockchain technology.
One of the great advantages of digital industries is the ease of generating data, everything is trackable and measurable. The problem is finding the right person to make sense of the meaning of it all, and that’s where data specialists come in.
Knowledge of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Deep Learning is very important to a data specialist. They have to be able to mine, analyse and interpret data, as well as be able to break it down into meaningful reports that employers can take action on. Good data can give companies a competitive edge, but also give insight on how to satisfy and therefore retain customers.
Soft skills are easily forgotten next to the technical requirements that often dominate jobs in this field. However long term success in this and any industry depends on people, problem solving and creative skills, as well as the ability to be flexible and adapt to new situations.
Being able to collaborate or lead other effectively, build relationships and manage conflict is critical to management and senior level positions, especially in an industry set to be the biggest employer of new CFOs and CEOs.
Likewise being able to embrace new methods of working and critically analysing new and unexpected situations is essential to increasing any professionals long term value to a company.
Cyber Security Expertise
The continued march of progress in the financial sector has led to rapid increases in technology, with advances in security always playing catchup. This leaves many technologies open to exploitation by enterprising cyber criminals. Cyber attacks can lead to loss of information, damaged reputations, strained business relations, severe legal consequences and low employee morale.
Cyber security is essential to any company with a digital presence but Fintech start-ups are particularly vulnerable. Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015.
According to Editor-in-Chief Steve Morgan, “this represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, is exponentially larger than the damage inflicted from natural disasters in a year, and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.”
This staggering rise in costs is reflected in the skills gap the industry is currently experiencing, with a predicted 3.5 million unfilled positions expected by 2021.
DevOps play an important role in optimizing and automating software processes. As companies ability to output useful data increases so does the need to automate and process such data. To do this efficiently many companies are moving towards a DevOps mentality, however this is easier said than done.
“Many banks have yet to see this mindset shift translate into actual user behavior, perhaps due to limitations of their digital capabilities” according to a June McKinsey report. “Should these emerging preferences become banking’s post COVID-19 ‘next normal,’ retail banking distribution will experience up to three years of digital preference acceleration in 2020,” a great opportunity for those with DevOps skills.