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Bracing for the future

Financial Technology sector is coming of age with digital innovation and evolving market dynamics for skilled finance-techies.

Mahesh Shukla | Kolkata |

The investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. The maxim is better understood in the context of the present tech-driven world where education and knowledge of technological disruptors are beyond price. At the time when other industries are trying hard to keep up with fourth industrial revolution, lead-off digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, and Quantum Computing continues to create a pool of new career opportunities for millennial and Gen Z in the banking and finance sector.

From traditional finance to Financial Technology (FinTech) the evolution calls upon the next-gen financial professionals who can continue the legacy of financial innovation. The time seems not far away when it will be in mainstream finance where the companies will not be racing with the traditional financial institutions; instead, they will be collaborating for mutual growth. Being vulnerable to the digital skills gap, the startups and the biggies need to focus on upskilling the workforce as well as preparing a pipeline of fit talents that can take on the critical job roles of the future.

With the hype of AI trading, Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending, mobile banking, and digital payments, career prospects in this augmentative sector are higher and promising than in regular banking and finance sector. The FinTech market of India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22 per cent in the next five years, and this brisk growth will further bring forth a major job boom. A student studying BCom or MCom will not only have to set his eyes on the jobs of an accountant, banker, or HR, as they can see his progressive career as financial technologists, app and site developers, analysts, etc., in FinTech space.

As today’s generation is familiarised with the pain points of banking and financial services, the young and dynamic professionals can help in curbing them down if empowered with technology. Even the recruiters admit that there’s going to be a bumper hiring in technology, product, and data science roles. The sound knowledge of modern programming languages, AI, ML, Data Privacy, Blockchain, and understanding of financial concepts makes a candidate full-stack qualitative analyst.

Hence, he can take up the job of business analyst, mobile app developer, or a cloud engineer in any reputed FinTech firm. Bringing the innovation in the vintage landscape of finance, which FinTech is destined to do, the talents can unleash their potential, contribute to the fourth industrial revolution, and meanwhile, bag the attractive salary packages.

The salary for an entry-level for professionals ranges from Rs 5-8 lakhs whereas it is Rs 25-30 lakhs for a midlevel senior. But, landing up to such a highpaying job requires a strong educational background and advanced skill set. The preference is given to the candidates from business and finance and engineering and technology, inter alia. Realising the need to source skilled and industry-ready talent, most of the FinTech companies in India and Asia/Pacific have joined forces with colleges where this is an entire area of specialisation in itself.

During these specialised courses, the students learn the functional knowledge of finance and the role of robust technology at an academic level. Under the training by experts, they are taught how to bring the same into practice. The summits are also gaining huge popularity as incubators where all FinTech education needs are addressed and where Csuite executives let the students get an inside view of the companies. Presently, FinTech is at a nascent stage in India but is revolutionising the international banking and financial service delivery.

In fact, the global FinTech software and services sector are expected to touch high by 2020 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.1 per cent. So, there is immense scope for the financial techies to make a mark in domestic as well as global FinTech industry. The only thing the young talents need to do is identify the path and embark on the journey, and the success is yet to come.